Quite a short stage with medium height difference: currently, the conditions of the track are sometimes disastrous and there are dangerous sections.
The route develops along the Burano Valley along the ancient Via Flaminia, and reaches the picturesque village of Cantiano.
The stage presents considerable criticalities, due to the state of the path, which, after the flood of 15 September 2022, partially collapsed in some passages and is not easily passable: it is easy to slip.
The path is also largely devoid of any signage.
There is also a ban for a certain period of the year to protect the nesting of the eagle.
It is advisable to contact the CAI section of Montefeltro to request update informations.
No water points.
We resume the path near the Capuchin Convent. The track is in bad conditions from the beginning and forces us to circumvent a landslide, with extreme caution (it’s easy to slip and it is exposed). After the difficult passage, we return to an accessible track and continue on a slight slope, with short ups and downs, until we skirt the Flaminia road and, crossing an underpass, reach the small hamlet of Foci.
We leave the built-up area passing a second underpass, at the exit of which we continue towards the Burano river, which we cross over a bridge to take the paved road to the right; after less than a kilometre, we take the path on the left, which goes up (about 650 m elevation gain) and then continues along the hillside, alternating with the dense holm oak forest some open glimpses, which allow us to admire the beautiful and wild valley below. There is no shortage of perilous stretches, due to landslides generated by the flood and the thick brambles that sometimes cover the track.
The track then continues downhill (approx. 600 m D), overlooking the Tenetra meadows until it changes sides and slowly reaches the valley floor, where the charming and ancient village of Cantiano awaits us, with its beautiful churches.
Cantiano has a very troubled history: it was founded in the 6th century as a fortress, later conquered by Frederick II, who donated it to the city of Gubbio. Afterward, it was passed to the Duchy of Urbino and after its extinction (due to lack of male heirs ) was included in the State of the Church, until the unification of Italy.
Today it is a small, enchanting town, inserted in a naturalistic and landscape context of great beauty. In the historic center, there are stone houses, ancient churches, and museums, testimonies of its long and ancient history.
However, its population has drastically decreased, like that of almost all mountain villages, since the second postwar period, and many houses are abandoned. With the hope of reversing the trend, the administration has put these houses up for sale at the price of one euro, with the condition that they are renovated and inhabited within a certain period.
On the Nerone, Petrone, and Catria mountains, herds of Catria horses graze in the wild. It is a breed born by the crossing of native horses with Maremma horses (in fact there were frequent contacts between the Carbonari from the Marches and the Grosseto shepherds): very strong, suitable for mountain grazing, it was once widely used in agriculture, today for equestrian tourism.
In mid-October, the transhumance takes place in the valley followed by a large fair in Cantiano.
One of Cantiano's most renowned products is the visciola, a wild cherry imported to Italy at the time of ancient Rome.
These cherries have a sour and unpleasant taste if eaten raw, but become a delicacy if in syrup: place them in a glass jar with the same amount of sugar, preferably cane, then leave the jar in the open air and in the sun for about twenty days, stirring occasionally. At that point, the fruits can be eaten with ice cream, with yogurt ... the syrup can instead be diluted with water, lemon peel, and ice, for a very refreshing and fragrant drink.
The visciola wine is excellent as well, a sweet wine for tasting or as a dessert wine (excellent with cantucci): it is prepared by macerating the sour cherries in wine, with the addition of sugar, or by fermenting the sour cherries syrup in the must.
Locanda del Brolio, in Cantiano. Tel. +39 0721 783068
B&B La Badia, in Chiaserna (about 1 hour from Cantiano, on the route of the next stage). Tel. +39 335 659 9487
Camping Le Ginestre del Catria, in Chiaserna. Tel. +39 346 049 9219
Starting point reachable by car.
Starting point reachable by bus, starting from the town of Fano with a change in Calmazzo.
Here the LINK to check the timetables.
Starting point NOT reachable by train.
Va' Sentiero is a grassroot project, thanks to the spontaneous contribution oft housands of people.
Even the most complicated dream, a 7,000km uphill dream,
can be achieved... together.