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The luxuriant holm-oak wood
Sports and adventure
Nature parks and theme parks

Eremo delle Carceri, one of the most precious spiritual destinations in the Mount Subasio Park

Starting from the Rocca Minore, a hike through the holm-oak wood of the Eremo delle Carceri, to reach the Croce di Sassopiano and enjoy the panoramic view over the valley and the city of Assisi

Difficulty: E           
Distance: 12 km    
Height difference: + 500 m     
Duration: 5h (excluding breaks)    
Starting point: Rocca Minore
Number of Stages: 1    
Suitable for families: no 
Activities to do: birdwatching - admiring landscape - visit Eremo delle Carceri

The first part of this beautiful itinerary is for all those who wish to reach the Eremo delle Carceri on foot, without using the paved road, which is very sunny and busy during the high season.

The itinerary up to the Croce di Sassopiano, proposed here, is already quite demanding in terms of altitude difference and rewarding in terms of views and panoramas; however, more demanding and trained walkers can easily complete it with the ascent to the summit.

The itinerary starts from the Rocchicciola of Assisi, or Rocca Minore, a building worthy of attention: its construction is commonly dated to the years between 1353 and 1357, commissioned by Cardinal Albornoz, but a document in the Perugian vernacular dates its presence as far back as 1200. From the tower, with its well-shaded picnic area, take path 350, which leads to the San Rufino spring in about two kilometres along a wide, uphill dirt road. After a short distance, the path joins the tarmac road and leads to the Eremo delle Carceri. One of the most precious spiritual destinations in the Park, the Eremo was originally built as a chapel surrounded by caves, elected as places of meditation for hermits, and later acquired, with St. Francis, the appellation "Carceri", as a synonym for retreat in solitude. The expansion of the primitive structure, which took place in 1400, is due to St Bernardino of Siena, who had a small convent and the small church of Santa Maria delle Carceri built.

The Eremo is shrouded by a luxuriant holm-oak wood, and among these is the legendary and very ancient holm-oak, the so-called "Tree of the Birds", on which birds would perch to sing for the Saint and to receive his blessing.

Retracing our steps, we walk along the provincial road towards San Benedetto and once we reach path 354 in the Rimboschimento locality, we continue on the left, uphill, on the path towards Croce di Sasso Piano, from which we can enjoy the panoramic view of the valley and the town of Assisi. Path 350 crosses part of the Subasio summit meadow to the Vallonica hut and from here, along the same path, downhill, we return to the Eremo delle Carceri and back to our starting point.