Abruzzo & Lazio

The Altopiano short bike trail

trail part 1: LA VALNERINA

"You may have the universe if I may have Italy,” the Italian opera composer Giuseppe Verdi famously once said. “I offer you instead Umbria’s postcard-perfect rolling hills, if I may only keep the dramatic craggy mountain peaks of the Valnerina.”


The trail

Known as Umbria’s ‘green heart’ La Valnerina, is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful and unique areas in Italy. Also known as the “valley of the Nera River”, it is rich in nature, history, culture and gastronomy. After biking up for more than 70km along the river, you will reach the high plains where medieval towers, fortified abbeys, tiny hamlets with steep narrow streets and endless woods await you. A visit here is a step back in time surrounded by pristine nature of breathtaking beauty. This is not to be missed.

Your starting point for this short bike trip is the area near Terni, close to the 165-metre, Roman-built Marmore Falls. You will start by cycling the gentle path of the ‘Greenway del Nera’, a purpose-built biking adventure trail along the River Nera. On arrival at Sant’Anatolia di Narco, you’ll cross over to the Spoleto-Norcia trail, a former mountain railway with 19 galleries in addition to 24 bridges and viaducts. Disused since 1968, this historic railway, which flanks the River Nera, today serves as a 52km bike route set in natural and architectural beauty. Biking along the bridge over the Cortaccione Creek is definitely one of the highlights.

Riding surface

The Greenway of the Valnerina and the old Spoleto-Norcia railway are both purpose-built for bikers, featuring 4×4 trails and singletracks, with a bit of asphalt.

Average mileage

The distances here are slightly longer than average: 60km with around 800 metres elevation gain. There is a possible detour, passing by Salto del Cieco and climbing Monte San Vito (1550m), adding 34km and 1300m of elevation gain to the route. If your flight schedule allows for a fly & bike, we’ll head straight to Sant’Anatolia di Narco, adding Anello di Monte Coscerno on the second day.

Another option is the other side of the Greenway loop, starting from Piediluco, which also encompasses Norcia in a 70km trip, but through more undulating terrain. Here, there will be plenty of options for longer rides, depending on your capabilities.


Share this link with your bike buddies

Officially recognized travel agency

VVR registration nr. 9733