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Comune di Spoleto

Franciscan Itinerary Italian version ......... >>>> go

The olive grove path


From Spoleto to Assisi , by foot or mountain bike,

from castle to castle, following the Umbriam hillside.

Why the olive grove path


Members of the Spoleto Club Alpino wanted to share their knowledge of this area dominated by olive groves that characterizes an extensive part of the Umbria Region.In the beginning stages, the report contained only the area near Spoleto Trevi. Successively the project was extended to include the collaboration of the Foligno Club Alpino and the Assisi Club Alpino.

It is a particularly interesting course that gives evidence of just how important the olive groves have always been for the Region. There are many reminders of works carried out in the past by the skillfull farmers. Today, because of the high price of labor, these type of works are no longer executed, especially upon pieces of abandoned land. The absence of these olive terraces and lunettes are causing serious hydrogeological and visual damages.

The suggested itinerary touches upon a series of urban installations of small dimensions that in Roman times, were developed in order to escape the progressive reversion of the plains into marshland. These installations, or castles, are in fairly good conservation. The Castles in central Italian culture and in Umbria in particular, were not only the residence of the squire. They served as the first urban centers . Usually these consisted of some ten or so houses, each up against the other, surrounded by a high walled fence as a means of protection for its residents and their various activities.

Each excursion stage and its difficulty

The total length of the itinerary is about 75km. It unwinds for the most part between 350 and 700 meters in altitude and is subdivided into 5 stages: SPOLETO-PORETA / PORETA-TREVI / TREVI-SASSOVIVO / SASSOVIVO-SPELLO / SPELLO-ASSISI. Each stage is posted with its level of difficulty by an official CAI “E” (Club Alpino Italiano) sign: Itineraries that are carried out on paths and are for hikers m a certain level and training.

The majority of the itineraries are along paths and travel ro ads(occasionaly with short tracts of asphalt) and with uphill slopes of no more than 1000 meters. The only really difficult one (only because of it being slippery when wet) is near Eggi. In this particular tract a 30 meters cord has been constructed permitting hikers to descend or ascend safely.

Which way and how long

The paths can be taken in either direction but it is preferable to begin the hike from the south, heading towards the north, in other words, departing from Spoleto, heading towards Assisi. Not only is it a more interesting panorama, but by walking in this direction the sun is always at our backs, facilitating any photographic documentation.

In the descriptions of each path, there are indications referring to the amount ()t time needed for each tract and total time needed, including rest stops, for the entire itinerary. Take into consideration an average hiker who covers about 3 km per hour and a 300 meter ascent and a 450 - 500 meter descent.

Train and road connections

The entire course runs along the east side of the Flaminia highway (at this date undergoing the final stages of restructuring between Spoleto and Foligno) and the train line Rome-Ancona which leads to Foligno, and the line Foligno-Terontola which goes towards the Assisi station.

Hikers can personalize their trip by using the train in order to return to the starting point at the end of the day.

Information regarding train schedules and the availability of special trains equipped for bicycle transport, is available at the various stations.

How and when to plan your hike

Any of the paths can be traveled throughout the year on foot or by mountain-­bike, and there are others where horses can be ridden. It should be noted that during the summer, it is best to begin quite early in the morning and to take a long break during the hotter hours of the afternoon. During the period between November - March , in the stretch between Spello - Assisi, it is quite possible to encounter fog. It is easy to find water due to the presence of natural springs, but it is always a good idea bring along a liter of water.


Road signs

The two clubs are completing a series of small red/white/red flag signals and a series of red signals, which indicate the various paths. The flags, have been painted on tree trunks, rocks, walls and wherever they might be visible to hikers traveling in both directions.

Attention must be given to always follow carefully the indications given along the path and to take along a topographical map as it can occur that these small road signs can become damaged over time.

At this time, from Spoleto to Spello, the red and white flag signs carry the insignia S.U. which stands for Sentiero Ulivi (Olive Grove Path).

In the area of Monte Subasio along the stretch Spello-Assisi, we find path n. 50, and along the variant Fonte Bregno-Rif. Vallonica, path n. 60.

General information

Club Alpino Italiano in Spoleto, Piazzale Polvani, 08 tel/fax +39 0743 220433

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