The starting point for this excursion is the Montelabate farm. From here we climb briefly along a lovely avenue lined with cypresses, lindens and holm oaks that takes us to the abbey. Its impressive outline, with a soaring square tower, is strikingly because of the beauty of the edifice and its surroundings. We continue along the road rising between the abbey and a farmhouse with an annexe, an old route that goes as far as Belvedere di Gubbio. Rockroses, junipers, dog roses and brambles are the most common shrubs. There are also numerous glades with turkey oaks and downy oaks that have colonized ancient farmlands. The road leads to a farmhouse with a square plan, which is the home of a Sardinian shepherd who makes a matchless pecorino, or sheep’s milk cheese. The site is a natural terrace over the alluvial plain the Tiber, Perugia and its territory.
We retrace our steps and immediately turn right, climbing between Col di Marzo and Monte Sodo Rosso, and then descending towards the Ventia valley. Opening up before us is a sweeping view of the Umbrian-Marchigian Apennines to the right (Monte Cucco, 1566 m; Monte Catria, 1701 m) and, further to the left, Monte Urbino, the tallest peak in this mountain range. We continue our scenic descent, with a view of Monte Tezio and Monte Acuto.
The route continues through hornbeam woods, followed by turkey oaks and maples. We approach an abandoned farmhouse and, from here, descend straight to the torrent. From late spring to early autumn we can walk along its bed and enjoy this enchanting setting. At other times of the year, however, it is best to take a path that goes into the woods, skirting the steep bank of the torrent so that we can observe it from a path rising on the other side. Going uphill and then turning left onto the unpaved road, we go past Casella Ventia and then descend to the torrent, crossing it again to head the other way.
From here, the climb becomes quite steep and after a few metres we come to woods of hornbeams, turkey oaks and maples. On the way to the summit, thickets alternate with somewhat sparse woods, and there are lovely views of the Tiber valley and Monte Tezio. From the summit, we start to descend towards the chapel in the hamlet of Renaia, the endpoint of Via dei Cocci, which leads down to the Strada Statale Tiberina. Bearing left, we take the wide unpaved road back to the area around the abbey.