The excursion starts from Pieve de’ Saddi, cradle of the cult of San Crescenziano, the first evangeliser of the upper Tiber valley, and runs through the beautiful Carpina valley.
The ecclesiastical building was erected on the site of the legendary martyrdom of St. Crescentian, documented as early as the 11th century, and preserves his relics.
Located just over 10 km from Pietralunga, it can be reached from State Road 201 near the stadium, taking Provincial Road 106 in the direction of Città di Castello; at the fork, turn left and then take a small road on the right, still following the signs for Pieve de’ Saddi. After about 4 km, cross a bridge over the Carpina stream and turn right. Continuing straight for about 6 km you will find the imposing and lonely Pieve de Saddi on the right.
Leaving the parish church behind you, cross the main road and take route 111, proceeding for 600 metres until you reach a fork in the road; turn right here until you reach another fork in the road, where you should again keep to the right. A turkey oak tree precedes an uncultivated field, and further down, the shimmering dome of the Coloti Observatory comes into view, while the route continues along another field with a large oak tree in the centre, which is passed by keeping to the right side at the edge of the forest, which is crossed at the point marked by the red-and-white sign to descend precipitously to the Casaprete ditch below. The watercourse first has to be skirted and then forded, walking along a small rocky gorge. We ascend through a mixed wood of hornbeam and hornbeam, following a section of the path where marl emerges. Coming out of the grove reveals a sequence of small mountains furrowed at the foot by the many streams. You then come to another field, which you follow on the right-hand side until you reach a cart track that climbs quite steeply.
We thus reach the long ruin of Caimoroni (599 m), from where the silhouette of the Rocca d’Aries is visible in the background, framed by mountains, with Monte Acuto towering above them all; on a nearby knoll the imposing ruins of the Savignano house can be seen.
The route passes by the large and battered almond tree located at the edge of the Caimoroni building and then continues along the farm road. At the fork, ignore the road going uphill and continue to the left; along the road you will come across a spring.
Past the spring, follow the straight path that avoids the house and reaches a large crossroads, where you leave path 111, which continues towards Montone, visible in the background, and take path 14 to the left, in the direction of Coloti.
The Pieve de’ Saddi can be seen again, concealed by tall conifers. At the following crossroads, follow the road uphill, as suggested by the signs, and then flank the fence before the ruins of Spirineo house. Just below is the village of Coloti, which you can visit with a 250 m diversions.
With the village behind you, you take the path that opens up lined with pine trees. After about two hundred metres you turn right, the way to the left will be the return route. The path, with its marly bottom, leads into the shade of a mixed forest. Follow a rivulet for about ten metres and then cross it; the path continues less marked, ignore a road that climbs to the left and, continuing straight on, you come to a fork: here take the road that climbs, marked as path 111C.
One crosses another of the numerous ditches one encounters and a little further down, all of these flow into the roaring Rio Sansa, itself a tributary of the Carpina. At a further crossroads, take the path that descends slightly to the right, in the short sections where the old vicinal road is no longer legible, keeping to the edge of the forest until crossing the main stream.
At this point we leave a hump of crushed marl on the right and, having faced another ford, we should keep to the left at the edge of an escarpment where we discover a simple artefact containing the water of the San Crescenziano spring, which emerges underground, with its characteristic sulphurous odour at the centre of the confluence of three streams, where, according to legend, there was the lair of the dragon killed by the saint.
Leaving the fountain on the left, the track climbs into a forest of centuries-old oaks and arrives at a clearing: the vicinal road now becomes more legible and is followed, arriving behind the farmhouse in front of the parish church.
- length 9 km
- ascent 220 m
- duration 3h 00m
- paths 111c, part of 114 and part of 111 marked with arrows and white/red paint