Google+ Twitter Instagram Pinterest Facebook


In spring the best way to restart the training is to ride for 2 or 3 hours along flat roads. Here in our region there are a lot of chance to do it. In the Valle Umbra we have a road ring of about 130 km completely flat. This track is easy, safe and very suggestive, because it pass through some tipical villages in the valley. Naturally there are some connections from a point of the lap to another located in the opposite side of the valley. Therefore we can cut the circuit modifying it depending on the own physical shape, riding for the amount of kilometers we want. The towns passed through by this circuit are, counterclockwise: Spello, Santa Maria degli Angeli, Petrignano, Torgiano, Bettona, Bevagna, Castel Ritaldi, Spoleto, Campello sul Clitunno, Trevi and Foligno. These are the most suggestive towns in the valley, so, if you are not well fit but you want to discover them, i suggest to divide the circuit in two or three stages. The west side of the valley run along the wine roads (Sagrantino and Cantico) and, looking around you will be surrounded by a moltitude of wineyards, while the east side is the olive oil's heaven, with a lot of oil mills where to taste and buy products. The suggested gears to ride along this route are 39/17, to save the legs and relax the mind, or 53/19-17 to go easily faster. Along the roads, particularly in the weekend, you will meet a lot of cyclists with whom ride togheter.
"Sunday morning"
"This morning the alarm rings at 7. Outside the sun starts to warm the air. Is Sunday and looking out the window the streets are still full of people that worked all night long curved on those carpets of flowers. Ten minutes to put cycling uniform and to eat some cereal and milk and I'm ready to go. Today is a day to regenerate the legs, therefore just flat roads without climbs. The session starts from Spello and the first target will be Santa Maria degli Angeli. The legs whirl fast on 39/17, just to warm up. In a twinkling I'm underneath the Basilica of Santa Maria degli Angeli, I can't go inside because my shoes would do too much noise during the Mass so i give up and take the street to Assisi. My second target will be Petrignano. Just a climb of a pair of curves and on the traffic cirlce I take the second exit, while I change the gear on 53/19. Here the road goes up and down continously and the speed grows up, until the bridge that overtake Chiascio river. I turn to the right to the airport road and the air is already full of a biscuits smell and the asphalt becomes like the Paris-Roubaix pave'!!!
After a handful of kilometres the road bring me to the left but the head would bring me straight to Sant'Egidio where all is ready for the feast of the "torta al testo". It wins the road and in a while i'm along the Togianese road, the famous strip of asphalt, where the cars run like at Indianapolis circuit. Still alive I arrive to Torgiano. Some people outside of a winehouse are drinking a Torgiano rosso DOCG, look at me like a martian and greet me raising the wineglasses, I reply and I take the slight descent on the left. The road has short ascends and descents up and down the hills easy to ride. After a curve crosses my road a farmer chasing a goose, I'm arriving to Bettona. I did about 50 chilometers and the legs are good. From here to Bevagna the road is easy and the landscape on the right hills is full of infinite rows of vineyards. While I'm drinking a sip of water a group of people ask me to stop; they are looking for a master glazier and i reply that's the right place, they have to go just beyond the Porta Cannara arch and take the alley to the left, I'm definitely at Bevagna. I decide to take the cycle route, that bring to Spoleto, because is safest and the asphalt is better. Zigzaging among a gang of nutrias, side by side by a grey heron in flight I perceive a smell of horse and i think it's time to leave the cycling route and to take the road, in the middle of the fields, running along the big pigpen. I'm lost in a net of small roads until I arrive to the main road from Cannaiola to Mercatello. Here a long straight road allow me to reach a really high speed. I'm riding from about 85 chilometers and i'm close to the southest point of the lap. The long tree-lined avenue ends to Spoleto and an agreeable classical music escort me until the end of the town toward San Giacomo village. I take the old Flaminia road and, passed the Fonti del Clitunno, i have to stop my run. An horde of antique collectors is crossing the road looking for the best deal of the day. The traffic cop invites me to pass and i resume my ride. I decide to take a break to refuel, asking for something to eat to a farmer, that is working underneath an olive tree. I put the packet on the rear pocket but, after a couple of minute, my jersey is greased by the oil of the bruschetta that the man gave me!!! The road is flat and straight and at a high speed i arrive to Foligno, competing with two horses rode by two jockeys in medieval dress. I'm going back to Spello where the carpets of flowers on the streets have been treaded on by the priest during the procession this morning. Tired but not destroyed I bring my legs in the house and, I achieve the deserved relax in the whirlpool bath".


Start: Spello
End: Spello
Length: 77.75 Mi/125,1 Km
Climb: 963 yds
Level: Easy 
Road surface: asphalt
Suggested bicycle: Road, hybrid


the best seasons to ride along the Valle Umbra are from spring to early summer and from late summer to early autumn, when temperatures are between 15 and 30 degrees; in summer the temperatures exceed 30 degrees, so it is suggested to start early in the morning. Take a look to the wind's forecasts, often blows from north-east but, during the day it changes direction blowing from south-west, and some days may be annoying.


by car: 
From the North (Milan , Bologna, Verona , Venice ), take the A14 and exit at Cesena Nord, take the E45 towards Rome, exit at Collestrada and take the SS75 to Spello exit (map).- From the South take the A1 motorway and exit at Orte, take the E45 Terni, then the SS675 which becomes SS3 ( Flaminia ) to Foligno , turn on the SS75 and take the Spello exit (map). 

by train: 
The railway station is Spello, from Rome takes about 1 hour and 50 minutes, about 2 hours from Florence, take a look at the timetables

by plane: 
The closest airport is the San Francesco d'Assisi Airport, which is about 40 km away and links this region to London, Milan and in summer with Barcelona and Brussels. Spello is connected to Fiumicino Airport  by train through the stations of Roma Termini and Roma Tiburtina.


  In Umbria , you can find both cheap b & b (about 60 euro for a double room ), and luxury spa at competitive prices.


cured meats, truffles, spelt and lentils represent that you can find on the table here. Tipical menu starts with a cutting board of cured meats followed by a rich plate of strangozzi (a kind of pasta) with truffles or a spelt and lentils soup and ends with typical roasted sausages and pork ribs.


"Infiorate di Spello" - in June - Spello. Carpets and pictures made in flowers along the streets of old town to celebrate Corpus Domini

"Calendimaggio" - in May - Assisi. Parade, recitals and concert performances in medieval costumes.

"Sagra dell'Oca" - last week of July till first week of August - Bettona. Typical italian country festival where locals prepare, cook and serve local cuisine and goose based dishes

"Mercato delle Gaite" - last two weeks of June - Bevagna. Medieval real life scenes along village's streets.

"Festival di Spoleto" - last week of June till second week of July - Spoleto. Summer music, opera, dance and drama festival.

"Mercato dell'Antiquariato di Pissignano" - 1st sunday of each month - Pissignano (Campello sul Clitunno). Antique market in a small village

"Ottobre Trevano" - from start to the end of October - Trevi. Medieval parades, games and markets along the streets of the village

"Frantoi aperti" - 6 weekends from November to December - from Spoleto to Assisi. Oil mills host vistors to taste new olive oil.

"Giostra della Quintana di Foligno" - first two weeks of June and first two weeks of September - Foligno. Medieval parades, games and markets and ten taverns around the town where taste typical dishes.

"I Primi d'Italia" - last week of September - Foligno. The festival of pasta, soups and other typical main courses. Tastes, cooking lessons and shows in the taverns around the town.


No comments:

Post a Comment