Cycling in Umbria

Pedaling in a deep forest, climbing up high in the mountains to enjoy the scenery or passing through olive groves and medieval villages – you can do all of this in Umbria.

The old railway once connecting Spoleto to Norcia has been recently recovered and is now accessible for cyclists. Here history, landscapes, nature, culture, religion and talent blend. Along this path, you will find the old shelters of the first Christian hermits, but this valley is also the place where St Benedict’s Rule met St Francis. Starting from Norcia, you will soon reach the Marcite, a system of artificial swamps created by the Benedictine monks at the end of the 12th century. Near Triponzo, where the river Corno flows into the river Nera, you will find Balza Tagliata, a narrow mule track wedge between two limestone walls 700 m high; this ancient cliff-side track has been for centuries the only connection between the two valleys. The 30km path between Sant’Anatolia di Narco and Spoleto is the perfect place to enjoy the engineering works of the two Swiss geniuses Erwin Thomas and Paolo Bestler. Along the route, you will also see Castel San Felice, the first Benedictine abbey.

Bevagna is a splendid medieval town plunged in art and history that you can also discover cycling through its streets. Exiting the old town, you will find relaxing paths running through the hills surrounding Bevagna and Bettona, up to the steep roads of Mt Subasio. Another wonderful path connects Trevi to Foligno, starting from the beautiful countryside and smoothly passing along the river valley. After visiting the two towns, wine lovers will surely enjoy a ride through the vineyards of Castelbuono and Collemancio, complete with tastings and a tour of the building designed by the famous architect Arnaldo Pomodoro. The splendid path from Spello to Assisi, on the other hand, follows the footsteps of St Francis through the Route of Olive Trees. Assisi is a must-see, with its magnificent churches and sacred places dedicated to the life of St Francis and St Claire; Spello is a lovely town, full of history and art thanks to the presence of frescoes by Perugino. Tireless cyclist will love riding up on the slopes of Mt Subasio, while history lovers cannot miss the paths passing through Tuoro, Castiglione del Lago and Passignano del Trasimeno, which saw Hannibal defeating the Romans during the Battle of Lake Trasimeno.