Routes » Medium » Route 18 (The ancient towns between Todi and the Monti Martani hills)


The ancient towns between Todi and the Monti Martani hills
Todi, Pantalla, Collepepe, Collazzone, San Terenziano, Frontignano, Todi

Technical Sheet

Starting and finishing point: Todi
Distance: 52 km.
Total ascent: 900 metres
Grade: medium
Road surface: asphalt
Recommended type of bike: road
Places to visit in the area: Todi, Monte Castello di Vibio, Collepepe, Collazzone, San Terenziano, Grutti.

This medium-grade route starts from Todi (see 'photo above), one of the most popular towns with tourists in the whole of Umbria, situated on the top of a hill between the Tiber Valley and the Monti Martani hills.

The route is undulating, but does not feature any particularly steep climbs, and the two longest climbs are the ones leading up to Collazzone and to Todi itself. The starting point is the Church of Santa Maria della Consolazione (see ‘photo to the right), a splendid basilica situated just outside the town centre, built between 1508 and 1607.

Begin by riding down to the right of the church, in the direction of Orvieto and Baschi, and 500 metres further on turn right towards the town’s gates, Porta Orvietana and Porta Perugina, and cycle right around the town walls until you get to km. 3, where you turn left towards Collevalenza. Turn left again soon after, and ride down the hill to Ponte Rio: this is one of the very few bust sections of road along this particular route, so take care as you descend. When you get to Ponte Rio (km.7) turn right towards Perugia, and immediately after the E45 under pass, turn left towards Pian di Porto and Monte Castello di Vibio. Carry on along the SP383, following the signs for Pantalla, and as you do so, you can see the shape of Monte Castello di Vibio to your left, a little medieval town famous for having the smallest theatre in the world, with only 99 seats.

At km. 22 turn right off the SP383 towards Collepepe: this marks the beginning of the climb up to Collazzone, an ancient hilltop village surrounded by oak woods and olive groves situated at km. 28 of this route. When you get to Collazzone you can enjoy a well-deserved rest, and enjoy the delightful views across the Tiber Valley and the nearby Monti Martani hills, before setting off towards San Terenziano.

After a few more kilometres of uphill road you get to San Terenziano, at which point turn right towards the village of Frontignano. This marks the start of a steep and winding descent which should be taken carefully, as it requires a certain degree of ability to do so safely. You can once again make out the unmistakeable shape of Todi in the distance, as you cycle towards Ponte Rio once more.

When you get to Ponte Rio, bear left onto the SS79bis, and ride back up the same road you took coming down. When you get to the town walls, you may either turn left and return to the church of Santa Maria della Consolazione, or ride into the town centre, with its narrow, bumpy streets, in order to visit Palazzo dei Priori, Palazzo del Capitano del Popolo, and the town’s Cathedral, to name just three of Todi’s many historical and artistic treasures.

Things not to miss

Todi, walled in by three concentric circles of fortifications, is one of the Umbrian towns with the greatest artistic and historical heritage. Of the many things to see in the town, you should not miss the magnificent Piazza del Popolo, one of the finest in Italy, surrounded by religious and lay constructions of considerable importance, such as: Palazzo del Podestà, Palazzo dei Priori built between 1334 and 1347 in Gothic form with a quadrangular tower, the late 13th century Palazzo del Capitano del Popolo, and the Cathedral.

Monte Castello di Vibio, a traditional small medieval hilltop town, boasts the smallest theatre in the world, the Teatro della Concordia, which opened in 1808 and holds only 99 spectators.

Also worth a visit are the various medieval villages and small towns you encounter on this delightful route, such as Collazzone, Collepepe, San Terenziano and Frontignano, which have largely managed to preserve their original appearance and fascinating character.



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



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