Travellers Tales

Niccone Valley, Umbria

Sometimes the valley below is like a bowl filled up with fog. May summer last a hundred years." Frances Mayes, Under the Tuscan Sun

Posted in the Cycle Tours collection on 22nd August 2018


iccone Valley or the Valle del Niccone is where Tuscany meets Umbria.

The northern valley wall mainly resides in Tuscany, topped by five ancient castles or fortified villages.

Each is opposed by an Umbrian counterpart. The result of 1,000 years of palpable border tension covering Papal / Renaissance, a WWII frontline and today a more friendly but very real rivalry, Tuscany and Umbria.

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Today, the 11 miles of the Niccone valley is dotted with restored private farmhouses, luxury villas and apartments, all popular with discerning visitors.


Niccone Valley on Google Maps

Discover the Niccone Valley on Google Maps. Shops, churches, castles and restaurants (including pizza restaurants) - CLICK HERE


The villages of Lisciano Niccone in Umbria and Mercatale di Cortona in Tuscany are both overlooked by the remarkable Pierle Castle, sitting at the western most extreme of this wide valley.

A drive east along the valley road gives access to Preggio, once the medieval seat of power for the region and on eventually to the village of Niccone, standing in the mouth of the Niccone Valley.

A short few miles away to the west is the site of the Battle of Trasimeno - where Hannibal routed the Roman legions in 217BC. The area bore witness to one of histories bloodiest ever battles and even today, the stain of this incredible event can be felt amongst the hills and valleys.


Cycling in the Niccone Valley

This long, wide and quiet valley is ideal cycling terrain for all. In all it is 16.9Km/10.5 miles long ‘on the flat’. If you add in the climb to Cortona or towards Lake Trasimeno, you can add a further 6/8Km ( and a fee hundred meters of climb! )

Traffic in the valley is typically very sympathetic to cyclists as it is regularly used by local cycle enthusiasts. In fact the Niccone Valley hosts to two significant cycling events each year.


Cycling Events in the Niccone Valley

The Trofeo Val di Pierle is a 111 Km bike race around the valley organised by the Federazione Ciclistica Italiana and always held on 1st May.

Later in the year the village of Lisciano Niccone plays host to the Bringolhero’ MTB ride. The event took place on 22nd July this year and typically hosts multiple courses; Tourist route at 15 Km and around 300M ascent; a 26 Km route featuring 800m total ascent while the Lungo at 32 Km 1,200m ascent.


Bike Rides for all in the Niccone valley

There are a few easy ride in the Niccone Valley and some more difficult options.


Lisciano Niccone Loop | Very Easy

13.43 Km | 40 mins | ⬆︎124 m | ⬇︎123 m

Lisciano Niccone ➾ Castello di Reschio ➾ Mengachini ➾ Mercatale di Cortona ➾ Lisciano Niccone

Niccone Valley | Easy

34.67 Km | 1:45 mins | ⬆︎407 m | ⬇︎406 m

Lisciano Niccone ➾ Castelo di Reschio ➾ Spedalicchio ➾ Niccone ➾ Spedalicchio ➾ Mengachini ➾ Mercatale di Cortona ➾ Lisciano Niccone

Niccone Valley Preggio Loop | Hard

45.97 Km | 2:36h | ⬆︎1037 m | ⬇︎1036 m

Lisciano Niccone ➾ Castelo di Reschio ➾ Pian di Marte ➾ Castle Rigone ➾ Preggio ➾ Mengachini ➾ Mercatale di Cortona ➾ Lisciano Niccone

You can explore Umbria Italy's best fleet of custom electric Bikes from Inspired ITALY, based in Lisciano Niccone.


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Bike ride data courtesy of Bosch eBike Connect - CLICK HERE