This is definitely a cross country ride consisting of mostly gravel and dirt forest roads within the Parco Regional del Conero, but it also includes a little bit of singletrack and some paved road sections to complete the loop. The route starts at a former convent of San Pietro which has existed since at least 1038. You head down the mountain into the surrounding agricultural lands before climbing back into the heavily forested park. As you pass near the summit of Monte Conero (572 m; 1876 ft), the route passes a couple of viewpoints with impressive views out over the Adriatic Sea and down the east coast of Italy.
Need to Know
Be sure to get the GPX track from the MTB Project mobile app
if you following the route. There are a lot of intersecting roads and trails along the way.
The route starts and ends at the former convent, now hotel where you can stay in one of the cells. The route heads out on the Traversata del Conero - 301
- you follow the paved road which leads to the hotel for about 100 m (100 yd) and then take a sharp right onto a gravel road. After about 2 km of leisurely riding through the forest atop the mountain, you reach an open area called Pian di Raggetti. There are several forest roads and footpaths that intersect here. You're looking for the San Lorenzo - 305
San Lorenzo - 305
takes you down the mountain to the main Strada Provniciale (SP1). You pass three former quarries along this segment - one features the K-T boundary geological feature, and another has been made into a large amphitheater.
From this point, 4.5 km (2.8 mi) of paved roads take you past the city of Sirolo to the next segment: Anello della Pecorara - 315
. The Anello della Pecorara - 315
is a route of forest and paved roads that takes you through some of the agricultural fields beneath Monte Conero. On a clear day, you can see the snow-capped Apennines running down the center of the Italian peninsula.
The Anello della Pecorara - 315
takes you back to another short segment on SP1 before you climb back into the Parco Regional del Conero along the San Andrea - 306
gravel road. This takes you nearby to some Roman caves before returning to the Pian di Raggetti. Follow the Traversata del Conero - 301
until the overlook at Pian Grande. This is your first view of the Adriatic Sea.
From Pian Grande, turn right along the singletrack Belvedere Nord - 301a
. It's a steep climb, but it takes you to the even more impressive overlook Belvedere Nord (Northern Overlook). Down on the coast in front of you is a Napoleanic fort (also now a hotel) with the large city of Ancona to the north and beyond that a view up the Italian coastline towards Venice.
Shortly after the overlook, Belvedere Nord - 301a
becomes a forest road which continues climbing towards the summit of Monte Conero (572 m; 1876 ft). Unfortunately, the summit itself is a military facility and thus unaccessible. Some very obvious gates discourage entry. Just past the main gate to the summit, the last kilometer (0.6 mi) back to the former convent is paved.
History & Background
Parco Regionale del Conero features some quarries and caves dating to the Roman era. Some of the rock formations have exposed geological formations dating from the K-T boundary, which is the sudden transition between the Cretaceous and Tertiary eras when the dinosaurs disappeared 65 million years ago. More recently, Monte Conero was a place of hermitage and religious life. The route starts at a former Convent of San Pietro used by the Camaldolesi religious order. The convent is mentioned in a document from 1038, but its exact age is unknown.
Shared By: Lost Justpastnowhere