|Height difference||1100 m|
|Surface||60% dirt, 40% sealing|
|Recommended bike||MTB, E-MTB|
|What to see||Assisi, Spello, Santa Maria degli Angeli, Basilica di Rivotorto, Eremo delle Carceri, Parco Regionale del Monte Subasio.|
This beautiful, but difficult, route starts in Piazza Matteotti, in the upper part of Assisi. The trail, which is just under 35km long, is distinguished by a hard, steep, climb up Mt. Subasio, where some stretches have grades of more than 20%, making the trail suitable only for the fittest bikers. Bikers wanting to partly “soften” the route can do it in the opposite direction: Mt Subasio still has to be climbed but from the Spello side, the climb is not as steep.
From Piazza Matteotti the trail turns right following the signs for Monte Subasio and after exiting from Porta Cappuccini immmediately starts to climb towards the summit (as the start is steep, it is advisable to warm up for a while, by visiting the centre of Assisi, for example). After 300m, just outside Porta Cappuccini, the trail leaves the sealed road and turns left onto path n.50: the first part of the climb is the hardest and may force some to dismount because of the steep grade and the rough surface. In less than 6 kilometres, the trail climbs up through shady woods to “Gli Stazzi,” almost at the summit: from here it comes out of the woods, crosses the sealed road and follows the dirt road that runs right across the side of the mountain.
At this stage the hardest part of the trail is over and the track that unwinds itself just below the peak of Subasio provides breathtaking views. From km 8,5 to km 12,5 the trail goes along an enjoyable single track before rejoining the dirt road that goes 5 kilometres downhill to Collepino (km17,4). Here, at the sealed road, it turns right downhill through olive groves towards Spello, where a visit to the town centre is a must.
From Spello it turns right and at km 22,7 it turns right again into via degli Ulivi, which brings the trail to Capodacqua (km 25,9), where it leaves the sealed road again and tackles the second tough stretch of the route uphill through the olive groves to km 28,4. From here, the trail continues along a dirt road through hills and dales to km 30,3, then turns right at a crossroad, then left into via Borghettaccio. At km 30,8 it turns left again and returns to a sealed road that rejoins the main highway (km 33), climbing back up to the centre of Assisi after a turn to the right.
The beauty of the natural scenery along the trail, mainly inside the Parco Regionale del Monte Subasio, is a further attraction that should not be missed, with also the historical centre of Assisi, an absolute must recognised as a world heritage site by UNESCO, the church of Santa Chiara, the convent of San Damiano and the wonderful church of San Francesco. Just outside the walls, dominating the town, is the superb Rocca Maggiore, rebuilt in 1367 by Cardinal Albornoz over a previous building (1174) that had been an ancient feudal castle. It is also worth visiting the historical centre of Spello, which has many medieval traits, but has also preserved many constructions from the time it was a Roman colony, such as the theatre, the amphitheatre, the baths and the so-called Arco di Augusto. Amongst the religious buildings, the church of Santa Maria Maggiore (XII-XIII century), is important for its precious artistic treasures, such as frescoes by Pintoricchio and paintings by Perugino. Close to Spello is Villa Fidelia (XVI century), built on the site where the Temple of Venus, the Theatre and the Baths once stood.