Umbria & Abruzzo

The Altopiano trail


Condé Nast Traveller Magazine said of this region: "Even without stopping at the wineries draped along Strada del Sagrantino, the wild, leafy route – flanked by never-ending vineyards in countless shades of green – is worth the journey, and it's still authentic."


The trail

The starting point of your trip is the ancient hill town of Assisi, which stands on the western slopes of Mount Subasio, 791 metres above sea level. This is where Saint Francis (later the Saint Patron of Italy) lived and died. You will climb the off-road path which links Assisi with the splendid old town of Spello, passing the top of ‘holy’ Mount Subasio at 1290 metres. This panoramic hillside footpath climbs steeply up, initially from Assisi’s old walls before reaching the monastery village of Eremo delle Carceri where Saint Francis and his order meditated. One aspect that sets the Subasio National Park apart from others is its historical heritage as it contains many abbeys, castles, and fortified hamlets. Its bike slopes are very diverse: the first strip is characterised by olive trees, the second by dense oak forests, the third by high-mountain grazing meadows. Its summit is mainly flat and in the spring, it is covered with yellow, blue and violet flowers. The views to the valleys are splendid in clear weather, particularly the unforgettable vistas of Lake Trasimeno and the Apennine Mountains.

Next, you will cycle the Strada del Sangrantino or Gran Fondo Colline Sagrantino, a former MTB classic among the sporting events in Umbria. From Montefalco, known as the ‘balcony of Umbria’ (because of its great countryside views), you will cross Italy’s best ‘new’ wine region. Just as the famous Chianti wine belongs to Tuscany, the Rosso di Montefalco and the Sagrantino di Montefalco belong to Umbria. Long overshadowed by the more famous wine regions of Tuscany and Piedmont, Montefalco’s Sagrantino wine trail is finally stepping into the spotlight. The Sagrantino is one of the most intensely delicious wines you will ever taste, and it can only be found in this (still hidden) region of Italy. As if that weren’t enough of a draw, the area around Montefalco is also home to some of Italy’s most striking landscapes. This rollercoaster bike trip boasts views of Umbria’s undulating hills and olive groves from nearly every angle. After hopping from one medieval town to another, you will end your journey taking in the ancient splendour of Spoleto.

Riding surface

The Mount Subasio National Park and Strada del Sagrantino have some of the best developed, and maintained, trails in Umbria.

Average mileage

This introductory stage varies from between 40 km to 70 km with between 800 and 1300 metres in elevation gain, depending on your flight schedule.


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