5° leg: Arrone – Ceselli (South itinerary)

Stage description

Departure: Arrone
Arrival: Ceselli
Distance: 15 km
Ascent from Departure: + 267 m
Descent from Departure: – 238 m
Difficulty: easy
Terrain: gravel & asphalt road
Length: 4 hours
Potable Water: yes (Arrone – Ferentillo – Colleponte – Ceselli)
Rest Stops: yes
Signage: yes (yellow & blue Via di Francesco)

Leave from the Collegiata di Santa Maria Assunta along Via Roma, passing a pharmacy on the right. After less than 100 meters, pass the Cinema/Teatro Valnerina and take the stairs down to the right. Continue along a yellow building, keeping right and following the yellow and blue signage. Climb up along the narrow Nera River valley, skirting boulders along the rocky mountian slopes which sometimes dislodge and roll downhill. Continue on a level stretch and, at the fork, take the unpaved road to the left towards a farmhouse. You will see Ferentillo with its two castles, Precetto and Matterella, in the distance, and the Sant’Angelo and Gabbio mountains opposite. The view is breathtaking here, crowned by the rugged mountain peaks around a fertile valley of tilled fields. At Ferentillo (km 4.85), continue along a gradual climb towards the hamlet of Precetto (km 5.4). In the tiny piazza here you can stock up on food, then keep left and continue on Via della Circonvallazione. At the flower shop, turn right onto Largo Giovanbattista Cybo (Papa Innocenzo III). Keeping the church on the right, you will pass a shrine dedicated to Nostra Signora della Fonte. Continue along the route as the street noise falls away to be replaced by uninterrupted silence and the soft background noise of rushing water. Begin a gradual climb (km 6.9) and then proceed level between fields and mountain slopes. You can catch a glimpse of the Abbazia di San Pietro in Valle and its soaring belltower perched on the slopes on the opposite side of the river. After a rolling stretch of terrain, you will reach Colleponte (km 10), which, together which Macenano on the other side of the SS 209 Valnerina highway, once formed the Capo la Terra castle. Pass through the village, keeping the river to your left, cross the small bridge, and turn first right and then immediately left. The route continues along an easy road, with alternating unpaved and asphalted stretches. After the shrine (km 12.3), continue another kilometer; you will shortly see Ceselli in the distance, nestled on the hillside on the opposite bank of the river. At Osteria di Ceselli (km 14.3), turn left to cross the bridge over the Nera and then the SS 209 Valnerina highway, keeping watch for fast-moving traffic. Ceselli is on the hilltop; to reach it, turn left following the SS 209 and then climb to the right (km 15).