A photo of me looking at the Tiber River during our cycling holiday

Riding on the cliffs of history

Descending from the sources was incredible: the ancient mossy trees, the green, and shady scenes, the magnificent views beyond the peaks, the shades of heaven, clouds and stone that with typical sedimentary rocks, the marls, clear and often calve, which in the tortuous downhill road insinuate themselves. There was no traffic and we enjoyed the panorama fully.
The name of the village Balze is a talking name (i.e. cliffs) and it also has a festival last night, dedicated to beer. We take away from the shop Balze Ghiotte, another stamp on our Tiber passport, a jam made with the local flavors, and a book to recognize the footprints of wild animals impressed on the ground.
And then we ride even further down to reach the border with Tuscany and take advantage of a closed road that immerses us in the woods until we cross the river, still very small and reach Pieve Santo Stefano. It’s a delicious village with a morning market and a church that houses an impressive masterpiece of the DellaRobbia ceramic. Once another stamp is obtained, that of the Proloco, the Tourism Office, inside the central pharmacy, where we went to take care of a wound from the pedal and some infections in our hands, we get back in the saddle. Certainly, also Pieve with its diary museum deserves more time, but today there are still many kilometers to be biked and, even if mostly downhill, the pavement is different and there is the unexpected to be calculated, that is rarely absent.
We pass on the river again which still has a turquoise color due to the white stones and rocks on which it flows.
drought seems to suffer a lot but at least here you can see it flow.

Flying with our bicycles

We enter an area of ​​large riding stables and then the view of the artificial lake of Montedoglio opens before us. Flocks of white birds are sitting on the banks. Perhaps, they are herons, whose species we have already met this morning: a cattle egret and a gray heron besides some mallards.

Here we get confused with the itinerary track recorded on our technological means and we end up at a medieval tower restored magnificently but which is private property.
A sign promises an aggressive dog. Riding back on the steep dirt road requires a lot of energy, due to the heavy luggage, while the rain begins to fall. The rain that is so needed now for nature and for the Tiber river.
We arrive at a crossroads that promises us, after a climb, the visit to the birth house of Michelangelo but we must find the Tiber. On the left, we can see the imposing dam of the lake. The rumbles, a strong wind blowing, and hunger carry us out of the track and we finish in the beautiful town of Anghiari where we start our lunch with a tour de France, a mixed plate of Italian and French cheeses.
The thunderstorm seems to stop and we take the direct straight road to San Sepolcro. It’s a busy road and a stormy wind with a problem with the gears transforms our ride into a battle from the Far West. Fortunately, it doesn’t last and in San Giustino we stop to fill the bottles, admire the lights after the storm, the compact elementary school, and read of a parish priest, Righteous Among the Nations, who gave shelter during the Second World War to Jews and other persecuted people.

A Tiber City, a friend to the cycling traveller

We reach the route along the river. In the first wildest stretch we meet a cross bike, then even a modern bridge to climb over a ditch and the path becomes more and more beautiful. The course of the Tiber river is now rich in water. It seems to be muddy at the beginning, but close to Città di Castello has incredible transparency, under these waters that flow now safe and fast towards Rome and the Mediterranean Sea, we can see the stones of different colors.
Runners, cyclists, and lovers of the walks increase. The Renaissance city welcomes us with an enthusiastic family that tells us: “think that one day this path will also arrive in Rome and to the seaside”.
Lucky is this city that welcomes, with joy, the pilgrim, by faith or by pleasure, among its walls to give you refreshment and shelter between art and beauty!

To learm more about the Queen of the cycling Paths

Rlease click here: Regina Ciclarum, there you can find gps tracs devided into two seasons, because of the mud and floated tracs, advices, infos on how to get the Tiber Passport and more. There are no guided tours following this link and the informations are taken under your own reposnsability (into consideration that have been made by volunteers and they might not be updated).

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