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Hike in the Park among the Mortari
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Hiking
Nature parks and theme parks

Discovering the Mortari in the Mount Subasio Park

Mortaro Grande, Mortaiolo and Mortaro delle Trosce: an itinerary to discover one of the most important and clearly visible phenomena in the Monte Subasio Park.

Difficulty: E           
Distance: 12.6 km    
Height difference: + 400 m     
Duration: 4h (excluding breaks)    
Starting point: Parking Loc. Stazzi - Mount Subasio
Number of Stages: 1    
Suitable for Families: Also suitable for families with children from 8 years of age with walking ability. 
Activities to do: birdwatching on the summit meadows - paragliding (take-off point along the route)
Accessibility: Starting point with own vehicles. The route is not suitable for wheelchair users. It is accessible by jolette.

From Assisi, follow the signs for Mount Subasio, and once past the Eremo delle Carceri, continue for 4 km to the car park.

The loop itinerary crosses the secondary grasslands that entirely cover the summit area of Mount Subasio, which with its strategic position over the Valle Umbra allows for 360° views over all of Central Italy, like a balcony.

We start from the Loc. Stazzi car park, located at 1083 metres above sea level, where the first of the bronze statues dedicated to the elements along the route is clearly visible. Colle San Rufino, one of the most evident Umbrian castellieri, site of important archaeological finds, including the well-known Marte del Subasio, is right next to the square. Continue along the scenic road uphill to the first hairpin bend and proceed for about 300 metres, skirting the wood, where we meet path 361. We continue further across the meadows that, as we climb, open up to suggestive views of the Apennine chain, with marvellous panoramas even of the Sibillini Mountains and, on clear days, as far as the Gran Sasso.

Another interesting aspect of the itinerary is the majestic karst phenomena of Mount Subasio. The path skirts a swallowhole, until it reaches the summit, where panels are positioned illustrating all the peaks and mountain groups that can be seen from Mount Subasio.

 

 


We continue towards the antennas, along path 350, and once we reach the scenic road, we arrive at the second bronze statue on the route, dedicated to the wind. From here, path 350 crosses the most evocative area of the park, Mortaro Grande and Mortaiolo, popularly believed to be volcanic craters, even in times not so long ago, but which in reality are wonderful examples of dolines, karst phenomena due to the calcareous nature of the rocks in the area. Precipitation waters, which are naturally slightly acidic, infiltrating into the fissures, have dissolved the limestone rocks, generating a morphology similar to large funnels, according to a mechanism that is clearly visible on every limestone terrain and, most notably, in the Karst, which gives its name to the phenomenon. The Mortaro Grande measures approximately 300 metres on its major axis and is 60 metres deep. In times past, along with other depressions, it was used as an ice reservoir, through the deposit of snow pressed into it and then covered.

The itinerary continues on path 350 to Fonte Bregno, where the third statue, dedicated to water, is located. The trail continues on the border between the forest and the prairie to Croce di Sassopiano, an excellent viewpoint over the Umbra Valley and Assisi. From here, the same path leads to the Vallonica refuge and, having abandoned path 350, along the dirt road back to the starting point.