The valley of Tenna and the ascent of San Procolo
Hilly and panoramic itinerary, with the typical “up and down” of the ridges of Tenna Valley. Presence of easy and enjoyable climbs, with some hard little ramps. Total kilometers will be more than 90. The climbing of San Procolo sticks out. It is less well known than others, but will be well remembered…
|Estimated elevation gain what’s that?||1430 m|
|Min elevation||2 m|
|Max elevation||401 m|
|GPX track tutorial||download
|San Procolo from Ete Vivo||altimetry|
We start on the southern seafront of Porto San Giorgio, at the port, where parking is easy. The first flat kilometers wind along the seafronts of Porto San Giorgio and Lido di Fermo, then the industrial area and the cultivated fields of Porto Sant’Elpidio. You will be able to warm up going to the village of Sant’Elpidio a Mare, famous for the Contesa del Secchio and the Città Medioevale (Medieval Times), that are held every year in Summer. Climbing is easy, but the feeling to go up enlarging the field of view on the sea and the Tenna’s valley is very beautiful.
From Sant’Elpidio a Mare starts a mixed segment, with short descents and climbs, that leads to Monte Urano first, then at Torre San Patrizio. You should be very careful crossing the SP219 “Mezzina”, where cars run very fast. Approaching Torre San Patrizio the view opens on the valley of Ete Morto (this is a river that doesn’t flow into the sea, as Ete Vivo further south, but into the Chienti river). You can try to recognize the villages on the hills: Montegranaro, Monte San Giusto, Torre San Patrizio…
We turn left, keeping in view of Tenna’s valley, and approach Rapagnano, where we find the first effort of the day, a short climb, 800 m with 8% slope, that leads to the village. Then a mixed segment almost up to Montegiorgio. The view on the small village of Magliano di Tenna, on the left side is very beautiful; the Cisterna fountain offers an opportunity to stop and look at the scenery.
In Montegiorgio we take a little climb with 11% slope. Then, a classic “up and down” segment leads to the fork for Monteverde (Be careful!). The descent is very funny, shady, sometimes technical; you better evaluate the conditions of the road: usually it’s a low-traffic street, so it could be dirty and slippy, mostly after a rainy day. Be very careful crossing the SP239. We continue along this road, following the Tenna river up to the place called Cerquabella, where we can see the rest of the mythical ancient oak tree that gives the name to the location. At the traffic circle we turn on the right and leave the valley floor.
The climb to Belmonte Piceno, very easy, with a stable 6% slope, takes us to the ridge declining to Grottazzolina. A sharp turn on the right, a short descent and we reach the bridge on Ete Vivo river. At the fork for Montottone turn on the left (be careful!), then on the right for San Procolo. This little road, that leads to the hardest climb of the day, is noteworthy; it flanks a little stream on the left side, in the middle of a wood in witch mystery floats all around; if you believe in gnomes or elves you’ll expect to meet them; but you meet the loggers… or the boars!
The climb starts, immediately 9% slope, then easier, but it becomes 10% soon, then 11%. The narrow hairping bends come, the slope is 14% and the road looks at your face… the slope becomes a bit easier, but then get back to be 14%. Coming to the little village of San Procolo and its church, you can breathe again and enjoy a short descent; then, the final ramp: about 700 meters with a stable double-digit slope, mostly 13% and 14%. The climb is hard and completely exposed; in Summer, during the hottest time of the day, the difficulty can grow a lot because of the sun above us. Suddenly suffering ends and the sense of satisfaction we feel “gliding” to Petritoli repays our efforts.
The path leading to Monterubbiano is almost a continuous descent. The alternative road to Moresco shows a couple of 12% slope ramps, but suffering will be repaid by the view of the valley of Aso on the right and the village of Moresco, where the road will begin to descend. The medieval historic centre is perfectly preserved and is characterized by its famous heptagonal tower. A stop and a little ride inside the village will be surely enjoyable.
From here a beautiful relaxing descent starts to Lapedona. A short climb to the village, then a descent again going down to the sea. The view of the sea, opening in front of us, with its beauty, its unpredictable colors, make us think about a glide rather than a cycling descent. The final bends suddenly bring us back to concentration and to reality.
We turn into SS16 very carefully. From here to the end the path will be always flat. Once arrived in Porto San Giorgio, we turn into the seafront, to go to the starting point. There’s no cycle lane, so you better reduce the speed. This final segment could be a good cooling down. Then we will be able to finish the day on the cozy beach of the Adriatic sea.