13. La Marzolana - Montali - Sant'Arcangelo

The itinerary starts from the last houses of Sant’Arcangelo, in the area of Borgo Cenaioli. We go uphill on an unpaved road that goes through olive groves to reach a lay-by managed by the La Marzolana Cooperative and then take the “Sentiero della Pace”, a trail that goes to the edge of the forest. We can immediately observe the characteristics of the Mediterranean vegetation, with numerous trees and shrubs. We can take our first break at Pianella in a lovely glade equipped with tables and benches. Water is available and there is a wooden structure that the cooperative has set up as an information centre, offering additional facts and natural findings about Monte Marzolana (586 m a.s.l.). From this excellent observation point, we can get a view of Lake Trasimeno and the Isola Polvese.

We continue on the unpaved road that, heading right, enters into the woods and climbs sharply. Along this segment, the flourishing scrub is even more evident. In fact, we find numerous examples of holm oaks along with arbutuses, manna ashes, Spanish broom, rockroses, heather, downy oaks and hawthorns. Past the spring, the woods become denser, with a predominance of holm oaks, and further uphill we find enormous specimens of arbutus. We continue uphill until we reach a long track of seemingly flat ground that brings us to a glade with tables and benches.

We continue along the road, which enters into the woods. From here we can enjoy views of the castle of Montalera, the hills of Panicale and Piegaro, and the agricultural plains overlooking the lake. When we exit the woods, we are close to a holiday farm that beautifully fits into the landscape. The hilltop olive grove around the farmhouses is lovely. Off in the distance to the left we can see Agello and the hills close to Perugia, with the Apennines in the distance. We must skirt the woods to reach the unpaved road of Vallicelle that links Montali to Sant’Arcangelo. Bearing left, a pleasant downhill walk takes us back to our starting point.
The total length of the itinerary is 9.650, and it takes 2 hours and 30 minutes.

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