Quite a long stage but of reduced height difference, with the only real ascent to Monte dei Frati: the landscape is mainly wooded, but when it opens up it amazes, suspended between the great Tiber Valley, to the west, and the network of folds and basins that define the Metauro drainage basin, to the east. The highlight of the day is the beautiful rocky basin of Ripa della Luna.
With this stage, we end our adventure on the route of the Great Apennine Excursion.
In case of rain, due to the clayey soil, the ground turns into a very slippery quagmire and the route can become very difficult.
Along the stage you enter game reserves several times: in various points, it is necessary to climb over wooden walkways or open and close barbed wire gates.
Water points are absent: bring a good supply.
We take the 00 path again and we slowly take altitude (approximately 150 m height difference) up to Monte Verde (1,149 m). Then we descend a little and, remaining on the wooded ridge, we arrive at the Passo dello Spugnolo (991 m). From the pass, we continue to the right, on an easy almost flat cart track, up to Piani di Macinato. Then, following the 00 path we turn left and face the second part of the day's ascent along the path (approximately 400 m height difference).
We go to Passo delle Coste (1,229 m) and from there, without sudden climbs, we follow the edge of the watershed between beech woods and grassy clearings. We pass the locality of Bruciato (1,936 m), where the Gothic Line passed, until we reach without major climbs the summit of Monte dei Frati (1,453 m), from where we spot the small Bivacco Paolo Massi in the woods (equipped with only benches and table).
We continue on the ridge along the evident trail of the 00 path, always inside the beech forest, gradually losing altitude. On our left, we admire the characteristic erosions of the spectacular semicircle-shaped rock face, the so-called Ripa della Luna, to glimpse afterward the wooded peak of Monte Maggiore.
Without taking the path that descends to the right towards Monte Cucco, we circumvent Monte Maggiore from the west, on a comfortable cross path, and arrive at Passo Sbocco di Buccine (1,231 m), a characteristic passage between two boulders, where we face east on the Marche side. We continue the journey along the ridge, meeting a second shelter, probably for hunters (with tables, benches, and gas stoves). In gentle ups and downs, we overcome some minor peaks and reach Poggio Tre Termini, so-called because the borders of Tuscany, Umbria, and Marche converge here.
We continue straight until we face the small but steep climb to Poggio del Romito (1,200 m), after which the path curves east and descends easily and quickly to the Bocca Trabaria pass (1,049 m), where the view opens up on the upper Tiber valley: we say goodbye to the northern Apennines (Tuscan-Emilian), to begin the central one (Umbrian-Marches).
At Bocca Trabaria, which separates the Tiber valley from the Metauro valley, the Northern Apennines ends and the central Apennines begins.
The origin of the name is clearly Latin (from trabis: "trave", “beam”) and it seems that it derives from the fact that the Romans used this area as a supply of timber, to make beams, later transported to the Eternal City through the Tiber.
The area was famous in the past for the abundance of woads, used to produce the blue dye, the color symbol of the nobles (much used by Pier della Francesca, whose father was a wealthy woad merchant, for the precisely): in this area, more than fifty stone millstones have been found, real finds of industrial archeology.
Ironically, in a note in his Codex Atlanticus, Leonardo da Vinci explained how the blue color was extracted from the woad by mixing it with vinegar and ... urine: the latter was recovered by placing large barrels outside the taverns, in which the patrons left the required ingredient.
A decidedly plebeian origin for the color symbol of nobility!
In Borgo Pace (the westernmost town of the Marches) the two streams Meta and Auro meet, whose waters, joining together, give life to the Metauro river: the longest in the region.
In the small hamlet of Lamoli, there is the Museum of Colors, housed inside the Benedictine Abbey. It offers a path through the natural colors, produced from antiquity to the beginning of the 20th century, by exhibiting archival documents and offering the possibility of gaining experience in the laboratory to create colors and apply them on different supports.
For more info, timetables and tickets, follow the LINK.
Now widespread throughout central Italy, the panzanella is a symbol of the rustic Tuscan cuisine.
It was the typical meal of the charcoal burners who stayed in the woods for a long time in the summer: the bread they carried with them became stale as the days passed, so to be able to eat it they soaked it in water and vinegar, then seasoned it with tomatoes, onion and a pinch of salt. Over time, a thousand variations have arisen, depending on the preferred ingredients.
Every year in Lamoli, in mid-August, they held the Panzanella Festival, where you can taste this and other delicacies.
At the Passo di Bocca Trabaria there are no accommodation facilities: it is necessary to go down to the village of Lamoli, on the Marche side, along the paved road (there are two buses a day, or you can get there by walking downhill in about 90 minutes).
Ostello Oasi San Benedetto, in Lamoli. Tel. +39 0722 80133
Agriturismo La Casciara, about 9 km from Bocca Trabaria, along the route of the next stage. Tel. +39 075 856 0154
Going down to Borgo Pace it is possible to find various accommodation facilities.
Starting point reachable by car.
Departure point reachable by bus, starting from the town of Sansepolcro or from the city of Rimini.
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.