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Ferentillo - Nicciano Nature Trail

On foot         
  • Departure: Ferentillo
  • Duration: 2 hour/s 30 minutes
  • Difficulty Level: T - Tourist (level)
  • Length: 7 km

Discovering the charm of an ancient trade route
This ring itinerary has a strong historic character, because it is part of a journey that was commonly used in ancient times, from the most remote centuries, as a trade route in order to transport goods from the area around Spoleto to Leonessa and Monteleone di Spoleto, where it crossed the border between the Pontifical State and the Borbonic Kingdom. Starting from Ferentillo, you can hike over part of the old mule track connecting Spoleto and Monteleone; it is interesting, along the itinerary, to pay a visit to the town of Gabbio (429 m. amsl), an ancient hillside castle of medieval origin, which later developed into a rural hamlet, placed on the headland dominating the narrow valley of the Fosso di Ancaiano opposite of San Massimiliano; today Gabbio is almost entirely abandoned. Inside the castle the Church of San Vincenzo Martyr, a Romanesque building rehashed in the 16th century that contains frescos by Francesco da Lugnano, is still in fairly good condition. After crossing the woods on the western slopes of Mount Gabbio (816 m. amsl), the trail arrives at Nicciano (490 m. amsl): this is a fraction of the municipality of Ferentillo, an ancient rural hamlet without any precise urban shape, overlooking the Fosso della Rocca towards the castle of Ancaiano, heart of the town of Spoleto. Inside the hamlet the Church of San Michele Archangel, dating back to the 16th century. This varied and interesting trail is capable of presenting particularly evocative landscape views to the attentive observer; besides the wonderful sight of medieval hamlets, fortresses and castles, particularly pleasant is the rediscovery, along the way, of ancient religious aediculae and mountain churches, often humble in their exterior appearance, yet often enriched, on the inside, by valuable frescos. Also the rich anthropologic heritage is of high quality: in fact in the area there are still remains of ancient lime kilns (places where lime was once produced using local stone), or it is possible to go discovering the ancient "clearings", where was once "cooked" charcoal, much required in the past by the famous Steelworks of Terni. Along the trail, it is possible to hike to the medieval fortress of Matterella (375 m. amsl), from Gabbio to the free-climbing walls and from Nicciano to the hamlet of Lorino (706 m. amsl), where the Church of San Giovanni Evangelist, a late-Romanesque building (13th – 14th century) is located.

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