The most beautiful and complete bike ride is the ring that passes through the “Passo del Vestito” (m 1151). From Casa Arsella continue north on the Aurelia to go to Pietrasanta and from there with the SP8 and SP9 to Seravezza.
Now begins the sweet and long (14Km) ascent to the legendary Galleria del Cipollaio passing through the villages of Levigliani and Terrinca. Cross the Cipollaio, go down for about 1 km until the deviation towards Arni on the left and here with a much more difficult climb up to the Passo del Vestito.
It is a wonderful alpine pass that overlooks the horrid Renara valley facing the elegant profile of Monte Sagro, where we make delicious picnics in spring. A few meters from the pass opens the entrance to a bunker that is part of the complex system of fortifications, known as the “Gothic Line“, created by the Germans during the Second World War; a plaque has been affixed to commemorate the madness of the Second World War.
The descent towards Massa is wonderful you can enjoy the magnificent landscape that sweeps over the surrounding mountains and the view flows through the landscape, while the absolute silence is the soundtrack. Marble is omnipresent in this area, a source of work over the centuries.
I am used to break the descent towards Massa with a brief stop in San Carlo where I have some bread with Tuscan salami and cheese before I bike again.
The descent ends in the city of Massa and from there the return on the Aurelia (or to the sea if you do not fear to do a few more kilometers). It is a journey that will amaze you with its landscape aspects but which does not hide a world of suffering and often of pain to wrest the White treasure from the mountain.
Effort: 95 Km of which 20 ascent (1200m+ elevation gain), 20 descent