One of the top ways to explore the beautiful Italian countryside and get a workout at the same time is through cycling. Umbria, the Italian Green Heart, specifically offers scenic roads that could be suitable from beginner cyclists to the most experienced. In Umbria, cyclists will encounter not only flora and fauna but also ruins and medieval towns on their scenic cycling routes.
Lake Trasimeno and Tuscany
This cycling route begins and ends in the Castiglione del Lago with a total distance of 34 kilometres. While pedalling on the local countryside, cyclists would be able to pass by the village of Casamaggiore along with paths that pass through olive groves, woods, and fields. After a few kilometres, the route will pass through the Trasimeno Hills Wine Road which can give cyclists a glimpse of the towns of Chiusi and Villastrada.
Tiber Valley Farms and Estates
This route goes on for 30 kilometres and will pass by Umbertide, Pierantonio, the Tiber River, Montecorona Estate, and Pieve San Quirico. A landmark not to be missed in Umertide is the fortress of La Rocca which has been renovated to house Umbertide’s Center for Contemporary Art. This route will also take cyclists past the vicinities of medieval churches in the area such as the San Franceso and the Santa Maria Della Pieta.
Gualdo Tadino and the Apennines
This 40-kilometer cycling route calls for cyclists with a little more experienced. The course starts and ends in Gualdo Tadino and will pass by Valsorda and Casa Castalda. The town of Gualda Tadino is located in a beautiful, natural setting at the foot of the Apennine mountains. It is the home of famous buildings such as the Rocca Flea, a twelfth-century military fortress. Along the route, other interesting landmarks could be seen such as the 11th century Pissignano Castle, now a residential complex, and the Clitunno Springs.
Assisi and the Footsteps of St. Francis
For seasoned cyclists, this route will be a unique challenge. Ranging for 75 kilometers, it starts and ends in Ponte Valleceppi and passes by other towns and cities such as Perugia, Assisi, Valfabbrica, and the Chiascio Valley. Passing by the capital of the Umber region, Perugia is a must-see locale for art lovers because of its Piazza IV Novembre, Palazzo dei Priori, and the Fontana Maggiore. The route would also take you to the old town of Assisi which is declared as a UNESCO heritage site. It is the home of the Monastery of San Domenico and the Basilica of St. Francis.
The Mountain Passes of Valnerina
Starting from Spoleto, this challenging cycling route will pass by Sellano, Cerreto di Spoleto, Poggiodomo, Monteleone, Sant’Anatolia di Narco, and Valnerina for 114 kilometers. In this route are several fortified villages, the scenic sights of the Valnerina ranges along the banks of the Nera River. The medieval hill township of Cerreto Spoleto has the San Giacomo Monastry in its heart which is now home to the Borough’s Ancient Archives and the Valnerina town Centre for Anthropological Research Documentation(ARD).