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Spoleto-Norcia: from an abandoned railway to a breath-taking path
With the new maintenance works it will be possible to go through most of the ex-railway on foot, by bike or by horse in a breath-taking path.
The ex-railroad from Spoleto to Norcia is turning into an easy historic, artistic and naturalistic path. At the moment not all the trail can be passed through but there are breath-taking cycling and pesdestrian stretches that let those who go through it plunge into the green.
The project of a late ‘800 railway was postponed for its cost in favour of a (previously steam-fuelled, then petrol-fuelled) bus system in the early 20th century. The railway was opened in 1926 and the electricity driven trains have been going through the track until 1968.
Characteristics of the railroad
The whole railroad measures 50 km, with a maximum slope of 4.5 percent; unexaggerated slopes allow even children and non-trained people to have a bike ride here. The highest altitude that can be reached is 625 m. The path crosses the Parco Nazionale dei Monti Sibillini (National Park of Sibillini mountains), the Valley of River Nera, the tributary Corno and the Valley of River Sordo, the ancient mills, the narrow clefts as well as the bridge on the Cortaccione cascade, which is 60 m high.
With the safety measures adopted in case of landslide, those concerning the conservation of green spaces and when finally the other building sites will be finished, it will be possible to pass thorugh 37 consecutive kilometres out of the 50 of the whole railroad (plus 7 more between Serravalle and Norcia). The objective is having a unique trail that connects Assisi and Norcia passing through Spoleto. In this area sports events and bike rides are organised, like time trial and enduro bike races as well as horse rides and walks. In September 2015 there was held a three day bike race during which 1,000 cyclists from all over Italy went through the path of the ex-railroad by bike.
To preserve the story of the railway the train station of Spoleto has become a museum and a centre where to discover more about the ex-railway. The station of Sant’Anatolia di Narco has turned into a centre for sports activities such as fishing, thanks to its proximity to the River Nera, while the station of Serravalle is now a service desk for sports like rafting and trekking with mules.
For those who want to go through this path by bike it is possible to see the itinerary and download the GPS trail of the old railroad Spoleto-Norcia.
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