An area known for being sacred, where the Umbrian saints spent hours in prayer and reflection. Let yourself be transported by the green expanse of trees and follow the paths which are perfect for hiking: we will guide you from Spoleto to Monteluco along "la corta", a picturesque path which crosses the woodlands of the Spoleto area.
The walk takes about an hour, so put on comfortable shoes and head towards the Fortilizio dei Mulini where the CAI trail n.1 begins. The road will take you up along the steep north-west side, across a holm oak wood of great scientific, historic and naturalistic importance, so much so that even the Lex Spoletina, a stone slab with inscriptions, contained strict laws to protect the area. The name itself ("lucus" in latin means "sacred wood") shows the illustrious reputation that the Monteluco area has had in history.
If you are a fan of bird watching, walking along "la corta" you might be lucky enough to spot a green woodpecker, great spotted woodpecker, treecreeper or a red-breasted nuthatch.
Continuing along the path, you'll immediately reach the area of the hermitages, shelters that the hermits used from the 5th century onwards and which today are generally on private property. Among those which are more easily traced are the eremo di San Paolo Protoeremita, which in the Nineteenth century was property of the Marignoli family, to whom we owe the building of the church of San Francesco d'Assisi. Instead, the eremo delle Grazie, is currently a private residence but in the 16th century it gained importance when, after the Benedictines had left, it became a meeting place for the hermits and the Prior of the Congregation's residence. At number 8 you'll find the eremo di San Michele Arcangelo which comprises three deep caves, one of which was adapted into an oratory.
Having passed the hermitages, cross the county road (strada provinciale) to re-join the path that will take you to the mountain's summit: you will find yourself skirting around the Convent of San Francesco, founded in 1218, according to tradition, by Assisi's most famous saint. Near the convent you'll catch a glimpse of the stone wall which encloses the Bosco Sacro: entering the woods you'll find a copy of the Lex Spoletina the original is kept in the Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Spoleto. Relax in the serenity of the wood until you reach the Belvedere, where there are some hermitages whose names recall the saints who probably stopped there in prayer.