Quite a long but easy stage with little difference in height, very scenic and, for a good part, along the ridge.
The stretch along the hillside below Monte Maggio is beautiful, with a wide view of the ancient village of Gualdo Tadino and the placid wild horses that graze around us.
The only water point is in Val di Ranco.
We take the path that circumnavigates Monte Cucco in ups and downs. We gradually lose altitude in the woods, which occasionally give us some beautiful views of the underlying Rio Freddo gorge, one of the highest canyons in Italy (the walls measure up to 200 m in height).
We reach the hamlet of Val di Ranco, on the southern slopes of Monte Culumeo. Afterward, on the path, we go up sligtly to Monte Testagrossa and start walking along the ridge area and the Umbrian-Marche border. We overtake Monte Pratiozzo and Cima Filetta in ups and downs and we start to go downhill towards Passo Chiaramonte (910 m). Crossing the eastern side of Monte della Rocca halfway up the hill, we arrive easily at the Valico di Fossato (733 m), where we cross the paved road near an old abandoned roadman's house.
Returning to the path, we detach from the ridge and go around Colle Aiale from the west, and, alternating a comfortable cart track with the path, we continue along the hillside bypassing Cima Mutali, gradually gaining altitude (150 m height difference). We pass the Troscione (a water container used for fires) and, once on the south-east shoulder of Cima Mutali, we leave the cart track and veer south-east to take the very panoramic cross path (below us we admire the ancient village of Gualdo Tadino), that cuts the south-western side of Monte Le Senate first and then of Monte Maggio. The track is wide and comfortable, but in some short parts, slightly exposed. Finally, we arrive at the Rifugio Monte Maggio. If we still have energy, we climb to the nearby peak of Monte Maggio (1,361 m, 300 m height difference), to enjoy an unforgettable sunset.
In the town of Gualdo Tadino, every year in September, takes place a medieval historical re-enactment, "I Giochi de le Porte", during which the representatives of the four Porte (ie the districts of the town) compete for the Palio and the honor of burning the Bastola, the witch (or presumed witch) who in 1237 set fire to the city.
The Palio is certainly inspired by the ancient equestrian competitions, but in the present version, the competitions regard archery, sling, and donkey races, first with a cart and then ridden a pelo, without a saddle.
In Gualdo Tadino you can visit the Donkey Museum, a stubborn but good animal, which despite having assumed negative meanings in the modern age, played a fundamental role in the past.
However, do not think of it as a farming museum: it is instead a place of contemporary art (outside the box) centered on the figure of the donkey, which boasts important and varied contributions, from the world of entertainment, literature, politics ...
For more info, timetables and tickets, follow the LINK.
The cuisine of this area is linked to peasant and mountain culture: pork products, crescia with sausage, mushrooms, truffles ...
A local dish for gourmets is lamb with black truffle, a real treat.
Rifugio Monte Maggio, in Valsorda, just below Monte Maggio (on the southern side). Upon reservation only.
Tel. +39 348 281 0413 - +39 338 181 8856
Camping Valsorda, in the locality of Valsorda (10 minutes walk from the Monte Rifugio Maggio). Tel. +39 075 913261
Starting point reachable by car.
Departure point NOT reachable by bus.
The nearest town reachable by bus is Costacciaro, leaving from the city of Perugia with a change in Gubbio.
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.