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If you want to come in Umbria, don't miss the tour along the route of old railroad that connected Spoleto to Norcia until 1968. The only signs left of the railway are the little stations, the bridges and the tunnels, one of which helical.
Starting from the new station of Spoleto, continue along Viale Trento e Trieste for 438 yds, turn left to Via Fratelli Cervi, after 219 yards on the right there is the old station of Spoleto, recently refurbished, where the train started his trips passing along the the town streets. From the train station, turn on the right and continue to the traffic circle, take the first exit and continue to the next traffic circle to take the third exit and go under the overpass. From here on the left there is a restaurant and next to the gate begins the path of the old railway. The first 5 miles are slightly uphill and for the most part in the middle of the woods. After about 1,2 miles you reach the station, now abandoned, of Cortaccione
and the first tunnel of 62 yards. 
From here cross over the Cortaccione's bridge,
which offers a beautiful view of the Valle Umbra on the left and of Monteluco on the right,
at the end of it there is the access to the second tunnel (47 yards long),
keeping on slightly climb up to Matrignano's station.

Just a a few hundred yards and, looking up,
you can see the Caprareccia's bridge, reached after a long turn of 180 degrees. From the bridge, the view towards the Valle Umbra is occluded, while you can see on the right the valley between Forca di Cerro and Monteluco.
Going forward you pass Caprareccia's station
and after about 985 yards you enter the longest straight tunnel, almost 1,3 miles, completely dark and with temperatures of 15-20 degrees lower than outside.
You need to wear windproof jacket and switch on the lights and, if you are lucky, you will be able to see inside the gallery a small source of clear and icy water that wet the road up to about the halfway. The path is mainly made up by a layer of gravel, that in some stretches is several centimeters high and is not always easy to ride. This surface was due to the crushing of the pebbles of the old railway, made by the company that worked to the makeover. Once out of the long tunnel we are already in Valnerina, with a great view to Sant'Anatolia di Narco and the mountains that surround it.
From this point begins an easy descent through six galleries; after Tassinare station, you cross the bridge of the same name and you enter the helical gallery long 357 yards that ends under the overpass with an angle of 90 degrees from the entrance of the tunnel.

You descend toward in the valley passing the Mezzo station and you reach the last gallery of this section, that at the time is closed, and you ride along the path that starts at the right of the entrance and ends shortly after the exit, near the San Martino's station. From here there are no more traces of the old railroad and the route runs on the edge of a farmyard to end before a collapsed bridge that originally overtook the road below. The only thing to do is get off the bicycle to descend up to the street. Otherwise you can take the steep descend on the right, 50 metres before the last unaccessible tunnel, and follow the trail up to the main road. Crossing the road you can retake the path turning on the left, going through the parking area and passing a butcher shop that is on the right. After a few meters there is Sant'Anatolia di Narco/Scheggino's station, that has an information point
and from here, skirting the main road, the railway overtakes Castel San Felice and arrives up to a trout breeding, therefore crosses the Nera river and skirts the right bank of the river up to Borgo Cerreto.
This segment is almost completely flat and the road surface is made by the original pebbles and it requires a certain expertise to go forward. The galleries are short and some of them have the open arches on the left side.
Continuing the railway passes underneath of the viaduct of the main road toward Norcia and then through Triponzo's tunnel, long 476 yards, and, like other, completely dark. The route veers on the right through a canyon know as Balza Tagliata, underneath the cliff flows the little Corno river and up on the rocks in front of you the ancient walkway digged on the stone by the Romans.
Resuming the journey from Triponzo station, after some curves uphill, you enter into a double tunnel that leads into the valley where flows the Corno river.
The trail stops between the river and an road worker’s abandoned house. You have to proceed along the main road for few miles then, at the crossroad to Biselli you have to take the old closed road that pass through Forca di Biselli and inside a tunnel where in the past there was the cultivation of mushrooms. There are still the equipment used for the cultivation, therefore you have to proceed carefully in the darkness, along the tight hallway among two rows of tables. Upon exiting the tunnel, looking over the wall on the right you can admire the most beautiful spot of the track, the Corno river course, in fact, flows down along a tight canyon where the water takes a beautiful emerald color.
So you have to take again a stretch of main road up to Serravalle. Then at the crossway you have to go straight and pass the rafting center, turn to the right leaving a restaurant on the right and take the bridge on the left to resume the railway's path. You proceed straight for 1,8 miles up to a crossroad with a little church in to the outskirts of Norcia. From here you turn to the left and you can see, on the right, Norcia's station, reachable, in a few minutes, turning on the right before the crossroad to the town centre.


start: Spoleto

end: Norcia

length: 31,7 mi

 1080 yds
level: medium-easy

surface: gravel with stretches of asphalt

bike recommended: mtb

equipment : light, jacket


The Valnerina is a valley with very cold temperatures in the winter and cool temperatures in summer, in fact, it is really tight, therefore it does not undergo a high sunlight irradiation. Therefore, the period from late spring to late summer is the most recommended to find the ideal conditions along the way.


I suggest to leave the car in Spoleto, unless you have a partner with a car. You can reach Norcia riding along the trail and go back by bus, stowing the bike in the trunk, the last bus leaves at 6.20 pm. This is not a guaranteed service, so you have to ask to the driver if is possible. Otherwise you can stay for a night in Norcia and go back the day after, choosing among different low traffic roads, always you don't want to retake the old railway's path.


by car:
- from north (Milan, Bologna, Verona, Venice) take the A14 up to the exit Cesena Nord, take E45 toward Rome, exit at Collestrada and take SS75 up to Spoleto (map).
- from south take the A1 and exit at Orte, take E45 up to Terni, then the SS675 that become SS3 (Flaminia road) up to Spoleto (map).

by train:
The trip from Rome is about 1 hour 45 minutes, from Florence is about 2 hours, take a look to timetable.

by airplane:
the nearest airport is "San Francesco d'Assisi Airport" at about 40 km, it is connected to London and Bucarest and from April to October to Barcelona, Bruxelles, Munich, Dusseldorf, Cagliari and Trapani. Otherwise at about 160 km there is Fiumicino Airport connected to Spoleto by train via Roma Termini or Roma Tiburtina stations.


in Valnerina, like everywhere in Umbria you can find both cheap b&b (at about 60 euro for a double room) and luxury hotels with spa with competitive prices.


lentils from Castelluccio, Norcia ham, sausages from the Valnerina as ciauscolo, the black truffle of Norcia, the pecorino of Norcia, the trouts from the Nera river... in terms of food there is a wide choice....


- first two weeks of July, Festival dei Due Mondi, annual summer festival of music and opera;

- last days of February and early March National Market Exhibition of Precious Black Truffle of Norcia and Typical Products, the best way to taste the typical products of Norcia and her surroundings


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