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  • Immagine del redattoreVanessa Valenti

Furlo Pass, Gubbio and Temple of Valadier: an Italian weekend

7 - 8 Novembre 2020

Trekking alla Gola del Furlo, Marche

Hiking at Furlo, Terrazza alta del Furlo, Rifugio del Furlo, Monte Pietralta – Marche

Fiume Candigliano, Gola del Furlo, Marche

Me, Enrico and King left home (Forlì) at 7 in the morning, backpacks ready, packed lunch and full of energy for the first day of this mini weekend out of town as an alternative solution to our original plan.

You must know that in these days we should have been in Rome, but we had a last minute change of plan. At 9 we were already on the move, after leaving the car at the Furlo, in the parking lot adjacent to the Antico Furlo restaurant. From here we set off along the Candigliano River to the Dam, from which the hiking trail we had chosen on Wikiloc in the Gola del Furlo Reserve starts immediately on the left. Find out more about choosing your own paths and learning how to use Wikiloc click here.

Trekking alla Gola del Furlo, Marche

The route is immediately challenging, in fact the first 6km up to the high terrace of Furlo are uphill but it's absolutely worth it (if you have them, bring your trekking poles, they will certainly make you comfortable, at least in this first part: it would be ideal to have those that are resealable, so that you can later put them comfortably in your backpack). Nature is uncontaminated and once you arrive at the Terrace you will be happy with the effort made up there: the view is spectacular, the perfect place to sit on the cliff and enjoy a well-deserved break admiring the view on the natural terrace on the rock.

Monte Pietralata, Marche

After a short break we left for the Rifugio del Furlo, a few steps from the terrace, which can also be reached by car for those who wish. Now you can breathe a sigh of relief, even though we were not even halfway through, I guarantee you that the worst part is over. The uphill parts that await you will be significantly less steep and tiring than the journey to the Terrace. After passing the Refuge we kept on towards Mount Pietralata among expanses of juniper bushes, which are somewhat reminiscent of the classic pine forest in front of the beach we are used to here on the Adriatic coast. Once you reach Mount Pietralata you will find green and vast meadows perfect for stopping to rest and refresh yourself. We lay down taking advantage of the wonderful sunny day and ate the packed lunch we had prepared at home. We stopped for about an hour and a half, the view was really fantastic and breathtaking, with a myriad of hang gliders flying above us, and the hot sun that warmed us: someone even took advantage of it for a quick nap!

Cavalli Selvaggi, Monte Pietralata, Marche

Once we left, we met a herd of wonderful horses grazing free in the meadows: do not be scared, they are very good and used to seeing groups of people pass by, they even let themselves be caressed! From here begins the downhill part of the ring to go back to the Furlo, among wonderful trees painted in the colors of autumn and truly picturesque paths. We were back at the car at around 5 pm, tired but absolutely satisfied. Super recommended route, above the info that you can also find on Wikiloc among my routes! To find out more about this app click here.

Gola del Furlo Trekking, Wikiloc

From here in just 40 minutes we reached Gubbio, just beyond the border with Umbria, to spend the night at the Hotel Gattapone, which I had booked two days earlier on the Booking.

Hotel Gattapone, Gubbio, Umbria

Gubbio – Umbria

Hotel Gattapone ✰✰✰

Double Comfort Room 64€ x2 people, animals admitted without additional charge, breakfast included.

Very recommended value for money.

The hotel is in the center, a few hundred meters from a public pay parking (from 8:00 to 20:00). The building is wonderful, as is the interior, with elegant and classic furnishings.

Gubbio, Umbria

Very helpful staff, payment at check-out. Following the Covid regulations that were on in that period, the hotel had made the breakfast room available for those wishing to have dinner by ordering takeaway or for those wishing to take advantage of their own food brought from home. In addition, at check in we were given the breakfast menu, which can be used both in the breakfast room or with room service. We took advantage of room service, while for dinner we brang something from home and ate in bed, totally exausted by the previous hike. Sunday morning we explored the ancient alleys of Gubbio: I had never been there and I was pleasantly surprised and satisfied by this small but characteristic Umbrian town. Also called "the gray city" due to the compact and uniform color of the limestone blocks with which this splendid village is built, it will allow you to go back in time to the Middle Ages, losing yourself among the wonderful stairways and streets.

Piazza Grande, Gubbio, Umbria

You cannot miss Piazza Grande which houses the Palazzo dei Consoli and the Pretorio Palace. From this extraordinary example of "hanging square" you can enjoy a splendid view over the valley. The Palazzo dei Consoli built right in the city center around 1300 dominates Gubbio from a height of about 60 meters. The interior can be visited. Also worth a visit, the Basilica of Sant’Ubaldo, especially for the cable car that leads from the center of Gubbio to Mount Ingino where the Basilica is located. In a small "cage" in which a maximum of 2 people (plus King) enter, you climb for about 500 meters suspended in the void with a panoramic view of the city and the surrounding countryside (€ 6 per person round trip) for a total of about six minutes.

Duomo di Gubbio, Umbria

Once you get to the Cathedral, you can visit the beautiful cloister and the church with 5 naves, which have been remodeled several times. On the altar there is a neo-Gothic urn which preserves the body of the patron saint of Gubbio S. Ubaldo (who died in 1160). Here you can admire the splendid, colorful stained glass windows and the huge candles that are the protagonists of the famous religious festival held every year on May 15th. Gubbio is the town where the first 8 series of the Don Matteo TV series were filmed, if you are a fan you can find all the places in the series. The city was almost deserted, we were able to enjoy it without incurring many tourists.

Ristorante Locanda del Tartufo, Gubbio, Umbria

For lunch we stopped at the Locanda del Tartufo restaurant, in the center, not far from Piazza Grande. Given the wonderful warm and sunny day, we had lunch outside and tasted the typical pork products based on cured meats, cheeses and truffles, accompanied by the famous crescia (a sort of savory focaccia). Super recommended the Piattone del Locandiere, based on cold cuts, cheeses, truffles and the fantastic white sausage and truffle lasagnette.

Tempio del Valadier – Marche

After lunch we headed to the temple of Valadier, on my list of places to visit for a very long time, and that I couldn't wait to see. A magical place, which nearly two hundred years ago was built by Pope Leo XII based on a design by the famous architect Giuseppe Valadier. An octagonal sanctuary set in the rock, a spectacle perfectly integrated into the rock that will leave you breathless. Getting there is not difficult, just leave the car along the road from the road that runs along the gorge, not far from the entrance to the Frasassi Caves, and walk along the wide and paved path, about 800 meters long. The route is uphill, but the slope makes it passable even by children. Once at the temple, you can enter the cave in the center of which it rises, pushing yourself to the end: the path is not easy, it's not illuminated and it's very slippery, so if you decide to go wear comfortable shoes and be careful! We went, it is certainly a suggestive experience but not inevitable! The Temple of Valadier is located in a place full of naturalistic and cultural attractions to be discovered: not far from the Temple are the Frasassi Caves, which are really worth a visit if you are in the area. We stayed longer than necessary in Gubbio, taking advantage of the wonderful sunny day, and we were unable to go. But we will certainly not fail next time.

Tempio del Valadier, Marche


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