The villages of Fermo: cycling between nature and history

The villages around Fermo in a hilly itinerary, with three easy climbs, some ramps a bit hard in the second one, a lot of panoramic views. During the tour you will accompanied by the view of the blue sea, the fields, the olive trees, the medieval villages on the top of the hills, the green valleys and the omnipresent scenery of Sibillini…

Roads surface asphalt
Lunghezza/length 90,4 km
Aumento di quota/elevation gain 1250 m
Quota minima/min elevation 2 m
Quota massima/max elevation 401 m
Pendenza massima/max slope 9%

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We start from the  B&B Pedalare con lentezza, in Porto Sant’Elpidio. The first kilometers are along the bike path of Lido di Fermo. In Porto San Giorgio we go through the promenade until the highway exit, in front of the Church of Santa Maria a Mare. Then along the SS16, which in this area is wide enough not to be dangerous.

We reach Marina di Altidona, where the first effort of the day starts: the ascent to the villages of Altidona and Moresco. Local bikers call this road “lu Sciuccapanza” (literally belly dryer, meaning fat burner). That name makes you overvalue a climb where rarely you’ll find a gradient bigger than 6%. Probably behind it there is the fact that it is a good segment for training and to challenge each other. As other climbs in this area, there are some initial hairpin bends with a constant 6% gradient, that lead up to about 100 m of elevation, with the view of the sea opening more and more. It’s a good feeling if you don’t push it and cycle quietly. Don’t worry about a few meters at 8%.

altimetria salita moresco da marina altidona
Climbing towards Altidona

After the hairpin bends the slope becomes easy. We are on the ridge and we can enjoy a spectacular view on both the right and left side. Many villages emerge at the top of the hills: Lapedona northerly, Campofilone and Montefiore southerly, beyond the valley of Aso river. Altidona is a beautiful village and its historic center is a worth a detour. I have not included in this track the passages in the alleys, because I want to leave the pleasure of individual discovery.



A view of the village of Altidona

Coming to Moresco is impossible not to be fascinated by this wonderful little village and its heptagonal tower. Shortly before, on the left, the small church of the Madonna della Salute deserves a little stop. We reach the highest point and take a secondary road, right under the walls of Monterubbiano, where descending we can enjoy the spectacular view of the Aso valley and the scenery of the Monti Azzurri (Blue Mountains, the Sibillini Ridge). 


The little church of Madonna della salute
The village of Moresco
The beautiful little square of Moresco
The uneven road of Contrada Pozzetto, below Monterubbiano

We continue along the ridge to the beautiful village of Petritoli, now become an usual location for weddings. Many Dutch, English and American couples got married inside its well preserved medieval walls, in recent years. So I wanted include a segment inside the historic center. I’m sure that the beauty of the village will make you forget the inconvenience of a few hundred meters of cobblestones.

petritoli borghi fermani
The spectacular view reaching Petritoli
The arches at the entrance to the village of Petritoli
petritoli carrozza
A carriage with a married couple in Petritoli

We go on and we cross another little village, Monte Vidon Combatte, to reach, after a few kilometers of an “up and down” segment, the village of Montottone, that appears with a spectacular view. It might be worth stopping to visit the center, but we will be able to come back later, maybe searching for a good restaurant… 

The characteristic village of Monte Vidon Combatte
The village of Montottone
The church of San Pietro Apostolo in Montottone

The descent to the Ete Vivo river is easy at the beginning, but it becomes challenging at the ending hairpin bends. Then the second effort of the day starts. The climb to Monte Giberto. This is harder than the first one (Moresco), with several straight segment with an 8% gradient. The ending part is very beautiful, because after a left hairpin bend, a great view on the Sibillini Ridge opens. I usually go around this road during Winter and enjoy the view of the snowy mountains.  

altimetria salita monte giberto da ete vivo
Sibillini from Monte Giberto
Monte Giberto

At the village we start going down to the valley of Ete Vivo. Before climbing to Ponzano di Fermo you should stop to pay a visit to the wonderful romanic church of San Marco, with its frescoes, considered among the oldest in the whole region. Sometimes I found it open and I visited it, thanks to the nice people who were there to prepare an event.

The church of San Marco of Ponzano di Fermo
Ponzano di Fermo

The descent towards Fermo is relaxing and fun, with many bends and a slight slope. We reach Ponte Ete, where the last effort of the day begins, the ascent towards the capital of the Fermo villages.

The climb is easy. The slope do not exceed 8%. We arrive safely at the San Giuliano roundabout, where we have to pay attention to city traffic. It is possible to enter the multitude of alleys to discover the ancient town, as we did in Town of Fermo, from Lido to the alleys of the historic center. However, it should remember that the narrow streets of the historic center almost always have important slopes. Following the main track, we walk along the ring road, passing close to the beautiful Fonti di San Francesco da Paola, where we can fill the bottle with very fresh water.

Fonte San Francesco da Paola

Through a up-and-down stretch, typical of the hills of Marche Region, we reach Capodarco, famous for its Gran Premio, an international cycling race that takes place every year in August. The race is dedicated to Fabio Casartelli, an unfortunate cyclist who won here in 1991. Leaving the town, on the left, you can see the graffiti that remember him.

The graffiti in memory of Fabio Casartelli at Capodarco

By now our bike adventure is coming to an end. We just have to descend quickly in Porto San Giorgio and return to the starting point via the cycle path next to the sea.

Descending from Capodarco towards Porto San Giorgio

B&B Pedalare con lentezza

Via Legnano, 96  63821 Porto Sant’Elpidio (FM)

Geographical coordinates:  43.24569, 13.76299

Contacts: Tel Fabio 3356561216 


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