Matelica and the timeless hills

 In Short itineraries

Matelica as a starting point for an itinerary on silent and sometimes forgotten roads, which will lead us to ride through beautiful hills and villages where time seems to have stopped. The climbs never too demanding, the breathtaking views, the crossing of tourist places like Pioraco and uninhabited and suggestive villages like Palazzo.  



Summary table
Length 62,1  km
Estimated elevation gain    what’s that? 1450 m
Min elevation 286 m
Max elevation 740 m
Max slope 12%
Distance table  table
GPX Track        tutorial download
Main climbs
Acquosi Alto from Matelica  altimetry
Crispiero from Castelraimondo  altimetry
La Morca from Fiuminata  altimetry



We start from the beautiful town of Matelica, an excellent base for cycle tourism in the inland areas of the Marche region. We are in the presence of Monte San Vicino, very close to the Regional Park of the Gola della Rossa  and Sibillini Mountains are not far away. But today’s tour will not affect the mountains, which will always keep us company from above. Today we will face a calm path, without great climbs, but not for this without great emotions.

We immediately face the first ascent of the day. The ascent towards Acquosi. It gradually rises and the view widens on the Esino valley and on Matelica. After about four kilometers we turn left, leaving the main road to head towards Acquosi Alto. Some hairpin bends and the increasing slope, never exceed 12%, and in a kilometer we come to the highest point. The descent to return to the main road is steep and winding and requires our full attention.



Going up towards Acquosi we leave behind the valley of Esino and Matelica

We descend again towards the valley bottom of Potenza river, that we reach in Selvalagli. Here we take the SP361, the Septempedana Road, to get to Castelraimondo, where we face the climb to Crispiero. The ascent is immediately challenging, with several ramps with double-digit slope, and then become easier in the second half. The small village of Crispiero appears almost suddenly and seems to doze without being disturbed by our passage.


La vista salendo verso Crispiero da Castelraimondo

The view going up towards Crispiero from Castelraimondo


Arrivando al borgo di Crispiero

Reaching the little village of Crispiero

Now begins a stretch of about 6 kilometers of typical ups and downs through silent and sometimes scary green hills. Silence is a constant presence and the spinning of the chain and the tires on the asphalt (uneven sometimes) are the only sounds. At Sabbieta Alta we leave the SP22 to descend on the right towards the small village of Sabbieta di Sotto, which we cross with reverence while a dog barks amazed and disturbed by the presence of these strangers.


La Chiesa del SS Salvatore di Sabbieta di Sotto

The Church of SS Salvatore at Sabbieta di Sotto

The easy climb to Camerino allows us to observe the profile of this beautiful town, disfigured by the earthquakes of 2016. Today unfortunately it is still not possible to cross its beautiful old town, home of the beautiful Granfondo Terre dei Varano . We pass in the district Le Mosse and face the long and funny descent that will lead us to Torre del Parco, where we get back to the Septempedana road in the mountains direction.


La silenziosa strada tra Sabbieta e Camerino

The silent road between Sabbieta and Camerino


Avvicinandosi a Camerino

Approaching Camerino

We enter the narrow valley, which then becomes a real gorge between two mighty walls of rock, to get to the wonderful village of Pioraco, where a stop is a must, to go the bar, fill the water bottle and take a picture of the valley that here seems to take the Swiss appearance, so as to be known as the “Switzerland of Marche”


La valle del Potenza presso Pioraco

The valley of Potenza at Pioraco

We continue to Fiuminata, where, at a fountain on the left, the last effort of the day begins. The ascent to the Morca pass. Four kilometers with an average slope close to 7% lead us to the highest point of the route that will take us back to Matelica. The first kilometer is very easy, then we will have slopes almost always above 7%, with frequent double-digit ramps. As always in this itinerary we are struck by the silence and the feeling of being out of this world. In front of us only the road and the bush on the uninhabited hills. Without too much difficulty we reach the 740 meters of the pass and we start the descent towards Esanatoglia and Matelica.


Fiuminata verso Morca

At Fiuminata the road towards the La Morca pass begins


La bellissima e silenziosa ascesa verso La Morca

The beautiful and silent ascent to La Morca

The descent immediately appears dangerous due to the sometimes uneven road surface. Be careful and do not take excessive speed. After a couple of kilometers we arrive in sight of a small village on the left that invites us to stop and make a small detour to observe it closely. The castle dominates the village of Palazzo, today uninhabited, but perhaps also for this very suggestive and exciting for those who arrive by pedaling.


Palazzo esanatoglia

The suggestive village of Palazzo invites you to stop


Scorcio del borgo di Palazzo, frazione di Esanatoglia

A glimpse of the village of Palazzo, a hamlet of Esanatoglia

We continue the descent to the gates of Esanatoglia, where we take the SP71 to return easily and warming down to Matelica, with Mount San Vicino that observes us from above, waiting for us and challenging us for the next ride.


tornando a Matelica da Esanatoglia

The quiet road back to Matelica with Mount San Vicino in the background

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