17. Montepetriolo - Ten. La Torricella

Starting from Castiglione della Valle in the township of Marsciano, take off in the direction of Pietrafitta-Tavernelle and then turn left to ford the Nestore stream and then climb along a good bridle path through durmast woods and luxuriant olive groves. Get back on to the tarmac road and ride until you reach the junction for Montepetriolo. Once you’re in this small village, keep straight on to the Chiesa della Madonna delle Grazie church (1517) and descend along the natural-bed cart track until you reach, amidst uncultivated lots, wooded clearings and olive groves, the road for Mugnano.

From there after a while climb up to San Martino dei Colli. While enjoying the lovely views, turn back down until you cross the track of the old Ellera-Tavernelle railway, on a level with the old and crumbling signalman’s house awash in brambles and tall grass. Turn right along the track of the old railway and pass a series of junctions before Pilonico Materno and then Bagnaia. From there a bridle path leads to Bosco Sereni forest and then to the access road to Villa of the ‘Tenuta La Torricella’. You are in the heart of one of the most important and interesting plain-growing forests of the region.

Continue along the main road and then, after a few turnings, reach the bridle path used for launching the “Ruzzolone”, an ancient farmers’ game that consisted in throwing in turn a round wooden artefact wrapped up in a belt down a pre-established track (the one who reaches the finish line with the lowest number of throws is the winner). The end of the “Ruzzolone” track coincides with the exit from the Sereni forest and the junction with the Bagnaia municipal road. After returning close to Pilonico Materno, ride through fertile fields usually grown with corn and tomatoes until you reach the Spina provincial road. Cross a bridge over the Caina and return to the starting point.

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