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Discover the Mount

Discover the Mount

Mount Subasio rises majestically and solitarily between the Umbra Valley, the Tescio Valley to the north and the Topino Valley to the east, dominating its surroundings with its imposing bulk.

The unmistakable rounded profile of Mount Subasio, defined by Gortani, in 1908, as 'turtle back', makes the mountain easily identifiable in the Umbrian skyline and beyond. In fact, the Mount is an isolated relief from the rest of the Apennine chain, with typical summit grasslands occupying the main peaks of the massif. Its shape is characterised by a particularly interesting geological structure: it is elongated NW-SE and its shape seems to define a large 'D'.

The summit area of the Mount presents evident morphological depressions of karst origin (dolines) due to the incessant and persistent action of water, which, given the calcareous nature of the rock that makes up the relief, have modelled evocative and imposing forms in the landscape. These depressions are called by the local term Mortari due to their similarity to a kitchen mortar.

A historical aspect related to dolines is their use in past centuries for ice production; in fact, dolines were used to accumulate the copious snow that fell in winter. This was then covered with brushwood and earth to improve preservation. In addition to sinkholes, artificial holes that were used for the same purpose, known as ghiaccioni or snow holes, are also very evident on Mount Subasio. The snow holes, dug in ancient times, are still visible today and are not to be confused with the dolines of natural origin.

The relief and surrounding hills are criss-crossed by a number of hiking trails that provide an opportunity for in-depth knowledge of the karst aspects of this area of the Umbria-Marches Apennines and of the strong bond between man and territory, which has very ancient roots here. The trails are also a way to get a close look at the area's numerous naturalistic emergencies and, above all, to come into close contact with Franciscan spirituality.

Since 1995, an area of 7,169 hectares in the municipalities of Assisi, Spello, Valtopina and Nocera Umbra has been part of the Mount Subasio Regional Park. Within the protected area there is a remarkable animal and plant biodiversity, with the presence of particular endemic species found only in this part of the Apennines.

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