Travel in the heart of Italy, where Umbria and Tuscany meet among the emerald green waters of the River Tiber.
The Upper Tiber Valley is a sort of border territory between the West and the East of Italy, where nature and art meet, with a Renaissance masterpiece by Piero della Francesca on one side and the strength of Alberto Burri’s Pop Art on the other.
Just a touch of magic that you can discover cycling along the country roads that surround the picturesque town of Città di Castello, the main centre of the valley, rich in history and culture.
Itinerary found in the Viatoribus: Italia in Bici con Gusto (“Eating and Cycling: a tour of Italy”) Guide
The 25 km ring route starts and ends in Città di Castello.
From Piazza Garibaldi, leave the historic centre along Viale de Cesare in the direction of Fano. Coasting the hospital, take the road that leads to Badiali, then follow the signs for Vallurbana and Selci-Lama. Once in Grumale, at the first junction (after 500 m), turn left into a poorly-signalled intersection near the sign indicating the “Torrione” restaurant.
After 1.2 km you will get to Selci-Lama where, near the River Selci, you can find the bike path on a dirt road that easily reaches the confluence with the River Tiber outside the village.
Following the course of the river for about 10 km, cycling in the greenery, you will return to Città di Castello near the Canoa Club. Back on asphalt roads, turn towards the historic centre.
The first 10 km up to Selci-Lama are on secondary asphalt roads; the rest of the route is on a protected cycle path that can only be travelled by bike or on foot.
Città di Castello is the main centre of the Upper Tiber Valley, characterized by its history and by events that have often been dictated by the contrast between civic and religious power. Still partially surrounded by 16th-century walls, the city is rich in art, which can be found in the elegant Renaissance architecture, in the courtyards and loggias of the noble palaces, in the cloisters and naves of the churches. In the historic centre there are the oldest administrative buildings such as the Palazzo del Podestà (with a Baroque façade dating back to 1686) and the Palazzo Comunale while other important buildings overlook the central Piazza Matteotti. The 13th century Civic Tower, also known as the Torre del Vescovo (Bishops Tower), is connected to the Bishops Palace, and there is no shortage of religious buildings, such as the Duomo with its characteristic round bell tower, the Church of San Domenico, and the Church of San Francesco. Città di Castello is also famous for a great artist from the 20th century: Alberto Burri, one of the leading representatives of Italian informal art. A museum with some of his works was created in the industrial complex of the Ex Seccatoio del Tabacco (Tobacco Dry Kiln), converted into an exhibition space and inaugurated in 1990.
City of departure: Città di Castello
Departure: Città di Castello
City of arrival: Città di Castello
Arrival: Città di Castello
Length (Km): 25
Type of Itinerary: Half Day
Difference in height (m): 50
Difference in downhill (m): 50
Highest point (m): 333
Lowest point (m): 275
Duration (h.): 2