6° leg: Pietralunga – Gubbio (North itineary)
Distance: 26.2 km
Ascent from Departure: + 651 m
Descent from Departure: – 712 m
Terrain: gravel & asphalt road
Length: 7 hours
Potable Water: yes (Pietralunga, Loreto, Raggio, Gubbio)
Rest Stops: yes
Signage: yes (vertical and horizontal yellow & blue)
From the piazza with the tower, turn right onto Via Roma. At the end of the descent (km 1), continue straight along a gravel road toward Saliceto Lame and Morena. Take the easy ford across the stream and begin to climb (km 1.8); the initial 500 meters are steep, but then the climb becomes more gradual. At the crossroads (km 3) continue left, paying close attention to the painted signage on a group of stones. Continue for a level stretch, then descend along the asphalt. In less than 1 km you will reach the Abbazia di San Benedetto Vecchio (km 3.8). Continue on an easy stretch through woods and open pasture, with wide views over the surrounding hills. After Cerchiaro, 508 MAMSL (km 5.4), begin climbing along a wide tractor track. Pass Casale Sesse, 711 MAMSL (km 8.2). The route alternates between rolling ascents and descents. Pass a small artificial lake (km 8.6) and continue straight, entering a conifer wood.
At the group of farmhouses (km 10.5) on the left, begin to descend on a stretch of rough road for less than 200 meters. After passing through the gate (remembering to close it behind you if you find it open), you will pass a pretty farmhouse in local stone and a farm on the right (km 12.23). Begin to climb, pacing yourself, until reaching Madonna di Montecchi (km 15). Continue along an asphalt road where you will be treated to a gorgeous view over the Gubbio plain, with horizontal rows of fields intersecting with vertical lines of poplars lining the irrigation canals. At Loreto (km 16.4), the landscape changes: in the place of silent woods there are fields and towns. You will reach a wooded overlook next to the Chiesa di San Giovanni Battista (usually closed, though the kind custodian lives across the street…). Continue, descending, until Abbadia di Piazza, where you will take a secondary road lined by monumental oaks. After a play area (km 18.4), cross the strada provinciale (km 19.3) (on the right there is a cafè), being careful of passing vehicles (we do not recommend continuing along the strada provinciale, as it is heavily trafficked and has no sidewalk). At Raggio, you will find a water fountain near a large stone building. A long level stretch begins here which is not very interesting; be careful of the sun, especially in summer. On the top of Monte Ingino in the distance, you will see the Santuario di Sant’Ubaldo. You will pass the new Fonte del Pelligrino (Pilgrim’s Fountain) along the way, donated by the local Rione del Piano and Diocese of Gubbio. Pass Madonna di Mezzo Piano (km 24) and, soon after, the narrow highway overpass (pay close attention to passing vehicles). The route continues through the outskirts of Gubbio. At the gym on the left, turn right following the painted signage. From Via dell’Alboreto continue straight through the traffic circle on Via Rosmini. Pass the Roman amphitheater following Via Alcuino da York. You will continue along Viale del Teatro Romano until reaching the Medieval city gate, which you will pass through to Chiesa di San Francesco (km 26.2). A sweet statue of Francis and the wolf greets you, memorializing the saint’s taming of the wild animal.