The Senese Valdelsa Chianti bike tour
Castellina in Chianti (578m) – Castagnoli (427 m) – Bivio Talciona (150m) – Parish Church of Sant’ Agnese (410m) – Castellina in Chianti
Length: 41 km
Time required: four hours
Road surface: unpaved for about half, asphalt with reduced traffic flows
Difficulty: none in the first part, except for several points of steep ascent; of medium intensity in the re-ascent to Castellina, which develops progressively, that is good for cycling. Requires average athletic preparation.
Route: Castellina is situated on the Chiantigiana State Road. It can also be reached with State Road 429 from the Valdelsa, and from the Florence- Siena dual lane carriageway, exiting at San Donato in Poggio for those coming from Florence, and at Monteriggioni for those coming from Siena.
The mountain bike itinerary leaves from the built up area along a segment of the State Road for Poggibonsi, which we come to again at the end of the excursion. In fact, the trend of the slopes makes it advisable to detour after about 2 kilometers at Castagnoli, an ancient castle that seems to remind us of the embankment on which different buildings are located. When the asphalt ends, the wide dirt road continues to descent in very lovely countryside, facing towards the valleys of Staggia and the Elsa, on which there are wide-open panoramas.
Upon arriving at several hairpin bends, be very careful because of the very steep slope and the gravel roadbed, which could cause loss of balance when braking. In the vicinity of Villa Rosa and Gretole, the route on seemingly flat ground stretches out over a panoramic ridge, beyond which sowable fields tend to dominate. We continue on asphalt, with very pleasant and relaxing route, until reaching crossroads where – on the right- we find a signpost for Talciona.
After visiting it, the route returns over the same road already taken until the Talciona cross – roads uphill, where we admire the precious little presbytery of Santa Maria, with an architrave that was sculpted in the Middle Ages (1234) and that bears a rough but charming Adoration of the Magi. We continue uphill along the little asphalt road that soon takes on a natural road surface, in the direction of the settlement of Villore, from which, on a bend, the unpaved road meets with the state road coming from Poggibonsi. Here take direction to Castellina.