The land of Verdicchio. The climb of Monte San Vicino.
A real challenging tour, with a respectable elevation gain. We’ll face the mitycal climb of Monte San Vicino from Matelica, coming back through San Severino Marche and the hills of Serrapetrona and Torre Beregna. Sometimes we will find ramps with 15% slope and a very few breathing segments, but the beauty of the area will make us forget the exertion…
|Estimated elevation gain what’s that?||2200 m|
|Min elevation||232 m|
|Max elevation||1213 m|
|GPX track tutorial||download
|Monte San Vicino from Matelica||altimetry|
|Serrapetrona from San Severino Marche||altimetry|
|Torre Beregna from Serrapetrona||altimetry|
We start from a parking area close to Castelraimondo, at the traffic circle of Torre del Parco, a “strategic” crossroad, necessary even to go to Pioraco, as we will do on another occasion. We have a very little time to warm up and we come to the first climb of the day, the road to Gagliole. The ascent to Collaiello is respectable, with 10% slope ramps, but it will be repaid by the view of the wonderful little village of Gagliole.
We go on with a steep descent and a steep short climb to Acquosi. The ramp leading to this very small village has 15% gradient, as indicated by an intimidating signal. We cross the village and its fountain, we reach the pass, where the view opens to the whole Esino valley, and we start to descent. The road is straight and the gradient is moderate. Is not easy to stay focused with a view like this. Coming to Matelica, just before the cemetery, on the right side, there is a water fountain; that’s the last chance to fill up before facing the climb of San Vicino, so you better stop if you didn’t in Acquosi.
From SP 256 we turn on the right and approach the main effort of the day: the climb of Monte San Vicino. First 3,5 km are easy, with just a little 10% ramp. That let us enjoy the typical murals of Braccano, the last village we’ll meet before the pass. Then things get serious and the slope will stay respectable almost to the top. The road, with its harping bends, winds steeply on the side of the mountain. There aren’t many trees, so we can enjoy a great view. On the horizon is possible to see Cucco and Catria mountains. The road surface is very good and in the silence it’s not unusual to see horses and cows quietly grazing in the green fields.
We go up and up, the gradient is 13% and some words appear on the road: “dai che spiana” (“come on, it becomes flat!”). Something tells me I shouldn’t trust it. In fact the worst is yet to come. A one kilometer segment with a stable double-digit gradient, with 15% maximum. We reach the fork for Elcito and we resist the temptation to turn on the right and visit that wonderful little village, maybe some other time, today there is San Vicino and the top is not far. We reach it almost without realizing it. The road becomes gradually flat and we cycle on a beautiful path in the middle of the green fields, before to start going down to Pian dell’Elmo. The descent, that continues until Frontale, absolutely won’t be relaxing, because the road is really uneven.
After the cemetery of Frontale an “up and down” segment starts, with the road winding amongst green hills and typical little villages. Isola, Castel San Pietro, Corsciano, Marciano, Cesolo are the names of the places we meet approaching San Severino Marche. Here we have to be careful of the traffic. We refill our water bottle at the fountain close to the station and restart to Serrapetrona.
We reach this typical village cycling on a panoramic and enjoyable road, winding amongst hills covered with woods. Suddenly Serrapetrona appears above us and we have to face a couple of 14% ramps to arrive there. The fountain on the left side is too tempting to resist and you must stop to drink and take a picture. The top of the climb is not here and the hard ramps are not over yet.
After this climb and a little descent we go up to Castel San Venanzio, where we have the feeling to be out of time. Is impossibile not to stop for a while to enjoy the silence of this peculiar part of the world!
It’s still not time to relax. After a short descent, we find the last noteworthy effort of the day:the climb of Torre Beregna. About 5 km of a beautiful and panoramic road. In Autumn colors are wonderful, with all the shades of red and yellow. At the top there are the ancient ruins of the defensive tower and the astronomic observatory of Villa d’Aria. The view is great once again. Camerino is over there, waiting for us.
We quietly descend. We overcome the easy summit of Torrone, where we find a typical restored washtub on the left side, and Camerino. Then another easy descent, with wide bends, to Castelraimondo. The last kilometers are flat and good to cool down. We reach the start point without further efforts, where we will able to “recover” with a good typical “panino”.
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