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A matter of the heart – follow in the footsteps of St Francis in Central Italy

Alvento – Italian Cycling Magazine

A matter of the heart – follow in the footsteps of St Francis in Central Italy

Bike Touring Collection by Alvento – Italian Cycling Magazine



14:48 h

106 mi

12,675 ft

Cycling is a matter of the heart, and no, I’m not just being sentimental. Cycling gets that muscle in the middle of your chest pumping. It beats to keep us alive and it beats for each pedal stroke. If your legs are spinning, it’s thanks to that little motor, the size of a fist, that pumps blood through your arteries and veins.

Let's be clear: you don't necessarily have to have an athlete's fitness with a 40 BPM resting heart rate, like great sporting champions had and have. It’s enough to have a heart that works well and to take care of it, training it to take on fatigue and emotions. But here, I see how I might appear sentimental again. After all, it’s difficult to remain indifferent to the wonders that we are about to encounter.

Italy, too, has a beating heart of beauty that you’ll explore in this Collection. You’ll pedal through Umbria, the most inland part of the peninsula. Its valleys and mountains, fortresses and bell towers, villages and monasteries are surrounded by the only sea you’ll see in these parts – the iridescent green ocean of olive groves, vineyards and swathes of woodland.

For some Umbrians, Foligno is the centre of everything: 'Lu centru de lu munnu',as they say proudly – and with a tinge of irony – in these parts. Until fairly recently, a historic café in Foligno’s centre, the Sassovivo, claimed that the Umbilicus Urbis Romae (the ancient symbolic centre of a city that measured the distance to Rome) was exactly in the centre of its billiard table. Today, unfortunately, the café has closed, replaced by a cosmetics shop – perhaps a sign of the times.

(Adapted for komoot from 'Alvento Destinations', a book of 13 travel ideas that every cyclist should do at least once: alvento.cc/prodotto/alvento-destinations-italy-unknown/)

On The Map


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Una questione di cuore – Nel centro dell'Italia sulle tracce di San Francesco

106 mi

12,575 ft

12,575 ft

Last updated: November 25, 2022

Tours & Highlights

  • Map data © OpenStreetMap contributors

    Day #1: A matter of the Heart – follow in the footsteps of St Francis in Central Italy

    31.7 mi
    6.8 mph
    4,600 ft
    2,600 ft
    Expert bike ride. Very good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    The beautiful Piazza della Repubblica in Foligno is an ideal place to start a ride. Within a dozen kilometres, you reach the enchanting village of Spello. At the end of the climb, you reach the tiny but pretty village of Collepino. Below the Sasso di Pale, you begin to skirt the Menotre stream, leaving

    by Alvento – Italian Cycling Magazine

  • Difficult
    44.2 mi
    6.9 mph
    5,025 ft
    4,775 ft
    Expert bike ride. Very good fitness required. Some portions of the Tour may require you to push your bike.

    A day of high plateaus, rivers and extraordinary forests. Between Collecroce and Colfiorito, you meet a part of Umbria that’s equally as beautiful as its most famous areas. The region has wild nature and many hamlets where you can stop to take it all in. Castles, city walls and ancient villages appear

    by Alvento – Italian Cycling Magazine

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  • Difficult
    30.3 mi
    8.0 mph
    3,075 ft
    5,350 ft
    Expert bike ride. Very good fitness required. Some portions of the Tour may require you to push your bike.

    The Clitunno springs are astonishingly beautiful: take your time to visit them, as well as the nearby Corinthian Temple.


    Just a few kilometres later, you arrive at the slopes of the Brunette and Serano mountains where you’ll spot Trevi from afar. The beautiful town, famous for olive oil among other things

    by Alvento – Italian Cycling Magazine


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Collection Stats

  • Tours
  • Distance
    106 mi
  • Duration
    14:48 h
  • Elevation
    12,675 ft

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