Cotilia, a break at the spa
The ride starts in Grisciano, a hamlet in the municipality of Accumoli, in Rieti’s province. The village is on a hill about 700 metres above sea level, in the heart of the Sibillini Mountains. Take the Via Salaria toward nearby Amatrice. Here, stop to taste two delicacies: the famous pasta alla gricia, originally from Grisciano, and, of course, the amatriciana.
Continue descending gently towards the Velino gorges, in the heart of the Rieti region, between the spectacular landscape of the Terminillo range and the Ciano and Cerreto mountains. Once past the gorges, the Reatina plain opens up near Antrodoco. The road is easy and flat as far as the Cotilia Spa, where a restorative break is a must.
Rieti, the very centre of the Belpaese
You set off again in the direction of Cittaducale, coming across the springs of the ancient Peschiera aqueduct, which also served the capital for over 2000 years. A few kilometres of pedalling and you arrive in Rieti, the centre of gravity of Italy, bathed by the River Velino and dominated by Mount Terminillo. Admire the monument dedicated to Lira in Piazza Cavour and visit the Franciscan sanctuaries in the surrounding area, in particular that of Greccio, known for its nativity scene. Just outside the centre, reach the Fonti di Cottorella, whose oligomineral waters are a real panacea for kidney diseases.
Subiaco, a gourmet break
The route continues towards Lago del Salto: having reached the villages Colle and Castel di Tora, you are halfway along your route. The route along the edge of the lake is quite enjoyable and can be tackled with agile pedalling, all the way to Arsoli. Once on the SS3 Tiburtina, follow it for a few kilometres before leaving it in the direction of Subiaco: here the Abbey Fortress and the Monastery of Saint Scolastica are worth a visit. The palate is also catered for with local delicacies: coratella alla sublacense, cod fritters and strozzapreti.
Filettino, on the border with Abruzzo
Here we come to the last part of the route, the most challenging in terms of altitude: in fact, you have to tackle the climbs of the Monti Simbruini Regional Natural Park. The first ascent is to Mount Livata: about 20 km and 1100 metres of positive height difference, which bring you to the gates of the Rifugio del Nibbio in Livata, in the heart of the Simbruini Mountains, at an altitude of 1700 metres. Nature dominates the scenery and offers incredible hiking and mountain biking routes.
Go back a few kilometres and descend to Trevi nel Lazio to the Oratory of San Pietro Eremita, the Caetani Castle and the Trevi Waterfalls. Another enjoyable stop with dishes of Lazio cuisine, from coda alla vaccinara to trippa alla romana, and uphill again for the last 20 kilometres. Now close to the finish , on the border between the province of Frosinone and the Abruzzo province of Avezzano. Reach the small village of Filettino, at 1600 metres above sea level. Time to catch your breath and breathe in the purest air of the area.