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Trevi – Sassovivo

The Mountain Trail

Trevi – Sassovivo is the third section of the Trails in the Assisi – Spoleto Olive Belt. This is known as the “mountain trail”, because the route exits Trevi to climb up to the highest point in Roviglieto, 700 metres above sea level. Compared to other trails, this is more difficult both due to the gradient and the rough terrain. Yet, it is uniquely mesmerising. You will immerse yourselves in extraordinary landscapes, in art gems concealed by time, in wonderful man-made buildings that will leave you in awe.

The third route of the Olive Belt Trails features the amazingly beautiful holm oak groves on the high hills. The one around Sassovivo Abbey, considered a ‘sacred thicket’ and also included in the Gregorian Land Registry, is out of a fairy tale. Extending over 700 hectares of land, it has a significant ecological value as it is an example of primeval Umbrian holm oak grove.

MAP

Start – The third route of the Olive Belt Trails starts from the town of Trevi, the world capital of high quality extra virgin olive oil and with a rich history. Trevi was the first town to devote a museum to the cultivation of olive trees. From here, after a brief descent towards some lower hamlets, among century-old villas and water springs, the trail starts going uphill. After a long while, it reaches the town of Manciano, renowned for its chestnuts. Here the landscape is typical of the lower mountain ranges, with forests opening up on the sides of a valley leading to the hamlet of Le Corone and to the ancient church of San Martino.

Intermediate point – The village of ​​Roviglieto is the highest point of the entire route, at more than 700 metres above sea level. The tiny hamlet dates back to the Late Middle Ages: the first record is a census in 1573, which reported 30 families and about 150 inhabitants.

End – Sassovivo Abbey is a unique feature in the panorama of the Assisi – Spoleto Olive Belt. It is set within the ancient and vast holm oak grove, at the top of a rock spur. It was built around the year 1000 by Ugolino count of Uppello, a villa down in the valley. It was meant to control his land with the two villas of Uppello and Casale. In the second half of the 14th century, its ownership was transferred to the Benedictines of the Olivetan Congregation and it became a key point in the community and convent life of this part of Umbria. The abbey now hosts the Congregation of the Little Brothers of the “Jesus Caritas” Community of Charles de Foucauld and is still a spiritual centre, although it also has economic influence over a vast mountain area.

TECHNICAL DATA

Length

17.042 metres

Elevation Gain

396 metres

Difficulty

High

Type of Route

15% tarmac, 85% unpaved

Duration

9h 00m

Route Pattern

Linear

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GUIDES (PDF) AND TRACKS (GPX)

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DID YOU KNOW THAT...?

Misticanza

One of the staples in the area was misticanza, a vegetarian dish consisting of a finely selected mix of wild edible plants picked at different times of the year and seasoned with excellent extra virgin olive oil from the Olive Belt and strong vinegar.

Wild edible plants

Large amounts of different types of edible plants can be found in the olive groves or in fallow fields. Some of the most popular ones are: Common brighteyes, Bladder campions, Saltwort, Dandelion, Rampion, Spiky sow-thistle and Poppies before flowering, Borage with its prickly and wrinkled leaves, Shepherds purse with its small elliptical leaves and Wild rocket.

The chestnuts of Manciano

In peasant tradition, chestnut trees were highly regarded, as they played an important role as a staple food in rural areas.  Either roasted or stewed, they were a food that complemented people’s diet.

Pecorino cheese

Pecorino cheese was also a staple food in these areas. It came from high mountain pastures and underwent two ageing processes. A shorter one, lasting about 60 days, and a longer one, for at least 8-12 months. In the former case, the cheese was eaten with bread, in the latter as a condiment.

The shelters in olive groves

Shepherds and olive growers often used small buildings excavated in rock for shelter during the day and at night. The humble dwellings were mainly excavated in the rock, similar to many hermit caves, and featured small stonework vestibules, covered with stone slabs and wooden planks, to fit a gate.

My own oil

Every family had an olive grove to make the oil for home use. And everyone thought that their own oil was better than everyone else’s. When one would take the oil from their own grove to the oil mill, they would wait for all their olives to be pressed to make sure they got the oil obtained from their own olives.

WHAT TO SEE

The roughest part of the Trails yet also the most fairy tale-like. The route will lead you to discover precious gems set in breathtaking panoramas.

convents
Sassovivo Abbey
Sassovivo Abbey Sassovivo Abbey (574 metres above sea level) was created by adapting a pre-existing fortification belonging to the Monaldi family of Lombard origin. ThisSassovivo Abbey
monastic retreats
Eremo della Madonna del riparo
Eremo della Madonna del riparo At about 600 metres above sea level, there is the church and the religious retreat commonly known as “Madonna delRead more
parish churches
The Paris Church of Santa Maria - Sancte Marie de Ruvilglito
The Paris Church of Santa Maria - Sancte Marie de Ruvilglito This was the only parish church in this mountainous area. Its presence has beenRead more
churches
Church of San Sebastiano
Church of San Sebastiano It was likely to have been erected in the mid-13th century, when the worship of the martyr became quickly popular following Read more
Church of San Martino
Church of San Martino In the tiny hamlet of Le Corone, moving up the mountain, there is another example of a rural Romanesque church at Read more
Church of San Donato
Church of San Donato This is one of the many rural churches built between the 1200s and 1300s along the foothill section before the old Read more
Church of San Martino
Church of San Martino It sits in a pleasant scenic spot on a hill at the end of Viale Ciuffelli, a wonderful tree-lined avenue that Read more
fortresses
Rocca Deli
Rocca Deli A military fortification, the “Torre di ser Angelo” later known as the count's tower and now as the Rocca di Scandolaro, the old Read more

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