Tough ride into the mountains to see where the marble comes from. (Tuscany, Italy)

Pietrasanta, Toscana , Italy
|
64 mi

64

mi

ft elev +

Story

The mountains are easily visible from Marina di Pietrasanta - the start.
This is an amazing ride! Ok, I am almost saying that about every ride but if you want to have a tough ride, combined with incredible views and curious where marble comes from, this ride is a must do!
It starts with a 15km flat section along the Ocean Rd. If you prefer to get the flat stuff done with as soon as possible, you can make this a time trial effort which I find myself constantly doing when I am riding along this road.
Then you turn off inland and if I remember correctly, it only goes up from there. 20km uphill climb to the top of the mountains you see ahead of you. After St Carlo Terme is a bit of a downhill but remember you have to climb all the elevation loss up again. There seems to be an infinity of switchbacks but the view towards the ocean reminds you what you have done so far.

There are short but dark, dark tunnels along the way. So make sure you at least have a rear light. If you prefer seeing where you are riding, a front light is advisable as well. At one point you are heading through a tunnel and all of a sudden, the scenery changes. You are now totally surrounded by mountains and a few sections were marble is found. Sometimes, you will come across trucks on those tiny roads that transport the marble off the mountain.
Once at the end of the road you come across a T-intersection where you have a choice to head back to Pietrasanta (which would make already a decent ride) or left 17km downhill to Castelnuevo di Garfagnana. Remember those 17km downhill because you will climb them back up again. This downhill section can be very cold although it might be nice and warm at the start. 
In Castelnuevo, there are plenty of cafes to grab a coffee, a brioche and warm up the cold fingers. After that, you climb back those 17km plus a few kilometers more. Once you are heading through a long tunnel you know you are at the top and you can enjoy 25 km of downhill and spectacular views. You might have a few kilometers flat after that but nothing that could dampen the excitement from the downhill.



A bit dark in this picture but you have amazing views towards the road you are descending on.