Unspoilt landscapes, medieval villages and enchanted woods in which to let your imagination run wild, and then again history, food and good wine: enclosing Umbria in a single postcard could be an understatement, that's why to capture its most authentic essence there is nothing better than enjoying it step by step, treating yourself to a regenerating full immersion in this fascinating land. What better way to do this than on a motorbike or bicycle? Whether you are a biker or a cyclist, it doesn't matter: in Umbria you will find the right itinerary to enjoy the view with the wind in your hair: here are two perfect proposals to appreciate the most beautiful views of Umbria by bike or motorbike.
Discovering Umbria on the Sagrantino Road
It is one of the most popular routes for two-wheel lovers who, among paths surrounded by greenery, splendid towns and vineyards of Sagrantino as far as the eye can see, can enjoy all the best of a weekend in freedom. The route, known not by chance as the "Strada del Sagrantino", extends over just 50 km between Bevagna and Montefalco, a charming town in the province of Perugia. It is perfect for combining history, art and landscape and for savoring the rich local food and wine. Let's discover together two of the most suggestive stages of this itinerary to be explored.
Let's start from Bevagna, one of the most beautiful villages in Italy.
Bevagna: a dip into the medieval atmosphere
The first stop on our journey along the roads of Sagrantino is Bevagna. Here, in this town of Etruscan origin, you can still breathe all the charm of the medieval atmosphere, which lives on in the urban layout of the village, in the pointed arches and in the tiny windows that dot the historic buildings. Ancient Mevania, the "middle ground" of the Romans, prospered thanks to the flourishing of its trade and was the nerve center of the Via Flaminia and its important road network. Perfect for an excursion on the trail of the historical past of the region, Bevagna is revealed between the Roman baths, the civic museum of Palazzo Lepri and the splendid Piazza Filippo Silvestri: here, next to imposing religious buildings such as the churches of San Silvestro, San Michele Archangel and San Domenico and Giacomo, the elegant Palazzo dei Consoli stands out. Today the seat of the municipality, the building has been at the center of civil life since medieval times. Furthermore, Palazzo dei Consoli is linked to the famous "Mercato delle Gaite", the historical re-enactment that every year in June brings back to life the medieval districts, the "Gaite", in fact, which animated the daily life of the city. During the event, tourists and residents have the opportunity to walk among the old shops that are reopening their doors and to attend the various competitions that see the Gaite di San Giovanni, Santa Maria, San Giorgio and San Pietro challenge each other. An unmissable opportunity to get in touch with the history of the village and to enrich your journey with a unique experience.
Through the various junctions between the regional and provincial roads that mark the territory, the itinerary will take you through small towns such as Gualdo Cattaneo, Giano dell'Umbria and Castel Ritaldi, perfect for a quick walk, for a coffee or a quick snack before leaving again for Montefalco.
Montefalco: discovering the "railing of Umbria"
This charming town, which bears in its name a tribute to Frederick II and his passion for falcon hunting, has its beating heart in the large circular square known as "Campo del certame". The town hall, the suggestive theater built on the ruins of the church of San Filippo Neri, the small oratory of Santa Maria and a series of noble residences from the 16th century overlook this area. Those who stop for a quick visit to the city, before continuing their itinerary by motorbike or bicycle, can leave from Campo del Certame to reach the Colla Mora district. This is the medieval part of the city: here it is worth visiting the Church of San Francesco, which houses works of art of great value, including a Nativity by Perugino, frescoes from the Umbrian school of the 15th century and Scenes from the Life of Saint Francesco signed by Benozzo Gozzoli, a pupil of Beato Angelico.
Before resuming your journey, you cannot miss a quick stop at the old city walls: here the Sagrantino vineyards intertwine with the dense forest vegetation framing the spectacular Montefalco belvedere, which offers a breathtaking view of the splendid Umbrian landscape, this area of the city is also known as "The railing of Umbria".
