The Umbria Escape cycling tour leads you over quiet country roads among the sunny, colourful fields with a beautiful backdrop of hills covered with silver-green olive groves and fertile vineyards. Your discovery of the Valle Umbra, also called the Valley of Spoleto, starts in Assisi, a small jewel that attract millions of tourist each year, but you visit also Spello, Foligno, Spoleto, Montefalco and Bevagna which are by no means minor attractions. It are towns offering a blend of art, history, food, wine and nature.
Spello and Assisi are hill towns striding up a spur of Monte Subasio. These splendidly intact towns are still walled-in and offer a maze of small alleys, which often, unexpectedly offer fascinating views of the surrounding green landscape. You continue your ride through the valley and reach Spoleto, ancient capital of the Lombard dukes. It is a friendly and welcoming town to tourists and walking up the small streets, you will have suddenly a surprising view of the 12-13th century cathedral S. Maria Assunta, which houses the stunning frescoes by Pinturicchio and Filippo Lippi.
Day 1: Individual arrival in Assisi
Assisi is a Unesco Heritage site. It is overlooking the Valle Umbra and it is a place in which history, traditions and art are harmoniously combined. A leisurely stroll through the town first is a good way to start your holiday. At the end of the afternoon drop off bicycles, if rented, bike fitting and route briefing. Overnight with breakfast in *** or **** star hotel near the old town centre.
Day 2: Assisi – Spoleto 53 Km Ascent/Descent: + 326m –338m
Along the panoramic road ‘Via degli Olivi’ (olive grove road) you reach Spello, a charming ancient town pleasantly situated on the southern slopes of Mount Subasio. In urban, architectural and artistic terms, Spello is an extremely interesting town, containing many features dating back to the Roman age. Spello is also called the town of flowers, because of its many colourful little alleys embellished with plants and flowers. From Spello you descend in the valley and it goes up to Foligno, which contains a good number of interesting monuments and artworks, but has also a nice ‘restaurant road’ and is a local shopping centre. Quiet country roads and the Assisi-Spoleto cycle path bring you to Spoleto, a pretty hill-town filled with beautiful medieval and Renaissance architecture and also there are very interesting museums. An evergreen woodland and a hilly countryside surround the town.
Day 3: Spoleto – Bevagna 35 km – dislivello +42 – 206m (easy) – 37 km dislivello +395 -517 m (Hilly route passing from Montefalco)
The route of today has different versions. There is the easy cycle path route without up and downhill cycling and which goes directly to Bevagna. Or the more strenuous route with biking through a undulating landscape with olive groves. You will already see Montefalco from a distance. At the foot of this town, you can choose to continue through the valley directly to Bevagna or to visit first Montefalco (470m a.s.l.)…, but to get to this town you first have to conquer a severe climb. Montefalco is also known as the ‘balcony of Umbria’, because of its fantastic panorama over the Valle Umbra. Montefalco is well-known for its excellent wines, Rosso di Montefalco d.o.c. and Sagrantino d.o.c.g , produced on the sunny slopes around the town, and of course it is almost impossible to leave the town without tasting them in one of the many wine bars. From Montefalco you have a nice downhill ride to Bevagna, another small medieval town.
Day 4: Bevagna – Assisi 37 Km (not passing from Torgiano) –52 Km (passing from Torgiano)
Today a nice ride through the green valley. You can choose to visit Torgiano, which in medieval times was a fortified village. It is situated on the confluence of the rivers Chiascio and Tiber (Tevere) in a fertile area. Torgiano is certainly worth stopping off, which like Montefalco is famous for its excellent red and white wine. You could visit the wine museum with (next-door) the ‘osteria’ of the Lungarotti family, where you can taste the wines produced in this area. The first sight of Assisi, perched halfway up the slopes of Mount Subasio is extraordinary. Before reaching Assisi, you can stop for a moment to visit the Franciscan basilica in S.Maria degli Angeli. Under its impressive dome still lies the humble little chapel Porziuncola, where St. Francis once came to pray. To get to the beautiful historical centre of Assisi you have to make a short but steep climb, but wandering through the town you will agree that it was worth effort.
Day 5 Assisi
After breakfast ends your short but exciting cycle tour through the valley of Spoleto.