The stage is very long, and wavy at first. Starting in Follonica, the route runs across the northern part of the Grosseto province, brushing by the Monte Amiata, and then crosses the Siena area, clearing the Passo del Lume Spento and La Foce, all the way to Montalcino and Chiusi. The gradients then ease out, and the route continues mostly on straight roads, narrowed at points, across the plain surrounding Lake Trasimeno, all the way to Foligno.
The final kilometres are quite uncomplicated, up to 2,500 m from the finish. The route then takes in a brace of bends (where the road narrows at points) leading into the home stretch. There is just one last, mild bend 500 m before the finish line, which sits on a 160 m long and 7 m wide asphalt straight.
start / finish
Follonica is one of the most popular summer destinations of the Grosseto Maremma and more generally of Tuscany.
The gradual urban expansion toward the sea, which took place mainly during the last century, has made Follonica a city with a strong tourist vocation, although its foundation dates back to the 16th century (AD), when it established itself in the Tuscan territory as an important steel hub.
The historic center of Follonica in fact coincides with the ancient perimeter wall (magonal fence) that enclosed the ironworks.
Foligno, that is the third among the biggest towns of Umbria, lies on level in the very heart of the Region. That’s why it is traditionally defined “The Centre of the World”. This special position gives it the privilege of being a point of reference for road and railway junctions across the entire Country.
The town, quietly crossed by the river Topino, spreads to a large territory, including little gracious hamlets scattered between the surrounding hills and the overlooking valley.
Religious customs as well as Historical inscriptions, tell us that this land had been inhabiting by populations of UMBRI for years before Romans colonized it during the Flaminia route realization.
The origin of the name Foligno is probably to the worship of a Roman Goddess called Fulginia. It seems to have, therefore, a sacral nature.
The geographically central position and the easy access to the road junctions allowed an economical and industrial development really fast growing, especially for what concern train, commercial and aeronautical fields.
Since the olden days, in fact, Foligno has been traditionally devoted to trade business. It’s not a matter of chance that Saint Francis chose the Market Square (today Repubblica Square) to carry out the famous selling of his horse and cloths to rebuild Saint Damiano’s Church.
This historical gesture, gave birth to his incredible Evangelical path.
Foligno is also well known for its strong relationship with Dante Alighieri, whose death anniversary is seven hundreds right this year. It’s Foligno, in fact, the city where the first issue of a printed copy of his “Divine Comedy” took place. It was 1472.
Visiting Foligno, the tourist, walking through the peculiar alleys that give rise to large squares, can enjoy the beauty of the historical and architectural monuments, the aristocratic palaces and all the treasures that enlighten the city center; not by chance Foligno is also known as “The City of the Mansions”.
Never the less, he will be impressed by the quality of the traditional food and wine, embraced by the warm hospitality of our citizens. He will have the chance of breathing the baroque halo assisting at the Historical Parade of “Giostra della Quintana”, fulfilling his eyes with the beauty and the sumptuous seventeenth-century dresses of Damas and Knights that faces each other in an equestrian competition among the 10 ancient city districts to gain the PALIO.
Last, but not least, we could never forget mentioning the infinite chances that the naturalistic, landscaping, historical attractions that the hills and mountains around have to offer.
The town of Foligno retains most of its culinary traditions and follows a rhythm marked by time, following the seasonal cycles of agricultural production.
It offers tasty opportunities made of simple, qualified and also rare products to lovers of gastronomy.
The agricultural productions of Foligno such as the beans of Cave, the “Gobbi” (thistles), the heart tomato and the particular scent and fragrance of the extra virgin olive oil obtained from the “moraiolo” variety, typical of these areas, mantain always their originality.
Here it’s also produced the wildflower honey by the nectar of several botanical species such as sunflower, chestnut, acacia, etc.
In the Colfiorito highland, agriculture has been able to survive thanks to the specialization of its productions like red potatoes, dairy products, typical cereals such as spelled and original legumes such as lentils and cicerchie.
The characteristic dishes of Foligno are: strangozzi with truffles (typical homemade pasta), tagliatelle (typical homemade pasta) and gnocchi with mutton, Foligno-style roasted pigeon, Menotre trout in porchetta (grilled, spit-roasted), typical salted cheese cake with salami, lentils and red Colfiorito potatoes.
A delight for the palate and a local specialty is the Rocciata, a typical dessert from Foligno, consisting in a thin sheet of wheat flour-based dough that wraps a mixture of walnuts, sugar, olive oil and apples, to which you can add other ingredients such as alchermes liquor, cocoa, sultanas, dried figs, cinnamon and pine nuts according to the tastes or imagination of the pastry chefes.
Foligno is the center of important wine production areas such as sagrantino di montefalco red wine (available dry or as PASSITO), red wine of montefalco, grechetto (white wine) and trebbiano (white wine).