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Mountain Biking in and around Massa Marittima
Over the past 35 years, Massa Marittima has flourished as a mountain biker's paradise. Thanks to the hard work and dedication of the Trail Brothers, the hills and mountains within Massa Marittima boast more than 185 km of maintained bike trails!
The recent proliferation of electric bicycles allows even us beginners to experience the excitement of exploring otherwise unreachable hidden gems in our densely forested hills.
My first outing on an electric bike was spent in and around town. Because Massa Marittima is built on a hill top, there are plenty of ascents and descents just to get from one side of town to the other. The electric bike made for a pleasant experience as we easily pedaled to "upper Massa" and around the medieval walls of the city.
My friends and I took a quick break to take in the views of the historic center of Massa Marittima before continuing to the outer walls.
My next excursion was a bit more demanding, riding the roads and trails of one of Massa Marittima's nearby mountains, Monte Arsenti. For anyone looking to explore this area for the first time, hiring a guide is HIGHLY recommended!
Along the way, we rode through vineyards and other agricultural plots, then we started our climb to the top of Monte Arsenti. We came across the most adorable chapel in the woods, the Capella di Romitorio. Local legend says that here, phantom priests can be seen processing with lit candles at night. Locals say that the church hosted many hermetic priests over the years who lived in solitude and died of hunger and/or madness.
While little is known about the origins of the chapel, the cross-shaped window framed by travertine stone above the main entrance is typical of the Templar style during the Romanesque period.
A peak inside reveals a rustic stone apse filled with colorful religious artwork.
The top of the Monte Arsenti bike park reminded me of the top of a ski mountain without the snow. Epic views of the surrounding terrain and out to the Tyrrhenian Sea are not to be missed! Difficulty levels and names of trails are clearly marked in quintessential, rustic Trail Brothers style.
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