From Spoleto to Patrico, along the ‘Strada dei Patricani’ route
This path will remain imprinted in your memory due to its beauty and distinctive atmosphere, in terms of landscape, history and art but also for its enormous anthropic value. You’ll be hiking in valleys, over passes and through villages on a journey through time as well as space.
We will leave Spoleto and go straight up to Valcieca, to reach forcella di Castelmonte and the town of Patrico. This little village, located 1000 metres above sea level, was originally a passageway to the Castle of Ancaiano and the Valnerina as well as for the seasonal migration of livestock. Its origins date back to the 15th century, developing around the pre-existing church of San Crisanto thanks to a community of mountain farmers and shepherds. The village, abandoned in the 1960s, seems somehow to have been rekindled in recent decades. Formed entirely of stone houses, it is also protected by modest walls. In the upper part you can enjoy landscape views of timeless beauty stretching out as far as the Martani mountains and the plains of Spoleto.
These buildings and these areas recall stories and trades that have now disappeared, such as that of the coal merchant or the very unusual snow maker. The latter’s job was to make holes in the ground where the snow was stored in winter. It was pressed and separated into disks by layers of leaves. The ‘ice’ was then cut into blocks and sold in the hot months in Spoleto. Transport was via mules along this path, which has always been called ‘La strada dei Patricani’, the main communication route at the time.
Following this ancient road we will go back down the valley to the church of San Pietro, and then slightly up to return to the starting point.