Monte Nerone: between wild nature and charming hamlets

The itinerary winds its way through the natural countryside and mountain roads of Monte Montiego and Monte Nerone. This tour is for trained cyclists, with three main climbs (max. alt. 772 m) well spread out over the 80 km route. The itinerary offers a splendid combination of art and nature.


How to reach Urbania:
From the Coast: Autostrada A14, Fano Exit • Superstrada direction Urbino • Fermignano • Urbania (S.P. 4)
From Inland: S.S. 73 bis (from Bocca Trabaria o from Urbino) S.P. 4 Metaurense (from Fermignano)

Start: Start from piazza S. Cristoforo in the centre of Urbania. This lively piazza provides all the logistical support required.
Urbania is also a very popular town for cyclists. There is a cycle shop nearby.
km. 0      Zero the milometer in front of “teatro Bramante” [⬆️ 280]. Cycle towards the public park continuing along the S.S. 73 bis.
km. 0,4   At the roundabout, follow the signs for Sant’Angelo in Vado.
km. 0,9   At the crossroads, turn left for Piobbico. 100 m. further on, continue straight-on towards Piobbico.
km. 4,9   The road starts to climb. After 2.3 km, the road goes through the pass [⬆️540], and then downhill towards Piobbico.
km. 14    Piobbico [⬆️334], turn right at the bridge towards Apecchio.
km. 14,5 After the tree-lined road, go straight-on at the stop sign.
km. 20,5 Turn left towards Monte Nerone. After 300 m., turn left at the junction towards Monte Nerone, Serravalle.
The road starts to climb [⬆️436].
km. 22,3 Colombara [⬆️519].
km. 27,8 The road goes through the pass [⬆️772]. Continue towards Cagli, Serravalle di Carda.
km. 28,2 Continue through Serravalle di Carda and then downhill towards Cagli.
km. 31,6 Continue on towards Cagli.
km. 36,5 Pianello [⬆️380], is at the bottom of the hill; turn right towards Cagli. After 500 m., turn left at the junction towards Cagli.
km. 43,4 Secchiano [⬆️318].
km. 44,2 At the junction, turn left towards Piobbico, Rocca Leonella. The road climbs for about 4 km [pass ⬆️570].
Warning: the road is narrow in places and very uneven!
km. 54,6 The road goes downhill for about 2 km. Warning: steep hill!
km. 56,8 Turn right at the stop sign [⬆️340] (S.p. 257). The road passes through the Gola di Gorgo (gorge), at Cerbara, formed by the faces
of Monte Nerone and Monte Montiego. Continue for a few km along a slow descent to Bellaria at km 66.9 [⬆️227].
km. 67,4 Turn right towards Urbania. The road climbs for about 2.5 km [pass ⬆️338].
km. 76,6 At the stop sign, turn left towards Urbania (S.p. 4).
km. 79,2 In Urbania, leave the S.p. 4 after the traffic lights by turning right along corso Garibaldi which leads into piazza San Cristoforo.
km. 79,5 Arrival in Piazza San Cristoforo of Urbania.

tourist information

Urbania ⬆️280 ➡️55
Located in the Upper Metaurus Valley alongside the river which flows past the ancient city walls, Urbania, which once bore the name of Casteldurante, lies in a hilly – mountainous region at the foot of Monte Montiego. The town has numerous historic and artistic monuments, including the prestigious Palazzo Ducale, which houses the town library, the historic archives, the Civic Museum and the Museum of Country life. Worth visiting are the “Chiesa dei Morti” and its mummy cemetery, the renaissance complex of the Barco, hunting lodge of the dukes of Urbino, and the nineteenth century “D. Bramante” theatre.
Famous throughout the world are the ancient ceramics of Casteldurante decorated with historical scenes, which are still being produced today thanks to the efforts of local craftsmen. The area is very popular with cyclists with a number of cycling associations and specialist cycleshops. 
Information: Tourist Office, tel. 0722 313140.

Piobbico ⬆️334 ➡️71
The town of Piobbico stands between Monte Nerone and Monte Montiego at the confluence of the rivers Biscubio and Candigliano
which flow together through the centre of the town. Surrounded by green woods, the town is a much appreciated central Apennine health resort offering sporting activities in direct contact with nature. Of great historic and artistic interest is Castello Brancaleoni which still today dominates the underlying medieval quarter. The interior of the castle is rich in late renaissance frescoes and stucco work. Worthy of a visit are the Church of Santo Stefano, the Santuario di Santa Maria in Val d’Abisso and the beautiful historic centre. 
Information: Town Hall, tel. 0722 986225.

Monte Montiego and Gola di Gorgo a Cerbara
Monte Montiego (⬆️ 975), also known as Mondiego, is bounded by the valleys of the Metaurus and Candigliano rivers. The latter river has, on its south-east side, created a gorge called the “Gola di Gorgo a Cerbara”, a site of important scenic and palaeontologic interest. The rest of the mountain is characterised by extensive wooded areas, conifer plantations and pastures near the summit. The Marche Regional Environmental and Countryside Plan (Piano Paesistico Ambientale Regionale delle Marche) of 1990 designates the Gorge as a nature reserve, which also includes the nearby Fosso dell’Eremo. Of anthropical interest are the rural agglomerates of Montiego, Castello dei Pecorari and the Chiesa dell’ Orsaiola.

Monte Nerone mountain range
Monte Nerone (⬆️ 1575) has its own unique geomorphologic characteristics. The heavy calcareous stratification and its fossils, in fact, recount the long history of the Apennine Mountain. All the more typical ecosystems of the peninsula are represented on its slopes and the spectacular landscape is one to admire. Wolves still live in its woods, trout swim in its streams and the golden eagle still nests on its rocky summit. 
Information: Centro Educazione Ambientale (Environmental Education Centre), tel. 0722 985455.