Anello Acquedotto Romano

Apr 18, 2023 | Things to do in Umbria | 0 comments

Anello Acquedotto Romano: loop walk of 10 km between Spello and Collepino

This walk on the southern flank of Monte Subasio offers just about everything that can make a walk attractive: two medieval villages, a trip through olive groves with beautiful views, rich flora, picnic tables and plenty of benches to rest and immerse yourself in nature.

Halfway there is a short, tough climb, but that suffering is soon over when the village of Collepino appears. It is a route that unites culture and landscape, and lets you fully experience Umbria’s scents, colours and silence.

Walking route Acquedotto Romano in Spello

A bit of history

The walk is named after the Roman aqueduct, built in the time of Augustus. It collected water from the Fonte Canale spring, just below the castle of Collepino, and supplied Spello and the surrounding area, Collepino and the Chiona valley with drinking water. After the Middle Ages, it was put back into use thanks to the economic and demographic development of Spello, but it was shut down in the 1800s.

Thanks to a project by architect Stefano Antinucci in 2009, the entire aqueduct has been restored and saved from neglect and decay. Since then it has been used as a hiking and mountain biking trail. In December 2022, the Anello Acquedotto Romano hiking trail was inaugurated, allowing you to walk back to Spello from Collepino via a beautifully laid out and well-signposted path.

Acquedotto Romano near Spello

The walk Anello Acquedotto Romano

The starting point of the walk is at the source Fonte della Bulgarella (313 m) and is indicated by route sign 352.

Fonte Bulgarella, wandelingen rondom Spello

The aqueduct itself has remained intact for the first 4.5 km of this walk and is part of the terraced fields and olive groves. 24 numbered points of interest are marked along the path. One of them is Belvedere where there is a large sofa/lounger that looks over the valley full of olive trees. Once past the Belvedere, a number of bends follow, including the Curva del Rosmarino.

Belvedere along the route Acquedotto Romano

In addition, there are a number of inscriptions on the stone wall with engraved famous phrases such as this one by Marcel Proust:
Lasciamo le belle donne agli uomini sen fantasia (Let’s leave the beautiful women to men without fantasy)

or this one, from Buddha:
Se tendi la corda oltre misura, si spezza. Se la lascia troppo lenta, non suona.’ (If you stretch the string too far, it will snap. If you let it go too much, it won’t play)

Buddha: ‘Se tendi la corda oltre misura, si spezza. Se la lascia troppo lenta, non suona.’

After the first 4.5 km (along the aqueduct) you reach the Fonte Molinaccio (456 m) and a little later a picnic spot.

Picknick along the route Spello-Collepino

Collepino

Then follows a 1 km climb that takes you to Castello di Collepino. This hidden gem is a hamlet of Spello. It lies at an altitude of 600 m and has only 36 inhabitants. One of those residents is Flavio, the owner of bar La Locanda on the Piazzetta. On a sunny day, you can enjoy a drink and a snack here on the terrace: bruschette, piadine or a tagliere di salumi e formaggi.

Locanda in Collepino

Tagliere, Locanda Collepino

After a stroll through the narrow streets of Collepino it is time to start the way back to Spello. The first part (500m) goes through the Bosco dei Massi Erratici, then follows 1 km on the Strane Pietre to end with 3.3 km on the Antiche Vie. This last bit is part of the via Francesco, a special pilgrimage route dedicated to Francis, which takes you past several places where the saint left his mark, with Assisi as its radiant centre.

Collepino in Umbria

Spello

While descending you will see the medieval Spello appear. If you still have time and inclination, you should definitely visit this town. It is one of the best-preserved medieval towns in Umbria.

Walking near Spello

Practical information

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