|Total ascent||700 m|
|Recommended bike||road, hybrid|
|Places to visit in the area||Lisciano Niccone, the Sanctuary at Canoscio, Reschio Castle.|
Route 11 is the first of the series of medium routes, and its starting point is the small town of Trestina, situated midway between Città di Castello and Umbertide. This 50-kilometre ride is particularly interesting from the naturalistic point of view, as in the main it follows quiet country lanes through meadows, fields and woods. The train station in Trestina is the starting point for this ride, as this gives those cyclists living or staying further a field the chance to bring their bikes on the train. From the station, ride along the SP105 in the direction of Umbertide, and 6 kilometres further on you will come to a junction at Montecastelli, where you bear right towards Umbertide and Niccone, along the SP140. When you reach the small village of Niccone, turn right onto the SS416 towards Cortona and Lisciano Niccone, a quiet road that runs the length of the delightful, prevalently rural, Niccone Valley.
This section of the ride is almost flat, with the exception of the short climb up past the hamlet of Sant’Andrea di Sorbello, just over the border into Tuscany. At km. 21, just past a bar to your right, you leave the SS416 valley road and turn right onto a small road in the direction of Leoncini and Sasso di San Donnino; then just a short distance further on, you turn left, in the direction of Sasso di San Donnino once again. At the next fork in the road, do not follow the sign to Sasso di San Donnino, but bear right instead, and after a total of 23 kilometres from your starting point, you come to the beginning of a splendid climb. The first kilometre of this climb is quite tough, and takes you into the neighbouring Tuscany: the road winds up through the woods and the occasional meadow.
The end of the climb is at km. 25.5, and is followed by a descent which requires a certain caution, as it is full of bends and there are sections where the road surface is not particularly good. When you reach the bottom of the hill, bear right, then at the first junction turn left, and at the second junction turn right, which will take you back onto the SP105 near the village of San Leo Bastia, where you stop for a short break and a coffee. Moving off once again from San Leo Bastia, follow the signs to Trestina until you come to the village of Calzolaro, where you take the road to your left in the direction of Lugnano (km. 36), along a narrow, winding country lane which leads eventually to the junction for Trestina (at km. 39.5) at the hamlet of Bivio Lugnano.
A little further on, at Bivio Canoscio, take the road to your left just past the bar, leading up to Canoscio. The road up to the panoramic Sanctuary of Canoscio is all uphill, and so those who do not wish to take on another climb can simply carry straight on when they get to the turning at Bivio Canoscio, and be back in Trestina another couple of kilometres further on. The climb, just over three kilometres long, is not particularly steep, except for the very last section, and takes you up to the Sanctuary (Basilica) of Canoscio, where you get a wonderful view right across the Tiber Valley. At this point you descend from Canoscio taking the road on the other side of the hill, towards Fabbrecce, and at the end of the descent, you turn right and ride back to Trestina, a couple of kilometres further on.
This route takes the cyclist through Lisciano Niccone, a small village set into the hillside, you should not miss Lisciano Castle, built around the 9th/10th century at the top of the hill overlooking the village, and the neighbouring castles of Reschio, Sorbello and Pierle are also well worth a visit. [Ritorno a capo del testo]The Sanctuary of Canoscio, a large basilica situated above the town of Trestina, built at the end of the 19th century, is the most important place devoted to the worship of Mary in the whole of Umbria, and as such is visited by more than 100,000 followers each year.