Route » Difficult » Route 24 (Nocera Umbra and Colfiorito: water, potatoes and lentils)


Nocera Umbra and Colfiorito: water, potatoes and lentils
Nocera Umbra, Colle Croce, Colfiorito, Cesi, Volperino, Capodacqua, Valtopina, Nocera Umbra

Technical Sheet

Starting and finishing point: Nocera Umbra
Distance: 62 km.
Total ascent: 1,200 metres
Grade: difficult
Road surface: asphalt
Recommended type of bike: road
Places to visit in the area: Nocera Umbra, Colfiorito marshes, the Apennines between Umbria and the Marche.

Route no. 24 starts from Nocera Umbra and climbs up to Colfiorito and the heart of the Umbria-Marche Apennines, one of the areas worst hit by the 1997 earthquake, signs of which are still tangible in many of these mountains villages. The route features three hard climbs, but the effort is more than repaid by the magical atmosphere of this quiet corner of Italy, where the cyclist is often the only person on the road, and time appears to have stood still.

The starting point is the sports hall (palazzetto dello sport) in Nocera Umbra, and from here you ride off along the SS361 in the direction of Pioraco and Fiuminata, and down towards Casebasse (km.2), before turning right and crossing the River Topino, and following the signs for Colle Croce.

The first climb of the day starts here: despite being 10 kilometres long, the gradients are never that steep, and there are various flatter sections where you can get your breath back. When you get to Sorifa (km.7), bear left towards the Colle Croce pass situated at km. 12, which when you get there affords a wonderful view over Monte Acuto and Monte Pennino.

Carry on towards Annifo, some 3 kilometres further on, with the road going slightly uphill at this point. At Annifo bear left and begin the descent towards the Colfiorito plain.

At Colfiorito (km. 20.5) turn left towards Cesi, and continue to follow the signs for Cesi at the next junction as well (km. 21.2). When you get to Cesi at km. 24, turn right towards Volperino and Foligno, and begin the shaded climb up to Volperino pass (3 km. further on).

The descent on the other side is winding and difficult, and as such requires the utmost care to be taken. The descent finishes at km. 34 at the junction with the main SS77 road: turn right here and start to climb back up towards the Colfiorito plateau (be careful as you ride this section, as you may encounter heavy goods vehicles crossing the Apennines along this same road). At km. 38.2 turn left towards Capodacqua, and follow the signs to the same place when you get to the next junction at km. 39.8 marking the end of the climb. You now have a long descent taking you down to Capodacqua, and when you get to the village follow the signs to Foligno along a rather rough road as far as km. 49, where you turn right towards Valtopina.

Valtopina (km. 52) is famous for its delicious truffles: after going past this small mountain town, continue along the old Via Flaminia, which runs alongside the new Via Flaminia almost as far as Nocera Umbra. Km. 58 marks the beginning of the fairly easy 3-km. climb back to Nocera, and when you reach the town again, take the right turn towards Camerino and Pioraco, and return to the starting point.

Things not to miss

The old town of Nocera Umbra (see ‘photo above), whose mineral water was already famous back in the 16th century, when the first mineral water bottling plant and transport system was set up.

Buildings of interest include the Church of St. Francis, which currently houses the town’s Art gallery and Civil Museum, the Cathedral, an ancient Romanesque construction built in the 12th century and completely rebuilt in 1448, the Campanaccio (the Civic Tower) dating from the 11th century and as such the only remaining feature of the original castle. Other buildings you may wish to visit in the town centre include the neo-Gothic Church of San Filippo, the thirteenth-century Church of Santa Chiara which was completely rebuilt during the course of the 19th century, and the Civic Theatre, a splendid example of Liberty-style architecture.

In the neighbouring area there are several remains of the ancient Roman road the Via Flaminia, which ran from Rome to Ariminum (current-day Rimini) on the Adriatic coast, and was opened in 220 BC by the censor Gaius Flaminius: in ancient times this road constituted the principal means of communication between the capital, the Adriatic coast and the Po Plain.

The main attractions of this particular route, nevertheless, are of a naturalistic character, namely the peaks of the Apennine Mountains, the mountain plateaus, the tiny villages perched on high, and the marchland at Colfiorito, which is currently part of the Colfiorito Natural Park.



Cartography Iter Edizioni, Subiaco (Rome). Tel. 0774/84900



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