Trek Notes - Italy

Unknown Umbria & Spoleto

General Information
Walk from the medieval town of Norcia to the bustling city of Spoleto. Enjoy one of the least-visited and most beautiful areas of Europe, rounded peaks of the Monti Sibillini and the piano Grande filled with flowers in spring visit superb medieval towns, Romanesque monasteries, shrines and frescoed churches. This trip is an elegant approach to the medieval city of Spoleto, via its arched 14c bridge. This is an 8-day trip with 5 days walking, 2 of which are optional. Shortest / longest days walk: 2.5 / 6.5 hrs.

Travel Information
Travel: Recommended Destination Airport : Rome

Arrival: Trains depart hourly from Rome Fiumicino airport to Rome Tiburtina train station, from where the last bus to Norcia leaves at 1530 (arr. 1830). Alternatively, trains from Rome Termini to Spoleto take 1 hr 20, with bus connection to Norcia. Last train/bus dep. Rome 1845, arr. Norcia 2055. On your return Spoleto is on main line to Rome.

Taxis: Rome Airport to First Hotel - approximately 220 Euros.
Last Hotel to Rome Airport - approximately 195 Euros

Start any day from 01 May to 30 June & 1 Sep - 31 Oct

Level of Difficulty
Terrain: Woodland, sheep and mule tracks, dirt roads and ways over high open grassland with wide views. In the Monti Sibillini the route includes grassy ridges and well-made tracks on most ascents and descents. Some steep, stony paths; Stick/pole is advisable.

Truffle country! Noted for the superb Tuber Melanosporum of Norcia and Norcineria (the superb hams and salami of Norcia that have given their name to a generative term for cured meats used throughout Italy). Fresh trout from streams, games, lamb, sheep's cheese and noted green lentils. Si mangia bene.

Famous wines from nearby Montefalco and Orvieto, and some interesting ones from the Adriatic Coast.

On this trip there is both Standard and Superior accommodation packages.

Night 1 & 2: Norcia
Standard: *** Grotta Azzurra
Characteristic hotel in town centre with renowned restaurant. HB
Superior: **** Palazzo Seneca
Elegantly restored palazzo in town centre. B&B

Night 3: Roccaporena
Standard and Superior: ** Hotel Roccaporena
Basic rooms in pilgrim hotel in medieval village (officially 3*) HB

Night 4 & 5:
Standard: *** Del Ponte
Hotel with renowned restaurant, beside medieval village and river. HB
San Pietro in Valle
Superior: Residenza d'Epoca
Beautifully restored rooms in Romanesque abbey. B&B

Night 6 & 7: Spoleto
Standard: ** Aurora
Friendly, comfortable hotel in quiet medieval quarter. B&B
Superior: **** Il Gattapone
Best rooms in delightful hotel overlooking gorge and medieval aquaduct. B&B

Day 1: Arrive in Norcia

Day 2: Free day around Norcia
Opportunity to walk across the Piano Grande, (taxi ride to Castelluccio) perhaps the most inspiring highland plain in Europe, or alternatively take a walk on the Piano di Santa Scolastica and explore Norcia with its central piazza with church of St Benedict (480-543AD) and medieval town walls. (9.9 miles, 5 hrs)

Day 3: Norcia to Roccaporena
Walk through oak woods and follow farm tracks across low hills to the small town of Cascia  and chrches with 14th century frescoes. The follow an ancient pilgrim path along the gorge to Roccaporena, birthplace of St Rita, patron saint of desperate causes. (12.7 miles. 6 hrs 30)

Day 4: Roccaporena to Scheggino 
Cross hills with oak woods, famous for their truffles to Gavelli, with fine frescoes recently restored.  Follow an old (dirt) road steeply down to Scheggino. If you are staying at San Pietro in Valle you will need to take a taxi from Scheggino (10 minutes). (12.9 miles, 6 hrs 30)

Day 5: Scheggino to San Pietro in Valle
Optional walk along the Valnerina Valley to the superb monastery of San Pietro in Valle, founded in the 5th century with frescoes, Roman decorative fragments and sarcophagi of 8th century Lombard dukes. (6.1 miles, 2 hrs 30 – double for return)

Day 6:
Scheggino to Spoleto
From Scheggino follow the route of a disused, but once famous railway, a remarkable example of 19C engineering. Cross a pass before descending through chestnut woods, farmland and olive groves to enter Spoleto across the Ponte delle Torri, and the most elegant approach on foot to any city in Italy. (11.8 miles, 6 hrs)

Day 7: Free day in Spoleto
An opportunity to explore the medieval city, its 12th C cathedral with frescoes by Fra Filippo Lippi, and Romanesque churches. The Spoleto Festival takes place during the first two weeks of July.

Day 8: Return to the airport

No. Of luggage moves included: 3
No. Of nights with half board (dinner included): Standard - 5 nights ; Superior - 1 night

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