The roads that spreads along the ridges offer distinctly Apennine vistas, but completely unusual even for those used to riding the mountain profiles of these areas. This is the last ruote that explores the ancient landscapes of the Limentre valley, a mountain area nearby Bologna. It goes mostly on paved roads with a few long stretches of high-altitude dirt gravel roads immersed in remote scenery where human presence is rare indeed.
The first climb going toward the village of Badi is quite aggressive, but short enough to enjoy the downhill sections interspersed with gentle slopes. The real first climb of the day comes at the Lentula-Fossato Pass, the first of the old passes we will encounter along the ruote. We perfectly know that these toponyms tell the reader absolutely nothing, overtaken in history by much busier roads, but among the tiny villages and wooded ridges of these areas is concentrated a small history of ancient Italy. Relegated to the study of local cultural associations, the mystical dimension of the Limentre area starts precisely from its evocative name of Greek-Latin derivation and due also to the toponyms we find on the route: Tabernacolo of Gavigno, Mount of Discovery (monte della Scoperta in italian), Lentula. Each one suggest we go discover what is hidden among the twisted trunks of the centuries-old chestnut trees.
To reach the town of Vernio we wil descend on a super scenic tarmac road lined with beautiful mixed forests of fir and beech, where the view sweeps over the Acquerino-Cantagallo Nature Reserve and the mountains of the Bisenzio Valley.
However, the highlight of the ride is the climb to Alpe di Cavarzano. From Vernio we resume the long, steady ascent to the day’s pass. As we climb, we almost don’t think about it, but we cross the best of this area: if at first we encounter inhabited villages, the signs of modern civilization gradually leave us. We pass through a splendid chestnut forest whose trees have truly impressive shapes. The road gradually becomes more and more deteriorated until it becomes a real ridge cart track, surrounded by the beautiful rocky sandstone cliffs.
Very very important: : Replenish your water supply in Vernio, because until the Cavarzano Pass you won’t find any other fountains. As of August 2021, there is a very fresh water spot along the gravel road to the Alpe, but it is far ahead in the trail and we strongly advise you to stock up beforehand to avoid great suffering over and over.