“La Francescana”, the Umbrian permanent route
Route’s length: 165km
Altitude: 2300 mt
Bycicle: Mtb or Gravel
Suggestion: divide the trip in 2 or 3 days
What is “La Francescana”?
La Francescana is a historic cycle route through San Francesco’s paths and places, starting from Piazza di Foligno, where the Saint sold his horse to restore the San Damiano façade, to the famous sermon to the birds place Pian d’Arca, where there’s the series of Franciscan frescoes of Benozzo Gozzoli, up to Spello. It’s a vintage event of great success that takes place in September.
Together with what is considered a real celebration for bike enthusiasts who love Umbrian villages, hills and the enogastronomic excellence of this territory, a permanent route of 165 km has been created by those same organizers of “La Francescana”.
The Umbrian valley
It is a long route of 165 kilometres, that if done just in one day requires a great physical effort. It is therefore recommended to do it in steps and with a slow rhythm which is perfect to enjoy not only the landscapes but also the culture, food and wine. The whole route passes through the territories and the historic centres of twelve municipalities, Assisi, Bevagna Cannara, Campello sul Clitunno, Castel Ritaldi, Foligno, Giano dell’Umbria, Gualdo Cattaneo, Montefalco, Spello, Spoleto and Trevi.
The aim is to let the cyclist-tourist experience not only the natural wonders of Umbria, Italy’s cycling heart, but also the historic and artistic beauties. The uniqueness of these places are the olive grove and vineyard area of Sagrantino. During the route the cyclist runs into olive oil mills, cellars, museums, art places and tourist structures; so he can choose whether to stop to visit a place, relax or get water.
It is also possible to see “Le Fonti del Clitunno”, the Pissignano Alta Castle (also called -Borgo S. Benedetto-), Poreta and Castel San Giovanni villages.
Where to sleep
In Umbria there are two Luxury Bike Hotels. The nearest to the route is the five-stars hotel Borgobrufa with the biggest and most beautiful spa of Umbria; otherwise there is another enchanting hotel close to Todi called Relais Todini, characterized by a park with giraffes, zebras and also a top-quality wine cellar.
Foto credit Guido Rubino Cyclinside