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Itinerary n. 1 •

La Vittoria - Traversa - Amiata - Cassia
Strada della Bonifica - La Vittoria
(Lunghezza 28 KM)

This is a good route to follow in the late autumn and in the winter when the Val d'Orcia, with its dry climate, is rarely subject to fog and rainfall is generally below the seasonal average. The route, more than half of which is flat and the rest undulating with very short climbs of less than 300 meters, is suitable both for beginners and for those who want to keep in trim during the winter. Gears required on this route are those normally used for flat country cycling and which are found on most touring bikes.

Indications for the ruoute

It is best to go by car to the Vittoria cross-roads and begin by taking the road towards Siena. After about 1.5 Kms, turn left at the junction and follow the Amiata road until it meets the Cassia on the right. Follow this road for another 10 Kms as far as the junction with the Val d'Orcia provincial road and follow it back to the starting point, a little more than 28 kms further on. If you feel like pedaling some more and wish to discover other aspects of this interesting area there are, at this point, three alternatives: head for Contignano, which soon reaches a long and rather difficult climb; La Foce; or straight ahead towards S. Pietro in Campo. In either case, you will have to decide when to turn round and head back along the same road.

Environmental and historical feratures

Take your time while cycling along this route and enjoy the wonderful landscape, the clear light, the variety of colors that this countryside hasCastello di Spedaletto to offer and the age-old sculpting of the land by the hand of man: we are in the heart of the Parco della Val d'Orcia. Climbing back up along the clear waters of the river Formone on the right we meet some good examples of the crete senese, typical formations of the area and locally known as "calanchi" or "biancane", whitish in color because of the content of sodium sulfate. Wild animals are quite often seen here. Over the next 10 Kms, which more or less follow the line of the medieval Francigena route, we see all the typical features of the valley: the unmistakable profile of Pienza on the horizon, on the right the imposing structure of the fortress of Castiglione d'Orcia, to the leftRocca D'orcia and in front Bagno Vignoni and S. Quirico. 20 kms later we reach the medieval castle of Spedaletto, and further on the giant umbrella of querce delle Checche - an oak tree whose age is counted in centuries. Shortly after there is a cypress-lined ascent: stop for a moment at the top and you will see (from right to left) the Rimbecca fortified farm, the river Formone where it joins the Orcia and in the background the great mass of mount Amiata, Castelvecchio, the majestic fortress of Radicofani, mount Cetona and the hills of Pietraporciana.



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