A beautiful, but very demanding route in all seasons and weather conditions. For this reason, we also recommend the alternative route from Balze to Viamaggio Pass, Pieve Santo Stefano as far as La Verna (download GPS track).
From Balze-Falera, the first part of the climb on the main route (150 metre elevation gain in about 2.5 km) is a mule track that can be cycled as far as Cava del Fumaiolo; from there, the descent to Montecoronaro is a beautiful and moderately-demanding mule track and single track in the forest.
Once past the village of Montecoronaro, cross Provincial Road 137 and continue straight on to Montione Selva on Strada per Montione.
After about 2.4 km, you come to a “T” junction.
NB: Here, cyclists should not continue straight along the pilgrims' way on foot (very steep mule track - signposted Poggio Tre Vescovi), but turn right onto Montione - Rotta dei Cavalli forest road.
After about 1 km, at Val di Melo (signpost), continue to Poggio Tre Vescovi - La Verna, keeping to Rotta dei Cavalli forest road for about 9.5 km uphill and about 350 metres of positive height difference, finally reaching at Rotta dei Cavalli Pass (1172 m).
From Rotta dei Cavalli Pass, continue along path 00 towards Poggio Tre Vescovi (about 2 km).
Once at Poggio Tre Vescovi, the route re-joins the footpath.
A single-track descent with some technical sections begins here and leads to Gualanciole Pass.
From Gualanciole Pass, a climb (which can all be cycled) along a dirt road to Pratelle Pass starts again; at this point there’s another fairly short, but demanding climb to Mount Calvano where breath-taking, 360-degree views can be enjoyed.
From Mount Calvano to La Verna, follow a downhill mule track, where there are a few stone and rock stretches to be wary of.
The last stretch of road and cobblestones (800 metres) is in the middle of a centuries-old forest and the entrance to the sanctuary is extremely charming and fascinating
(Source: Vincenzi Primo Gianni, Cristian Reali, Matteo Panzeri)