|Total ascent||1600 m|
|Places to visit in the area||Marsciano, Compignano, Montegabbione, Montegiove, Monte Peglia, Pornello, San Venanzo.|
A total ascent of 1,600 metres and a length of 94 kilometres, make this one of the most difficult rides in the guide, and as such is only suitably for really fit riders with bikes properly set up for this kind of hilly terrain. It is, nevertheless, a very attractive ride given the beauty of the countryside you ride through, in particular in the Nestore Valley and between Piegaro and Monte Peglia, where the road runs through vast areas of woodland, where the presence of Man has yet to perceptibly affect the wonderful natural surrounds.
The ride starts from the sports ground in Marsciano, a town famous for its brick-manufacturing industry, and moves off in the direction of San Venanzo, and then towards the town centre, where you turn left onto the SP376 towards Migliano and Morcella. When you get to the turning for Morcella, bear left towards Migliano: this is the start of the first climb of the day.
At km. 11 turn right towards Mercatello, and ride past the old brickworks at Compignano. Ride past the village and to the foot of the hill leading up to Spina (km. 19). This short, albeit rather steep climb is then followed by the descent towards Castiglione della Valle. At Castiglione carry straight on towards Tavernelle on the SP220. Take care here as this road can be busy. Once you have gone past Tavernelle, continue straight on as far as km. 43, and then turn left towards Piegaro and the start of the climb leading up to Monteleone di Orvieto.
This is then followed by a steep descent to Montegabbione, where you can stop for a short break before turning left onto the SP57 in the direction of Montegiove: this road is very isolated, and you will find yourself riding for several kilometres through delightfully peaceful countryside, far from any traffic. This is the most difficult part of the ride, as it involves a number of ups and downs, together with the climbs up to Montegiove and Pornello, but the stunning beauty of the countryside is just reward for your efforts.
The climb up from Pornello almost to the top of Monte Peglia ends at km. 76 : from here bear right towards San Venanzo and Marsciano, and then one kilometre further on, at the junction with the SS317, turn left towards Marsciano. You are now left with some 15 kilometres of descent, via San Venanzo, before you return to the starting point. If you still feel you have enough energy left to do so, instead of going straight back to Marsciano you can turn right at this junction and ride the remaining 7 kilometres up to the top of Monte Peglia, before returning back down the same road and carrying on down the hill to Marsciano.
The most interesting aspect of this particular route is the beauty of the landscape, and in particular that of Monte Peglia, which affords a wonderful view across the entire region. At Marsciano you can visit the parish church of San Giovanni Battista (patron saint of Marsciano), the Town Hall, built in 1871, the Theatre (Teatro della Concordia), and the splendid Palazzo Battaglia, embellished by the futuristic painter Geraldo Dottori. Marsciano is also the brick-manufacturing centre of Umbria, and home to the Museo Dinamico del Laterizio e delle Terrecotte (the Living Museum of Brick and Terracotta), a museum spread out over the local area, linking sites of peasant, craft and industrial culture. As you travel along this route, you also encounter the ancient castles of Montegabbione, Monteleone di Orvieto, and Montegiove, as well as small places of interest such as Pornello and San Venanzo. The Franciscan Monastery of La Scarzuola, founded by St. Francis in 1218, is situated near to Montegiove.