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Discover the metal-bearing hills by bike among villages and nature

A route that leaves Chiusdino and winds through medieval villages

Step 1
- Credit: Terensky

Leave the central piazza in Chiusdino and immediately follow signs to Siena, climbing along the SP 31 “Chiusdino” until you reach the village of La Battellona (roughly 3.5km), where you turn left at the crossroads, leading to the SP 107 “Montalcinello” towards Radicondoli-Montalcinello.

After crossing the Saio River (roughly 5.4km in), go up a short ramp, which has an average gradient of 6% and leads up to a hill with a panoramic view. At about kilometre 8.3, skirting around the small village of Montalcinello, continue along the main road. For a brief stretch you will climb again and then continue up a slight slope to be accompanied by the first geothermal ducts before sliding down towards the foot crossing for Montingegnoli castle (at kilometre 14).

From this crossroads you take the SP3 “delle Galleraie” following signs for Montieri and Follonica. This lovely road serves as a divider between the Merse and Cecina water tables. At kilometre 19.4, turn off to the right to the Galleraie thermal springs, site of the Val di Merse and Petriolo springs, and after 600 metres you will pass into the province of Grosseto, as such the SP3 becomes SP 5 “Montieri”.

Step 2
Through the characterful streets of Montieri

Now the road narrows and starts becoming bendy, continuing with twists and turns until it reaches La Fabbrica. Turn off to the right to Travale and a climb of 4km starts immediately: this is the first of the two hardest climbs, having short stretches with a 10% gradient. Having passed the two small farms that dominate the sides of the road (roughly 25.5km in), the hills get easier and less steep: we are nearing the Montieri hills (1051m) separated from the nearby Le Cornate mountain (1060m) by a strip of land, which from our position hides the view towards the nearby Gulf of Follonica as well as the beautiful island of Elba.

At kilometre 26, on the left, you will find a fountain of high-quality spring water. Barely 500 metres later, at the end of the climb, you will find a junction where you must take the road to Chiusdino, but before taking the SP 29 “di Ciciano” we recommend you carry on for a little more than a kilometre and visit Montieri, ancient mining hub of the metal-bearing hills: its name even comes from Mons Aeris or copper mountain. Take a short break and stroll around the narrow streets above the 13th-century keep, lined with plenty of specialty food shops.

Step 3
Ancient traditions in the village of Ciciano
- Credit: LigaDue

Having returned to the junction outside the town, take the SP 29 towards Chiusdino. You are now pedalling downhill on a lovely road with a view of the Alta Val di Merse. At around kilometre 32, you return into the province of Siena by following the SP 31 to the village of Ciciano, famous for the traditional game “Palla Eh!”. You now head left, passing around the village, the road climbs for a brief stretch near the small cemetery of Chiusdino; from here the road climbs up for the final one and half kilometre and ends up in the town centre.

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