The villages of Fermo: Cycling between nature and history

 In Itineraries, Short itineraries

The villages around Fermo in a hilly itinerary, with two 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…


Summary table
Length 62,1 km
Estimated elevation gain    what’s that? 940 m
Min elevation 2 m
Max elevation 401 m
Max slope 9%
Distance table  table
GPX track      tutorial download
Main climbs  
Moresco from Marina di Altidona  altimetry
Monte Giberto from SP61 bivio Montottone  altimetry

profilo altimetrico borghi fermani

We start from the southern side of Porto San Giorgio, at the exit of the A14 highway, nearby a bar where a lot of cyclists usually meet during weekend. You can easily park your car here or nearby the cemetery or behind the church of S. Maria a Mare.

After a warm up segment along the SS16, here not too dangerous because of its big width, 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

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. Coming to Moresco is impossible not to be fascinated by this wonderful little village and its heptagonal tower. We overcome it 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). 

moresco, one of the villages of Fermo

The village of Moresco and its heptagonal tower

sibillini borghi fermani moresco e petritoli

The view of Sibillini Ridge descending from Moresco to Petritoli

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.

villages of fermo petritoli e i sibillini

The village of Peritoli coming from Moresco, with the scenery of Sibillini

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… 

villages of fermo montottone

The village of Montottone, the San Vicino Mountain in the background

The descent to the Ete Vivo river is easy at the beginning, but it becomes challenging at the ending hairpin bends, where the second effort of the day starts. The climb to Monte Giberto. This is harder than the first one, 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 opens. I usually go around this road during Winter and enjoy the view of the snowy mountains.  

altimetria salita monte giberto da ete vivo

At the village we start going down to the valley of Ete Vivo. Before climbing to Ponzano di Fermo you must 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.

villages of fermo ponzano chiesa di san marco

The church of San Marco of Ponzano di Fermo

After Ponzano we enjoy the descent to the Valley of Ete river, then go through the SP87 until the start point, being careful of the traffic, because this isn’t a wide road.

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