This relatively short tour explores some of the climbs and important routes of the Valmarecchia. From the summit of Monte Titano, you descend the Acquaviva face, passing through Baldasserrona, where the votive chapel of Saint Marino is situated. Formed from a recess in the rock face of Monte Titano, the hermit is said to have lived there for a few years, fleeing the Christian persecutions in Dalmatia.
Having passed the state border in Gualdicciolo, you follow the road along the Marecchia River until reaching the climb leading to the peak of Torriana, a spur with a characteristic shape that caused the town to be known by the moniker “Scorticata”. Torriana has historically been approached from several faces by cycling enthusiasts, by both road and mountain bike. After reaching the summit you enjoy a 360-degree view that extends for as far as the eye can see, given the location that commands the Valmarecchia and earned the town the epithet “Balcony of Romagna”.
Riding along the ridge that divides the Marecchia and Uso valleys, accompanied by a view that extends from Monte Titano, Carpegna and Aquilone on one side, and San Giovanni in Galilea, the plain up to the coast and seascape on the other.
The natural environment in this area is so rich that it has been listed as the “Montebello protected wildlife oasis “.
After this beautiful stretch you reach Montebello, with its austere and mysterious mediaeval fortress that continues the series of Malatesta fortifications, famous for the legend of the feudatory’s daughter, Azzurrina, who disappeared at 5 years of age in the castle’s dungeons, which, it is said, are still inhabited by her ghost.
Montebello is very interesting, even from an historical perspective, in so far as its origins seem to date back to the pre-Roman era, with the Celts as its first inhabitants.
After descending Montebello Hill, you continue along the Uso River, which gives its name to the valley. At the foot of the descent you can stop for a break at one of the coffee bars, a meeting place for all passing cyclists in the town of Masrola.
The next short but sometimes arduous climb, Ponte Uso, is considered one of the finest in the area, putting your climbing abilities to the test.
It ascends along a completely open, winding, wild and almost uninhabited road, therefore there is little traffic.
Continuing with the scenic rises and falls you reach Passo delle Siepi, better known as Passo del Grillo, an easily-travelled and open road (and 8th hill of the celebrated Gran Fondo Nove Colli circuit) that climbs the Monte Uffogliano hillside and brings us back to Valmarecchia in the Secchiano suburb.
Last climb of the day is Monte Titano’s Villanova face, which leads back to San Marino through the villages of Montemaggio and Chiesanuova, in this captivating triangle of borders between Romagna, Marche and the Republic of San Marino.
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