Colfiorito Travel Guide

  • Colfiorito - wildflower magic....
    Colfiorito - wildflower magic....
    by Trekki
  • ... and old Plestians and Roman origins
    ... and old Plestians and Roman origins
    by Trekki
  • Santa Maria di Plestia, east of Colfiorito
    Santa Maria di Plestia, east of...
    by Trekki

Colfiorito Things to Do

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    Eremo di Sant 3 more images

    by Trekki Updated Aug 12, 2013

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    From the church of Plestia I continued my journey through Val San Angelo, which is already in the Italian region of Marche. It is a very enchanting valley with narrow winding roads up and down the mountains or hills. And like very popular throughout the Apennine Mountains there is also a hermitage high up in the rocks. I only saw the sign “Eremo dei Santi, XII century” at the road and made a brief stop to look up to see this hermitage hidden in the trees. I should have gone up but would have been faced again with closed doors due to my bad timing. Researching more background bout this hermitage I found out that its name is Eremo di Sant'Angelo in Prefoglio and that it dates back to at least 1148 (says an inscription) but must be much older. Inside, 35 m down in a cave in the rock is a shrine devoted to Archangel Michael next to a spring. This spring is said to have healing properties, why it must have been devoted to the archangel. It is certainly worth a visit given the photos of the interior (scroll with arrow for more photos), but I have yet to find out the opening times. The exterior was modified in 19th century, which explains the view from below, which would not make one think of what is inside the hermitage.
    There is a Roman bridge and an old mill nearby, but since I only found out after my trip I haven't tried to find it. But there is the famous next time!

    Location of Eremo dei Santi on Google Maps.

    © Ingrid D., June 2011 (So please do not copy my text or photos without my permission.)

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    Santa Maria di Plestia, east of Colfiorito

    by Trekki Updated Aug 12, 2013

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    As already mentioned, the region was inhabited already in the Iron Age. Several archaeological findings give evidence and are shown in the little museum at the northern part of Colfiorito village (unfortunately it was closed when I passed it at midday). But on my way east I passed a church which caught my eye. It is located off any village and looked “old” with its rough pillars in front of the entrance. It was also closed when I passed by and in retrospective I deeply regretted my bad timing. Because later I found out that this church is indeed very old. Chiesa Santa Maria di Plestia was built on the remains of an old building from 1st century B.C., a cairn inside with inscriptions about an Augustus of Plestia giving evidence. Plestia was the name of the settlement of the times before the Romans, I read that Plestians were part of the Umbri tribe. Later, Romans conquered them and settled here. And I also read about another interesting piece of history which happened here: obviously the Romans had another defeat to bear by Hannibal and his troops here in the swamps of Colfiorito. They passed it on their way to ancient Rome after having beaten the Roman troops at Lago Trasimeno and fought them down also here. It seems that the Romans should have considered new strategies how to fight in swamps.....

    The church must be very interesting inside, given the photos on Italian Wikipedia (see website below) and another site with photos of the interior. An old map shows the different settlements in the ancient times.
    If Google Maps is correct, the border between Umbria and Marche runs exactly through this church.

    Location of Santa Maria di Plestia on Google Maps.

    © Ingrid D., June 2011 (So please do not copy my text or photos without my permission.)

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    Colfiorito plain in May 2011 4 more images

    by Trekki Updated Aug 12, 2013

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    The high plains of Colfiorito, called Altopiano Plestini, consist of seven individual plains, but the one of Colfiorito are the biggest. Like other high plains in the Apennine Mountains they always have been a kind of crossroads where the paths from sea to sea and across land have met. It is not surprising that remains of very old settlements have been found here, dating back to Iron Age. The marshlands, the karst underground makes the soil of the plains very fertile, which is why a lot of vegetables are grown here, notably red potatoes and small lentils. During wild flower season the plains are exploding in colour and make it a very enchanting hiking region for both short and longer walks.
    I was thrilled when I arrived up here mid of May 2011, I could not rest my eyes due to the lush shades of green, red, blue, white and violet. And moreover, the scent of freshly cooked lentil soup hung in the air. My recommendation is to leave the main road just out of the village of Colfiorito and make a round trip or at least drive up to the village of Forcatura for amazing views over the swamp. There is a small footbridge near some of the ponds with explanations about flora and fauna (albeit in Italian but with photos). And frog sounds will also hang in the air. It is a very much peaceful place.
    The region was transformed into a natural park, with a visitor centre in Colfiorito.

    Location of PN Colfiorito on Google Maps.

    © Ingrid D., June 2011 (So please do not copy my text or photos without my permission.)

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    • National/State Park
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Colfiorito Transportation

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    Map of my route to Colfiorito and further

    by Trekki Updated Dec 19, 2011

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    I went up to the high plains of Colfiorito by car. So I can’t say anything about public transport but I am sure that there are busses from Foligno. A bus journey should take approximately 1 hour because (again I am sure) busses will stop at the villages on the road. I left Foligno on SS3 (the superstrada – highway – that eventually leads to Rome) to continue on SS77, direction Macerata (a town in Marche). After having arrived on the high plains and did my detour to see more of Colfiorito plain, I continued on a regional road, direction Taverne (on the way Santa Maria di Plestia is located), direction Pieve Torino (often also written Pievetorino).

    My markers on the Google Map screenshot are:
    1: the high plain of Colfiorito,
    2: chiesa Santa Maria di Plestia,
    3: Eremo di Sant'Angelo in Prefoglio

    This is the end of my description of Colfiorito and surroundings. Thanks for having followed my tour. If you wish, please return to my Intro page

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