There is nothing more beautiful than spending a pleasant day with your family, and cycling is a perfect activity to do together. The Val di Merse, in particular, near Siena, boasts an excellent bike route that’s ideal for adults and kids alike. The 21-km-journey is packed with beautiful places and brings you through small villages like Torri, Stigliano, Brenna and Orgia, not to mention the stunning cloister at the Abbey of Santa Mustiola Torri and the interesting Ethnographic Museum of the Forest in Orgia.
Starting in piazza Garibaldi in Rosia, turn left towards Roccastrada and after just 300 m, turn left again towards Torri. Pedalling for about 1 km along the S.P. 99, at the intersection with a tall cypress tree in the middle, turn right and go up the tree-lined road to the left of the cemetery.
From there, you'll go upward again to the right until you reach the gate that marks the entrance to Torri. Looking at the gate from outside the walls, you should continue up and to the right along the dirt road, and after 250 m, turn left to tackle a short but intense hike up the hill. There will be a lot of ascents and descents for a little over 1 km; at the first fork in the road, keep to the left, while at the next one (which you'll see after passing a curve on the left), take the track that opens on the right. Go down to the T intersection with the S.P. 99 and turn right towards Stigliano (approximately 300 m).
Just before the piazza, ride down the asphalt road, passing over the springs in the direction of the Campalfi farm. At the end of the ramp, the road becomes a dirt path. Keep to the right at the next two intersections, and after a few hundred meters, merge onto the boulevard to reach a rough dirt road that's a little over 2 kilometres long, lined by two parallel rows of majestic cypress trees.
Turn left at the end of the boulevard. After around 700 m, you’ll arrive in front of the Montestigliano farm. From here, go down and to the right, paying close attention to the risky slopes and curves. At the crossroads at the bottom of the hill, don't take the road that leads to Brenna, but the SP 99 in the direction of Orgia.
After about 1 km, turn right: once you pass the iron bridge over the river Merse, climb up to Orgia. Once you reach the town's welcome sign (you'll see a fountain with drinking water underneath it), head down to the left along the dirt road. At the end of the descent, you'll come upon an electric anti-boar fence and immediately after, you’ll reach a V junction which starts on the right, leading to the front edge of the river Merse.
Return along the river, facing the street that follows along the edge of the forest, and after 600 meters to the next fork in the road, head to the right to reach the ford (300 m). Once over the river, staying to the right, you'll end up next to a sports field and just afterward, the Pero Mill in Brenna.
Turn left at the mill and cross through the village. You’ll then come to the bridge over the Gora, an artificial deviation of the Merse. Don’t worry about conquering this bridge, because you’ll instead take the dirt road between the bridge and the house next to it to continue down the path that winds through the Upper Merse Nature Reserve.
At the end of the path that runs along the Gora, go upward to the right on the dirt road until Stigliano, coming out at the beginning of the cypress-lined boulevard. From here, continue down the S.P. 99 until you reach Rosia.