The Tre Valli Umbre, a magnificent motorbike itinerary that connects Spoleto to Arquata del Tronto, passing through the Valnerina.
And it is precisely where the earthquake struck the most that we motorcyclists must go, not only to find out how enchanting those areas really are, but also to make them return to their splendor, eat a sandwich from those who have lost everything and try to re-emerge from the rubble. and get as many people back as possible.
Built in the 70s, the state road is a stretch of the corridor between the Adriatic Sea and the Tyrrhenian Sea. There are 3 tunnels with a length of more than 4 km each, but for everything else, it will be nature and villages historians to make the trip truly unique. The road connects the Sordo-Corno-Nera (PG) river basin with the Tronto river basin (AP) and the Nera basin with the Umbrian plain of Spoleto-Foligno-Perugia.
Let's start with the beautiful Spoleto, ancient capital of the Lombard dukes, you will be breathless thanks to the richness of the historical and artistic heritage of the city. We recommend a visit to the majestic Rocca Albornoziana. For those who don't suffer from vertigo, hop on the Bridge of the Towers, 230 meters long and 82 meters high. Not to be missed: the Roman Theatre (XNUMXst century AD), Mauri Palace, church of Sant'Ansano, L'Arch of Drusus and Germanicus e Leti Sensi Palace. Beyond the wonderful Piazza del Duomo among the things to see a Spoleto there is absolutely there Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta and the Roman House attributed to the mother of the emperor Vespasiano Polla.
So we recover in motorcycle in an easterly direction but we decide to take the SS395, towards Vallo di Nera, with more curves e scenic spots over the valley. We enter again on the SS685, which meanwhile straightens up a bit: the curves are not exciting but the mountains that surround the road are a splendid setting.
We arrive near the ancient medieval strongholds of Cerreto di Spoleto and its fraction Borgo Cerreto. The latter is an ancient castle developed in the early medieval period, it is located on a very important crossroads since Roman times, it was a fortified outpost towards the rival Castle of Ponte. The village develops along the road that goes up to Cerreto di Spoleto preserving, of the old town, beautiful views with exposed stone walls and portals in stone blocks.
The village of Cerreto di Spoleto it takes its name from the many oak forests that grow in the surrounding areas and is of very ancient origins, probably due to its strategic position among the lands ruled by the Dukes of Spoleto. The village is also known as the "Country of the Charlatans", a popular name since the sixteenth century, when its inhabitants were described as: “Those who peddle ointments, or other medicines or play hand games in the squares… in ancient times such people used to come from Cerreto, who were making money with various pretenses”. The town is especially known for the collection of black truffles while, from an artistic point of view, the best known monument of Cerreto is the monastery of San Giacomo of the XIV-XV century and the Church of S. Maria De Libera, also from the Renaissance period.
After these visits we resume our journey towards Norcia, sadly still on his knees after the last earthquake. Much of the historic center of Norcia is today again visitable. The most evocative glimpse is undoubtedly that of San Benedetto square, together with the most representative monuments, such as the Basilica of San Benedetto, of which the earthquake left only the facade standing, the city Hall, Castellina and the beautiful Cathedral of Santa Maria Argentea. To date, unfortunately, none of these beauties can be visited. Our attention therefore turns to all the inhabitants who are trying to put life and economy back on their feet. Contact them for all your needs, they will be really happy to serve you.
We recommend, in season, to deviate towards the famous Castelluccio di Norcia, famous for the "Flowering (or Fiorita) of Pian Grande di Castelluccio". A historical, cultural and naturalistic event much appreciated by tourists and traditionally maintained by the Nursinians. A wonder of nature, a triumph of colors that is renewed every year, between June and July, enchanting everyone.
Our journey then continues towards Arquata del Tronto. This country too has suffered enormous devastation. He resisted, but not without wounds, the Medieval fortress, which today is being put in safety. Responsible for control of the 13 villages overlooking the national parks of the Monti Sibillini and Monti della Laga, only after the conclusion of the safety phase will the actual restoration be carried out. We hope it will return to its former glory as soon as possible.
Our itinerario ends here, after kilometers traveled with a lump in the throat due to the damage that this land and its people have suffered and with the warmth in the heart that the beauty of this region and its inhabitants have left us. We will meet again soon, I promise.