Stop in Còlpetrone: where Sagrantino is born
After an itinerary like this, a taste of Sagrantino is a must. To do this, all you need to do is reach the splendid Còlpetrone Estate, one of the most important production realities in the Montefalco DOCG area. After a tour in the village, there is nothing better than a walk through the flourishing vineyards that surround the production site, and then stop in the cellar and discover the Sagrantino Montefalco DOCG, here declined in three prestigious versions: "Sacer", "Ò di Còlpetrone and “Memoira". This label, in particular, won the gold medal at the Berliner Wein Trophy 2023 for the 2015 vintage, an event in which the Montefalco rosso Còlpetrone 2019 also triumphed, also offered for tasting with local cold cuts and cheeses with other wines of Còlpetrone: the Sacer Umbria Rosso IGT, the Grechetto Umbria IGT and the Montefalco Sagrantino Passito.
Along the Tevere cycle path: Montone and the Abbey of San Salvatore di Montecorona
If, on the other hand, you are curious to explore Umbria by bike, one of the most interesting cycle paths is the one that winds along the Tevere cycle path. The entire route extends for 85 km and from Città di Castello reaches Perugia along the banks of the river. The more trained can cover it all, perhaps on a mountain bike or on a e-bike, given the presence of more challenging stretches. For those who want to enjoy an effortless walk in nature, the ideal is to choose a shorter route, identifying a couple of interesting stops. Undoubtedly among the places not to be missed are the small village of Montone and the Abbey of San Salvatore di Montecorona.
A walk in Montone, the city of the Holy Spina
This medieval town develops around the castle which, according to tradition, was built by the Fortebracci family. Those who stop at the village have the opportunity to appreciate its precious artistic heritage and immerse themselves in its history, starting with the Rocca di Braccio, which dominates the old part of the city and on whose ruins Pope Sisto IV della Rovere built the convent of Saint Catherine. Do not miss the Church of San Gregorio Magno, which houses the Holy Thorn of Jesus' crown. The Feast of the Donation of the Holy Thorn is dedicated to this very ancient relic, under the patronage of UNESCO since 2007, which is celebrated every year penultimate Sunday of August. On this occasion there are medieval reenactments that animate the three districts of Montone: Porta del Borgo, Porta del Monte and Porta del Verziere.
Abbey of San Salvatore di Montecorona
The second stage of our cycling itinerary takes us to the Abbey of San Salvatore di Montecorona. Founded, as tradition dictates, by San Romualdo, the complex increased its power over the course of two centuries, extending its jurisdiction to over 20 churches. Historically inhabited by the Camaldolese monks, the complex passed to the Cistercians for almost three centuries, then returned to the Camaldolese in 1523. In the same period the hermitage was built on the top of Montecorona. A place of contemplative life, San Salvatore di Montecorona also represented an important economic center over the centuries, known in particular for its pharmacy and for medicines obtained from the officinal plants of the area. When visiting the abbey, lovers of sacred art will appreciate the Romanesque church with a three-nave plan, the crypt and the 8th-century ciborium from the Church of San Giuliano delle Pignatte.
A relaxing stay among the olive groves of the Montecorona estate
To complete the mini itinerary along the Tevere cycle path, there is nothing better than enjoying a relaxing weekend between history and nature. In this case, the ideal location is the suggestive Tenuta di Montecorona, located right in the heart of the Camaldolese abbey. Surrounded by 2,000 hectares of land, the estate is a precious piece of local history and represents one of the most important local agricultural realities: in fact, it is famous for its production of extra virgin olive oil, as well as for an important cultivation of peaches. But there is more. In fact, on the estate there is also a refined accommodation facility created inside the ancient abbey founded by San Romualdo, a unique opportunity to immerse yourself in the peaceful atmosphere of the Umbrian countryside, enjoying a breathtaking view of the hermitage overlooking the valley and letting yourself be pampered by the delicacies prepared by the "Abbazia di Montecorona" restaurant. What better way to reward yourself after a long ride?
For anyone who loves to immerse themselves in greenery and travel without haste to discover villages, ancient fortresses and breathtaking landscapes, Umbria is a magical place, to be discovered by motorbike or perhaps riding your bike.
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