The valley of Ete Vivo: the sea and the countryside
The valley of Ete Vivo in an easy cycling route. From the sea of Porto Sant’Elpidio to the hills of Servigliano and then to the sea again. In the middle a lot of hills, fields, typical villages, the ever-present Sibillini scenery, the urban segment of Fermo. Never hard climbs that let you enjoy the view cycling.
|Aumento di quota/elevation gain||1200 m|
|Quota minima/min elevation||2 m|
|Quota massima/max elevation||317 m|
|Pendenza massima/max slope||10%|
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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. Traffic ends immediately, because we turn right and take a beautiful country road that runs alongside the Ete Vivo river. The first kilometers are practically flat and we have the opportunity to warm up our legs well before the climb.
We start to climb, when we leave Ete Vivo on our right, in Contrada Camera. The slope is always sweet and we don’t have much difficulty while the view widens on the valley on our right. Along this road on Sunday mornings it’s not uncommon to meet the actors of a traditional sport: the rutola, or ruzzola. Traffic is almost absent. A couple of farms, some barking dogs, a green pond on the right. Some bends and then the wonderful view of the plowed fields and the olive trees. At the pass of San Ansovino the landscape of the endless hills with Sibillini that timidly appear in the background.
We descend towards Ete Vivo, which we will cross many times today. The passage into Contrada Sacri Cuori, with its beautiful Church, is pleasant. A stretch of about 3 kilometers on the valley bottom, which requires the utmost attention to cars, takes us to the bridge of Ete Caldarette, where the second ascent of the day begins.
The ascent to Ponzano is a relaxing and wonderful ride. In the first section, the trees are often thick enough to completely cover the roadway. In Autumn, with the first slanting sun rays, spectacular light effects are created. Then you open the view on the valley to the left with the small village of Torchiaro, which sometimes seems to emerge from the morning fog. Even here the slopes are gentle, with a pair of 8% ramps. Suddenly appears Ponzano, with Mount Vettore in the background, who seems to observe the small village in a protective way.
We enter the village. The fountain is on the right. A short descent takes us to the beautiful Romanesque church of San Marco, where the evocative croak of ravens reigns around the bell tower.
We start to climb again. We do not struggle a lot, except for a small 10% ramp that makes itself felt. Now the trees are few and on the left we see the skyline of Moregnano. A couple of kilometers and we arrive at the village of Monte Giberto, where all the cyclists stop to fill the water bottle at the comfortable fountain on the left. At the end of the village the Sibillini Mountains appear in all their splendor and their grandeur. It’s hard not to stop and take a picture. The descent to Ete Vivo is beautiful, fast and relaxing. It is only necessary to pay attention at the last bend on the left, where the asphalt is a bit uneven.
We cross the bridge and turn left. We find a stretch of road that runs along the Ete Vivo river for almost 8 kilometers. This segment is flat, with several 7-8% ramps. The valley is small and beautiful. The morning light can not reach the bottom of the valley, while the slopes of the hills are already illuminated. The road sometimes seems a tunnel with the trees that cover it entirely. Around you there are no villages, but only hills and countryside with some houses.
An easy climb of 3 kilometers and we reach Colle Clementino, a hamlet of Servigliano. From here we travel along the ridge to Belmonte Piceno. This stretch could be much nicer if the road surface was good. However we arrive at the beautiful village, where we find a couple of fountains and a spectacular view.
A characteristic up and down road on the ridge begins. We reach Grottazzolina, overlooking the valley of Tenna on our left. We have also dealt with this stretch in The valley of Tenna and San Procolo Climb. Even here we cross the old town, then descend to Capparuccia, where the last effort of the day begins. We climb to Montone, a hamlet of Fermo. The slopes are gentle and we can enjoy the spectacle of the hills around us. At San Girolamo, Fermo appears on the horizon. After the GPM (highest point) the road becomes practically flat. We travel on the ridge and approach the hill of the provincial capital.
We enter the urban stretch. Paying attention we ride around the historical center and pass by the Fonti di San Francesco da Paola, where we can fill the bottle with fresh water. An up-and-down segment leads us to the ridge of Contrada Salette, where the view opens on the beautiful hills and the blue sea.
Through a little climb 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.
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.