From Valfabbrica to Poggio San Dionisio: on the trail of St. Francis to Valfabbrica Print

This is a series of itineraries inspired by the path taken by St. Francis in 1207, when, following his public spoliation in the main square of Assisi, he left his home to reach Gubbio.

This is an opportunity to walk along a path, in the wilderness, nestled amidst the typical woods of Umbria: over 40 kilometres divided into different paths to enjoy on foot, by bicycle or on horseback.

All this is complemented by a gratifying landscape, the same seen by St. Frances, an observant and profound admirer of nature, which he considered a reflection of the face of God.

These are two important towns located in the heart of green Umbria, both characterized by Medieval buildings, still in an excellent state of repair. No less striking is the landscape of the valleys through which run numerous streams. Because of the morphology of the territory, the ancient Umbrian rural culture of this area has remained largely unchanged.

The many forests of mainly the types of tree, typical of hilly pre-Apennine environments like this one, as well as the numerous animal species, make this short excursion charming and full of emotion.

Once in Valfabbrica, park the car and proceed on foot. Turn into the street near a restaurant and walk all the way to the end.

At the top of the hill, there are three roads. Ignore both the one on the right and the one on the left and go straight ahead along the dirt road. After about 200 metres, on a slight slope, we are now near some stables. Follow the dirt road, keeping close to the fence on the left, and while to our right, we have the torrent, "Rio della Bionda". The valley we are travelling through appears in all its beauty. The numerous woods (of Flowering Ash trees) well run and preserved from excessive cutting, offer the visitor a very suggestive scenario.

About 100 meters from the fence of the stables there is a bridge across the torrent. By ignoring the first path on the right and continuing for about another 150 metres, we come across two paths, which are separated by a/bout 20 m between them. Ignore the first and take the second one, after wading across the torrent. From here, without allowing ourselves to be discouraged, there is a steep, but short climb, which will take us about 200 m up to the village of Poggio San Dionisio. Initially, after the crossing, the trail takes us along a small piece of farmland, on the right, after which we enter into some dense, but captivating vegetation that protects the trail as far as the farmhouse (VOC. Cannarecole).

From here, a mule path becomes a dirt road that, after a short stretch, brings us close to the town. Once at the top of the path, we find a small cemetery on the left. Making a right turn and walking about 100 metres on a flat road, we find ourselves in Poggio San Dionisio.

The view from place is remarkable. To the south-west, you can see Perugia and in the east-south-east direction is the impressive and extremely close Mount Subasio. To the north-west, there are two castles. The nearest is the castle of "Giomici", characterized by two towers, and the farther one is the castle of the “Biscina". A visit to the charming town centre of Poggio San Dionisio is recommended. At this point, we start off down the hill again, along the paved road for about 1.5 km, until we are back in the centre of Valfabbrica. A visit to the picturesque historic town of  “Pedicino” is also recommended, with its mediaeval towers and pretty little streets, dating back to 1100.

Time: approximately 3 hours including stops.

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