Altitude Profile (422 ft to 3,928 ft)
This is a physically demanding 100 km route that takes the rider 40 kms through the mountains and hills to the north of Casa Benessere before tracking back through rolling farmlands around Cupremontana, Apiro, Frontale and Moscosi. It rewards hard physical effort with a rich tour of the incredible landscapes and lovely villages and hamlets that lie within cycling distance of Casa Benessere. You should be aware that weaving through the hamlets in the mountains presents quite tricky routing problems and if you can download the track onto a Garmin GPS or similar do so here. If you lose the track and need to get to a familiar point close to Casa Benessere you want to be trying to get to Frontale or Apiro (Frontale is better) and then following signs for San Severino (via Frontale).
Turn right up the hill out of Casa Benessere and then right again down to the first junction 300 meters further on. Turn left here (i.e. don’t head for Corsciano) and ride for 3.5 kms to a road sign-posted ‘Elcito 5’. Bear left here and head up to Elcito. You have now started the ascent of Monte San Vicino. If stamina levels allow you to enjoy the climb it’s a treat. Elcito is precariously perched on the side of the mountain and there are cool, luxuriant forests and spectacular views.
Unless you want to sight-see don’t go into Elcito. Take the hairpin bend to the left just before you reach the hamlet. Follow the track for a further 4.5 kms up the mountain and you will reach a crude stone monument. Bear right here and cycle for a further 600 meters. Bear right again and follow the track the 5.5 kms into Pian dell’ Elmo (there is a summer hotel / pizzeria here).
Coming out of Pian dell’ Elmo bear left along the road sign-posted ‘Poggio S.V 7, Apiro 16’. Descend the 5.6 kms to Poggio San Vicino, take the hairpin in the town and then, cycling slowly so you don’t miss it, take a very sharp concealed left hand turn 330 meters after the hairpin. Follow this narrow country road for 500 meters and you will reach a T junction. Turn left. After 190 meters bear left and follow the road 1.5 kms to Palazzo. After 550 meters keep left again and follow the road up to Domo. In Domo take the first 90 degree left you come to (at the foot of the steps leading up to the church) and a steepish climb from here will get you to Preciccchie 3 kms further on. Take the hairpin just before you get into Precicchie and after 1.3 kms you will reach a T junction at San Giovanni. Turn right and then, after 1.3 kms, take a very sharp left to Castelletta (sign-posted ‘Grotte’) passing through Grotte-Sotte Le Noci. At the top of Castelletta turn right (sign-posted Fabriano) and ride the 1.5 kms to the road high point and picnic spots.
From here you have a 6 km descent to the valley below. Turn sharply right at the bottom and head into Valtreara and then Camponocechio. Be sure to avoid joining the SS76, the busy road that runs through the valley parallel to the smaller road you are on. After Camponocechio pass under the bridge that carries the SS76 and then bear right on the country road running east of the river. Continue on this road into the gorge. In the gorge you will be cycling past quaries on a part shingle road. Keep going to Serra San Quirico. Continue on the SP76, which you will be on at this point, to Angeli. In Angeli turn 90 degrees right across the railway line at the first opportunity, following the sign post for Apiro. You now have a 13 km undulating run into Apiro. Avoid the town centre and look for a road to the right signposted ‘Frontale 5’. Cycle the 5 km to Frontale and then continue on the same road a further 11 km to the right hand turn that takes you up the short climb to Casa Benessere.
Bitumen roads round Casa Benessere tend to have broken surfaces. That said, this track is suitable for all types of bikes. Obviously if you have thinner road bike tyres you will need to watch out for the occasional deeper rut but it is not a chronic problem and should not put you off.
Bikes with very low gears are an advantage as some of the gradients are fairly severe.
You can do this track in a car but allow plenty of time. The roads are narrow and winding.
N 43°17.446' E 13°08.584'
N 43°17'26.768" E 13°8'35.044"
N +43.2907690 E +13.1430680
N 43°17.451' E 13°08.578'
N 43°17'27.063" E 13°8'34.684"
N +43.2908510 E +13.1429680
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