The villages of the Marecchia Valley
Itinerary: Verucchio, Ponte Verucchio, Torriana, Montebello, Ponte Verucchio, Verucchio
This circular itinerary begins in Verucchio, one of the most beautiful small towns in Italy. It is worth stopping here a while to enjoy the historic centre, although this would be better at the end of a thrilling ride on gravel (or MTB) through the Marecchia Valley. Leaving Verucchio behind, pleasant dirt tracks and secondary roads lead towards the villages of Torriana and Montebello. The route is not too demanding, however there are some points that are constantly uphill which are the exception to the rule. Returning towards Verucchio, the itinerary passes near the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Saiano before turning onto the stretch of cycle path that flanks the Marecchia River.
Sanctuary of Our Lady of Saiano
Built on a rocky spur on the left bank of the Marecchia River, the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Saiano has been a popular destination for pilgrims since mediaeval times. The church once housed a chalk statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mount Carmel that, according to legend, returned to the church in Saiano after having been transferred to the chapel of Montebello.