Descending to Ponte agli Stolli   Digg!

Panzano - Vitigliano - Greve - Passo del Sugame - Dudda - Brollo - Póggio alla Croce - San Polo - Strada

-- click on thumbnails for larger image --

Bonfires filling the valley with smoke Dropping down towards the main road to Greve on a strada biancha

Today ... instead of going round in circles ... I was heading north to Strada-in-Chianti via Greve ... which I visited yesterday.

Emerging from the hotel the valley below was filled with smoke from many fires ... maybe Monday is the day to have your bonfire.

Descending towards Greve Large rock marking the boundary of this property.

From Panzano I descended on a strada bianca towards the main road to Greve.

As it was all downhill ... I soon arrived back in Greve.

This seemed a good opportunity to seek out a café and to take on provisions ... as it wasn't clear whether there would be any other chances on the way to Strada.

Roadside flowers Roadside flowers
Roadside flowers Roadside flowers
View from the top Passo del Sugame

From Greve I turned eastward to start the 7 kilometre ride to climb 300 metres up to Passo del Sugame.

The road is relatively easily graded ... so the climb is not too taxing if you take your time.

Watch out for snow

Once over the top the road descends through an elegant series of serpentine curves.

Serpentine curves after Passo del Sugame

I was not the only cyclist enjoying sweeping around the bends ... although all the others seemed to be going faster than me.

Curves between Passo del Sugame and Dudda
Curves between Passo del Sugame and Dudda
I think I'm on the wrong side of the road Barriers to stop cyclists falling on the vines

After the bends the road continues to descend ... more gently now.

The road joins a stream running down the valley and passes through the village of Dudda.

Soon after the Borro del Cesto joins the stream and together they tumble through a rock lined chasm near Ponte agli Stolli.

A serious cyclist Water ... on its way to the waterfall Waterfalls near Ponte agli Stolli
Maybe the deer are hiding behind the trees?
Classic Tuscan scene Hillside near Brollo

Beyond Ponte agli Stolli the trail climbs away from the Borro del Cesto then drops into another river valley ... before beginning a much longer climb towards Brollo and Poggio alla Croce.

Florence only 21 kilometres ... but what about Strada? Poggio alla Croce's sign

The village of Poggio alla Croce is perched in the saddle between two hills and commands extensive views down the valleys on each side.

Strangely I couldn't find a café open ... so reluctantly had to press on towards San Polo.

Poggio alla Croce sited in a saddle At least the next bit is downhill Descending the valley along with Torrente Ema
Cafe in San Polo Rocky valley beyond San Polo

Fortunately San Polo had several cafés to choose from.

I selected the Unione as it had a wide awning ... and seemed to have more customers than the other bars.

Final few kilometres to Strada Abandoned bike

After a very leisurely lunch in the shade ... I stirred myself and rode the last few kilometres along the Ema valley to Strada-in-Chianti.

The hotel in Strada was just part of a villa which had been in the same hands for eight generations.

I was able to sit on the terrace and drink ice-cold drinks ... until it was time to go out for an evening meal.

View from the hotel View from the hotel Mural in the hotel .. showing the hotel

Kirby James   Digg!