We meet in Bologna and drive southeast to Urbino. Recently named a Unesco world heritage site. We will stroll through Urbania, known for its colorful majolica ceramics, we’ll walk the rolling hills of the surrounding fertile farmlands, we’ll stop for a picnic lunch at a country house with a lovely family that makes honey, has a carpentry workshop, as well as running a small printing press and afterwards, we’ll drive south to the heart of the Marche region. Our home for the next two nights.
We’ll have full day hikes that lead us through thick woods and forests. We will be visiting a gorge that follows a stream until we reach a lovely hilltop picnic with a view. After lunch we continue on to a small town where we’ll taste their own special and delicious local wine. The following day we will continue farther south, stopping to hike on Mt. Fiorito (“the flowered mountain”). After our hike and a picnic lunch we’ll drive to our hotel in Ascoli Piceno.
This morning a local guide will introduce us to the marvelous architecture of the town, built with the gleaming local travertine. The day after our hike will take us into a gorge known as the Valley of the Inferno! Where we’ll hike up to visit a small ancient monastery. The next day we’ll transfer north to the Monte Sibillini. We’ll stop in the valley of Castelluccio, known for the tiny flavorful lentils that are grown locally. From here we’ll have a nice long walk into the high open pastures and stunning views of the valley spread out below us all the way into Norcia, our home for the next three nights.
After a beautiful breakfast we have a short drive to start our walk at Forca d’Ancarano. We’ll walk through some small stone hamlets until we reach the town of Campivecchio. After a picnic lunch our walk continues onto the exquisite Benedictine monastery of St. Eutizio, where we’ll visit the church, gardens and grotto. More explorations of the marvelous Sibillini mountains for our last day in Norcia. We’ll be enduring in one of our most spectacular hikes in the area: walking through woods and pastures where sheep, cows and horses graze, and touching three mountain rifugi (refuges) on our way.