23. Le torri di Cibottola e Gaiche

The starting-point of this loop is opposite the Collicello junction, by the tall poplar tree before the little bridge, in the immediate vicinity of Abbazia dei Sette Frati, an ancient abbey built between the early 11th century and the beginning of the 12th century by Benedictine monks. Start pedalling towards Pietrafitta until you reach Cibottola under the hexagonal tower, just over 20 m tall, built to protect the ancient Castle probably at some time between the 9th and 13th centuries.

Continue climbing towards Monte Vergnano until you reach the pastures at the top. Eastwards are some beautiful views with the valleys of the Nestore stream and the Tiber river in the foreground and the chain of the Umbro-Marchigiano Apennines in the distance together with the unmistakable profile of Monte Vettore. Once over the ridge starts a pleasant descent, except for the very rough and uneven-surfaced part right at the end, towards the locality of Sanguineto and Villa Fibbino, and arrive after a series of amusing ups and downs at Casaglia.

From there proceed through the so-called Boschi della Serpolla woods, famous for the abundance of boletus mushrooms that grow there in the right seasons, and then on towards the farmhouses of Greppeppe. Rather complex but very satisfying in terms of landscapes and of biking is the varied route that leads to Gaiche, another small medieval village with tower, the original structure of which dates back to the 12th century. The hill overlooks the valley of the Nestore stream with the large artificial lake of the Enel power plant. The pleasant hairpin bends of a tarmac road now lead you to the road that descends from Castiglion Fosco and Collebaldo. By following on the right the course of the Rigalto stream and riding in the direction of Pietrafitta you quickly reach the starting point of the route.

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