A route to help you discover the iron mine area with its open air terracings as you go along the most iconic single track on the mountain: the Polveriera (powder keg).
Departure is expected from Piazza del Cavatore (164 metres above sea level). You head southwards along the smooth, tarred road for approximately 3 km that consists of gentle bends with scenic panoramas from where you can admire the beauty of the beaches of Morcone and Pareti below, then keep going till you get to a grit, open space by the side of the road with benches on it surrounded by a wooden fence: the first junction.
From here your first descent, which is also the most challenging of the whole route, characterised by a slight slope and one or two changes in direction over an irregular, rocky surface with some rocks that are loose while others are stable. Once you are past the single track you get to a long, dirt track that takes you right down till you get to the start of the tarred road where, you have to be careful as you turn left and go towards Innamorata beach.
Shortly after this you get to the car park next to the beach that offers you a glance of the bay with Monte Capanne opposite. The steep, downhill road goes as far as the area known as Calone, still over tar until you get to the the start of the grit track that gets you to the mining area, also called Via del Ferro.
You do the first part across some Indian fig trees, along an uphill slope that has a smooth surface, untill you reach a small bridge; once across it, you find yourself in a more technical part that consists of an unlevel road with small stones; they are quite challenging but not too difficult to pedal over.
Once you are past this part the surface becomes smooth again and you have a good view of Punta Calamita with what is left of the rust from what was built to be used for collecting and loading the carts that then transported the extracted minerals.You then go through a canyon and this gets you to a scenic area with tables and benches, and it looks on to Cannello beach, with the Punta Rossa shallow rocks. In the background you can see Remaiolo rock whose name comes from the beach bearing the same name that sits at the end part of the cove you can see in Punta Rossa.
Back on the road you will go along a wide, grit road on level ground then get to a junction that tells you to turn left then head for the Mineral Museum after several bends. Go through the barrier and you get back to the main road and on the left a large, spacious square is opposite the entrance to the museum.
The route continues along an old grit road that is rough at some times and from here you get to the
Once you have done this part of the route you go back uphill for a few metres then start going quickly downhill until you get to another junction then you will have to turn right and face a steep climb that slowly becomes less and less and ends up at a wide, grit road where there are benches in the shade. Turn right and follow the previous grit road.
Before coming to the end of the uphill road turn right along a short joining road and start going downhill towards Poggio Polveraio: "Polveraia".
The first part is a short slight slope along which you will have to change direction from time to time and then go slightly uphill till you get to a road with a reddish surface. Here you start a real downwards winding single track that also offers you the chance of choosing a more challenging route, and this will take you back to the open space where you started off from.
Follow it to the end, and after a rocky part with a steep climb on the way the heart of the open air mines of Poggio Polveraio will open out before your very eyes.
Now, if you want to stay on the classic route, you have to turn right and be prepared to face the last, steep uphill parts in order to get to the low low square where you will see the old, level road . Now turn left towards the next exit.
As the road gets narrower and narrower you will have to face a short descent until you get to a single track that consists of two short, steep climbs. To the left of the junction you have to go upwards again along a single track over an unlevel rocky surface then down a short hill road and reach the most technical part of this track, upwards over two large rocks that form a sort of valley and where a ditch runs when there is some rain.
Once you are past the ditch, you start going uphill again for approximately a hundred metres then you will get to a junction where you turn left; now you will see a short but very steep climb that leads to the wide Anello Alto grit road and here you head slightly upwards to the left until you end up in a small pine wood with a junction at the end.
Here you go round an "S"-bend, turning first left and then right, stay on the main road and you will get to a grit, open area from where two roads start off. Take the one on the right that goes slightly uphill because that way you will be able to stay on the Anello Alto until you reach Cessa dell'Astavery scenic firebreak that runs along a ridge and give you a 360° view.
The steep, first part is made more complicated because of the loose stones, but once you're past it you will face an easy and wide uphill and downhill road that goes uphill over a smooth, tarred road.
Once at the bottom you will see a flat area and further along it starts to descend and then runs between a row of pine trees. Keep to the right. Further along take the right again and you will see the surface is smooth at the beginning and once you are past the tight, left bend, you suddenly go upwards again after a left turn at the next junction.
The route then takes you back to Cessa dell'Asta. Here, keep going along the downhill track until you get to a wide, grit road that is not far from the tarred part where you started.
Turn right and, when you're on the tarred road, head rightwards until you get to the grit, open space of your first junction and keep going until you reach Piazza del Cavatore; you have reached the end of your route.
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