Trekking in Umbria

Umbria is the perfect region for all hiking lovers. Inside the Colfiorito Park, for instance, you can hike through the Castelliere itinerary, a 4 km scenic route overlooking the plateaus of Colfiorito that will let you discover the ancient Roman castellieri, remains of small settlements on the mountains. Lake Trasimeno offers both touristic and hiking itineraries. Castel Rigone-Torre Fiume, for example, is a wonderful hiking path also perfect for bird watching, starting from the small village of Castel Rigone and passing through the medieval village of Torre Fiume. Other amazing hiking itineraries ready to be discovered in this area are: Fontignano-Montali-Mt Solare (the painter Perugino is buried in the church of Fontignano); Magione-Monte Ruffiano; Montellino-Monte (in 1556 this fortified village became the administrative headquarter of the lake area); Penna-Montesperello; Torale-Vernazzano-Cima di Tuoro-Pischiello (this area is renowned for olive oil production and for the Torre Torta in Vernazzano, an impressively leaning tower); Torale-Pischiello-Poggio Bandito; finally, Sanguineto-Mt Gualandro, which starts from a small hamlet where the bloody battle of Lake Trasimeno took place in 217 b.C. The view on the lake and the Tuscan valley from Mt Gualandro is definitely worth the hike.
Tourist will also enjoy more relaxing paths, though, such as Missiano-Mt Petrarvella-Panicale (part of Italy’s Most Beautiful Villages network); Paciano-Pausillo, another stunning village located on Mt Petrarvella, where there was once an ancient temple dedicated to the god Janus; Passignano-Poggio Belveduto, which starts from the beautiful shores of Passignano and offers one of the most amazing views on the lake.
The itineraries of Monte Cucco’s Park, on the other hand, are mainly suitable for experts (Le Faggete and the karst plains of Alta Valle del Rio Freddo). The Valle delle Prigioni path is a classic circular route on the Apennines between Umbria and Marche: its low altitude makes it ideal to be explored all year round, even if spring is the best season to enjoy the astonishing blooming of the local vegetation. For those seeking to enjoy nature, history and spirituality, the route from the Eremo of Monte Cucco to the Pian delle Macinare is the perfect mix of all these elements. The Eremo is a hermitage and one of the most ancient settlements in this area; it lies in the eastern part of the Monte Cucco range, nestled at the base of a limestone amphitheatre, featuring caves on its steep sides and buildings rising on a spur overlooking the valley of Rio Freddo. The Park of Monte Subasio offers a perfect itinerary for those who would like to hike to the Eremo delle Carceri, starting from the Rocchicciola (“minor Rocca”) in Assisi. The Eremo was initially a hermitage chapel surrounded by caves and meditation spots; after the coming of St Francis, the epithet “delle Carceri” (of the jails”) was added to its name to suggest the idea of a secluded hideaway. The final destination of this route is the Sassopiano Cross, from where you can enjoy a stunning view on the valleys surrounding Assisi. In the park, you can also enjoy a short yet pleasant touristic path named Forra del Marchetto. It starts from Pian della Pieve, where you can see the gorges dug in the rock by the stream flowing and the medieval Marchetto bridge. The itinerary Valtopina-Armenzano starts from Valtopina, the valley of the river Topino. In its vicinity, remains from the paleochristian age, the Romans, pre-Romans and the Middle Ages can be found. The route ends in Armenzano, a village whose name comes from the Latin “armentum”, meaning herd, and suggests the importance of sheep farming in this area. Spello-Madonna della Spella is an itinerary starting from the village of Spello, passing along an olive-tree-lined avenue and finally reaching Madonna della Spella, a sanctuary erected in 1080 whose name comes from the Latin “specula”, which means “view”, thanks to its breath-taking scenic position over the Umbrian valley and the Sibillini Mountains. Here, in the Sibillini National Park, you can enjoy naturalistic, historic and cultural routes all year long. The Grande Anello dei Sibillini (“Great Sibillini Ciricular route”) is a 124 km itinerary to be completed over nine days that will let you discover the whole Sibillini mountain range during a spectacular hike. The Nera Park offers many different itineraries, both for excursionists and tourists. Botanists and geologists will love the Collefergiara-Mt La Pelosa route, which is studded with ammonites and other marine fossils all along its path. Spring is the best time to experience this amazing hike, thanks to the impressive blooming on the Mt La Pelosa slopes. Ferentillo-San Pietro in Valle Abbey is a religious route starting from the ancient mule track that once connected three valleys: Valnerina, Valle Spoletina and Valle di Leonessa, hence its strong economic relevance. The abbey of San Pietro in Valle is nestled in the Valnerina and was erected by the Langobardic duke Faroald II of Spoleto; here lived the hermits Lazzaro and Giovanni. Finally, the route Montefranco-St Mamiliano is an interesting archaeological itinerary that runs on a tract of the Iron Road once connecting the mines of Monteleone to Scheggino, in the Valnerina. The itinerary starts from Montefranco, a village where you can visit a medieval castle on the top of the hill, and then you will reach Monte Moro, known for the ancient Roman remains of a temple and two water tanks. Tourist will enjoy two more relaxing itineraries that are suitable for anyone. Arrone-Tripozzo is a path dedicated to olive oil that starts from the Romans and leads up to modern day oil mills. Colleponte-Umbriano is a route starting from the medieval Colleponte, where you can visit a beautiful fortress and the church of St Giovanni, then passing through the Valnerina and finally ending at the Umbriano castle, which dates back to the Saracen invasions.