7° leg: Spoleto – Poreta
Facing the facade of Spoleto’s Duomo, take the stairs down to the left, continuing along the Via delle Mura Ciclopiche. At the bottom of the stairs, turn right and then right again on Via Ponzianina. Cross the bridge over the Marroggia River and pick up Via delle Lettere; to the right you can see the church and convent of San Ponziano in the distance. Following the signage, turn right onto Via della Basilica di San Salvatore. Climb gradually to the cemetary entrance, where we suggest you stop and visit the Longobard church of San Salvatore (km 1) along the central cemetary path. Leave the church, passing through the gate to the side of the church and continuing your climb to the left, following the signage. After a short stretch along an unpaved road, you will come out in the lot in front of the cemetary. Continue descending to the left along the busy road, being careful of passing vehicles. After the overpass, turn right at the traffic circle onto Via Flaminia. At the signage for “Via di Francesco”—partially hidden by a large pine tree—turn right. The route continues along oak-lined secondary roads, leaving the city traffic behind and leading into the countryside. The scenery here is dramatically different from the wooded mountains of the Valnerina; the level route runs across the hillsides covered in vast olive groves from where, in the distance, you can see Trevi and Assisi and, on the opposite side of the valley, the Monti Martani and town of Montefalco. Continue on Via dei Pini and, after passing a country church, enter Eggi (km 5.2), where there is the last supermarket along the route to stock up on food. Leave the town along the road which begins asphalted but becomes unpaved. Follow the ample signage (yellow & blue and red & white), turning right and beginning to climb among the olive trees along the road, at times rocky. At Costa Carvello (km 7), descend to the right. Pass through a gate (if you find it closed, be sure to close it again behind you) and continue along the shady route. On the asphalt road, continue towards Bazzano Inferiore (km 8). Cross the town, passing the church on the right, and continue climbing. After the water fountain, which was also used for washing clothes in times past, continue along the asphalt road. At the signage for “Bazzano Inferiore”, turn left on the old dirt road that once led to Bazzano Superiore. The climb is steep but short; otherwise you can continue along the asphalt road. Before reaching the village of Santa Maria, the trail narrows and you must use caution. Pass the church and panoramic overlook of Santa Maria on the left, following the ring road around the village and continuing along the asphalt until reaching Bazzano Superiore (km 10). In front of the church, there is a water fountain and a few inviting benches; stop and rest. Continue along behind the church and turn left downhill; after a few meters, turn left again following the signage for “Santa Maria Reggiano” (km 12). At the crossroads, where there is what must have been a inn in years past, cross the street and continue straight along a level stretch. The route passes through fields and meadows; follow the signage first right and then immediately left, staying on the level road which skirts a large grove of Aleppo pines instead of taking the climb to the right. The route here is a pleasant walk along an easy trail; in the distance you will begin to see the belltower of the Poreta church. Once on the asphalt road, pay close attention: the signage directs you to climb to the right for the castle of Poreta (km 15.5), which is worth a visit for the marvelous view. Otherwise, ignore the signage and descend to the left towards the belltower; you will arrive in the lower portion of Poreta (km 14.5) shortly.