Photo ©Photo Graphic Studio
A circular bike ride around the area of Massa Marittima
A demanding itinerary in the Metalliferous Hills
58 km

This route begins on level ground, and then varies. The most difficult sections are the Capanne ascent and the up-and-down Via Marsiliana. The city of Massa Marittima is of great interest, as is the beautiful hilly landscape along the road. Naturalists can plan a stop near the Carapax Centre to see turtles and swans. Possible eating options may be found in the first part of the itinerary in Scarlino Scalo and Bagni di Gavorrano, and later in Massa Marittima.

first leg
Departure from Follonica
Follonica - Credit: Raffaele Sergi

We start from Casa Rondelli, on the outskirts of Follonica, near a large roundabout that exits onto the S.P. 152 in the direction of Punta Ala, Castiglione della Pescaia, and Grosseto. Pedalling on level ground along the path of the old Via Aurelia, which runs parallel to the railway, you pass through Scarlino Scalo (5). You go past the entrance ramp onto the S.S.1 Aurelia (9) and continue until you reach the fork on the right (12.5), where you follow the signs for Aurelia, Ribolla and Lago dell'Accesa, and turn on to the S.P. 31 "Collacchia" road.

Soon after, turn left again in the direction of Ribolla, Tatti, and Lago dell’Accesa and pass under the S.S.1 Aurelia. Pedal uphill for about 1 km, and afterwards go downhill until reaching a crossroads, where you leave the S.P. 31 and turn left onto the S.P. 49 "dell'Accesa" (15.3) in the direction of Massa Marittima. After a couple of kilometers you cross a bridge over the River Bruna and start to gain altitude, pedalling until reaching the hilltop near the Il Fontino Agriturismo (18.8).

Second leg
Towards Massa Marittima
Massa Marittima
Massa Marittima - Credit: / Paolo Querci

From here carry on until you reach the town of La Pesta (20), the ideal place to have a bite to eat near Lake Accesa. Continue on for another 600 metres along the S.P. 49, before reaching a fork on the right, where you take the S.P. 50 toward Capanne (20.6). The road slopes gradually upwards for about 2 km, then proceeds without difficulty until the village of Capanne (25). When you come to the lay-by with the bus stop, take the secondary asphalt road that heads uphill, completely swamped by greenery, until Massa Marittima.

When you reach a big roundabout (31) follow the signs for the city centre, which is well worth visiting. Once you have passed through the central square, which contains the cathedral, you head out of the centre (33.7) and take the S.P. 151 downhill towards Follonica. At the bottom you find an intersection where you cross the S.R. 439, taking the S.P. 143 "Marsiliana" (36), and following the signs for Centro Tartarughe and Cicogne (the turtle and swan centres).

third leg
Along the Via Marsiliana
Castiglione della Pescaia
Castiglione della Pescaia - Credit: Heipei

Continue along a lovely wide road, lined with cypresses, for about 1 km until you reach a medieval mill (37.1) where you turn left onto a straight road that heads past the precincts of the Centro Tartarughe e Cicogne (38.5). The road then slopes slightly downhill for about 3.5 km, then the altimeter kicks in and from this point on the Marsiliana becomes a series of ups and downs in a gorgeously hilly landscape.

Soon after (44) you come to the area of the Scuola Allievi del Corpo Forestale dello Stato (Fattoria Marsiliana) and then after about 5 km reach the connection (49.3) to the S.P. 33, where you turn left. You cycle on without difficulty for 4 km until the next junction, where you turn right onto the S.R. 439 (53.3), in the direction of Follonica. After 1.5 km you cross the S.S.1 Aurelia and carry on for another 3 km before reaching the Casa Rondelli roundabout, where the journey began (58).