The breath of the mountain. Mount Sibilla and Isola San Biagio
One of the most spectacular tour of Sibillini area. We will cycle on the only one paved road of Mount Sibilla. Length and elevation gain stay moderate, but you better not underestimate the main climb. The maximum elevation is about 1000 m, but you will have the feeling of being in a high mountain, with narrow roads, breathtaking views and above all the silence…
|Estimated elevation gain what’s that?||960 m|
|Min elevation||442 m|
|Max elevation||981 m|
|GPX track tutorial||download
|Isola San Biagio from Montefortino||altimetry|
For this tour around Mount Sibilla, I defined the start point in the village of Comunanza, because it is easily accessible (from the adriatico cost through the SP238 Valdaso, from Ascoli Piceno the SS4 Salaria, turning on the right at the fork for Roccafluvione, after Mozzano). Furthermore, we will have a good segment to warm up until Amandola and a final relaxing section.
From the start point to Amandola we find an “up and down” segment, without any considerable ramp. So you will be able to warm up through these first kilometers. Just before reaching Montefortino, after the gas station, we take the road to L’Ambro, then turn on the left for Rubbiano-Isola San Biagio (watch out for the cars coming quickly from around the bend. Just ahead the climb of the day starts. It’s not long, but has some challenging segments, well repaid by the beauty of the view and by the feeling to be out of time.
Shortly after the beginning of the climb, we can see Montefortino on the left, from an unusual angle, because this is not a traffic road. During Summer, on a non-working day, sometimes you can meet a car full of tourists watching you on the hairpin bends climbing out of the saddle, while the driver reduces the engine to second gear.
The view opens more and more and the road runs slower and slower under the wheels, while we observe the donkeys and the cows grazing near a farm, just to deflect attention from the pain. After some hairpin bends we reach a small but appreciated flat segment, that leads us to the fork for Rubbiano. A sharp bend to the left, for Isola San Biagio and we start climbing again, harder and harder. After the bend to the right the most beautiful segment begins, maybe the most challenging, but certainly the most satisfactory.
On the left the view opens to the multitude of hills and villages from here down to the sea, on the right the green fields and the blue sky, in front the tape of asphalt winding slowly on the side of the mountain. The stillness could be broken by a roe-deer crossing the road, or by the apparition of a being from another world… Mystery and Enigma are a constant. We are on Mount Sibilla, so named for the legendary sorceress narrated in the Guerrin Meschino (“Wretched Guerrin”).
What is really striking is silence. You will hear only the tires on the asphalt. If you have a transmission problem you will decide to solve it. Some days the wind can play tricks and make you think you really heard the breath of the mountain!
Just before reaching Isola San Biagio the road is an “up and down” segment and becomes flat at the village. On the left side there is a fountain, providential in Summer (the whole climb is exposed). Then another short climb leads to the fork for Rifugio Sibilla, where the descent to Montemonaco starts. The path is almost flat and a wonderful view of Mount Vettore finally opens.
After the beautiful village of Montemonaco we start descending to Montefortino. It’s an easy descent, with a slight slope and a few hairpin bends, so we can rest for a while. However you better be careful, because sometimes the road is uneven and you will probably find behind the bends cars, motorbikes and bikers climbing on the easiest path.
In Montefortino we can stop at the bar for an icecream, a pizza or a cappuccino. Then we come back and take the fork for Comunanza. I like this alternative road, crossing the small villages of Bussonico and Teglia, because is very shady and with low traffic. Some short climbs, some descents with dangerous bends (watch out for cars behind the bends!) and we will reach the SP237 soon. We turn on the left and in a few minutes we will come to the start point.
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