In Umbria, a sense of the sacred emerges from every abbey, hermitage and the many places of faith that mark the territory. The Upper Tiber Valley holds an extraordinary wealth of buildings of great historical and cultural interest.
The itinerary begins in Città di Castello, the gateway to the north-western part of the region. Visit its historic centre, characterized by elegant Renaissance architecture, and be sure to see the masterpieces preserved in the municipal art gallery of Palazzo Vitelli, with works by Signorelli, Raphael and Ghirlandaio, among others.
The first stop, after only a few kilometres, takes you to the Hermitage of Buonriposo, a stop on the St. Francis Way because, in this place surrounded by greenery, the saint found spiritual rest in his travels to La Verna. It is particularly moving to visit the room in which St. Francis lived in 1213; you can still see the simple church with its altar and choir, the refectory, the small cloister and the Cave of the Devil, where Francis was repeatedly tempted by demonic apparitions.
Continue your journey towards Città di Castello and, after about thirty kilometres, you will find the Sanctuary of the Madonna di Belvedere, built at the end of the 17th century. The Sanctuary venerates an ancient image of the Madonna. As its name suggests, a visit to the monastery is also recommended by virtue of the panorama that can be enjoyed from its position, which offers a unique view of Città di Castello and its bell towers, and also the Upper Tiber Valley, from Mount Verna to Mount Acuto.
Just under thirty kilometres of the Apennine road separate the Sanctuary of the Madonna di Belvedere from the Abbey of San Benedetto Vecchio di Pietralunga. Its structure has three naves and the original sculptural decorations are enchanting. The abbey has undergone many changes and the original three-nave basilica has been mutilated in the front and left aisle, the facade corresponds, in fact, to the width of the nave and right that has been transformed into a sacristy.
The path continues towards Umbertide, with a detour to visit the must-see medieval village of Montone.
Once in Umbertide, stroll among the many architectural and artistic jewels of the city, before leaving for the Abbey of San Salvatore di Montecorona, founded, according to tradition, by San Romualdo around the year one thousand; the Benedictine monastery in Romanesque style is the ideal symbol of this spiritual and artistic journey. You can end the journey by going to Gubbio to see the countless beauties of the city of the Ceri, and, why not, for a delicious dinner based on typical products of Gubbio: crescia, truffles, game and many others.