Walking (mostly) from Pietrolunga to Gubbio

My hotels along the trail have been a very mixed bag, but mostly simple Albergos, with a metal frame bed, a side board, a radiator that doesn’t work or, at best, wheezes into a semblance of warmth, sometime in the night only to return to its icy natural state by morning, a shower, sometimes that dribbles, sometimes gushes. Only one bath (if I don’t count Consuma, where the bath was in fact an oversized bidet) – in the faceless Euro hotel attached to a motorway service station in Pieve Sanpetro, but with one exception, always, at least, a bathroom of my own. Not that I mind sharing – 12 years of boarding school conditioned me for living with a minimum of personal space – but, you know, if I am allowed to choose….The one luxury which I craved for (ok, apart from scrambled eggs ans sausage and a decent piece of toast, not the white stuff we might think about using for packaging, that they eat here) was the offer of a washing service for my soiled kit.

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Pietrolunga to Gubbio – my new favourite Citta. A last view back over Pietrolunga bathed in morning sunlight.

Not every day, but at least the offer. I had that twice: in the very simple Albergo Foresta in Badia Prataglia and on Tuesday in Pietrolunga, courtesy of Simone and his brother Marco my charming hosts at the Locanda del Borgo, who made every effort to ensure my wishes were fulfilled in their charming hotel.

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My road this morning, back in dense woodlands and, of course, up….

So you can imagine that it was quite difficult tearing myself away from a very comfortable room, with delightful hosts, a divine kitchen, excellent service, freshly washed and dried clothes, a shower that really worked with radiators that pumped out heat from late afternoon until the morning, and a kettle. But tear myself away, I did and set off on what Simone assured me was going to be a delightful day of walking.

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…but quickly on the tops and then rolling hills and flowers and bushes in bloom, wherever the eye roams.

He also cautioned me that the last six kilometers were really not very attractive as they were on the flat and wound their way through the zona industriale that lay before Gubbio. Much better he advised to catch the bus just before the nasty bit starts in the valley and ride into town. “That way you will have more time to spend in beautiful Gubbio.” Which is exactly what I did.

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Wild roses in abundance…

Simone was absolutely spot on: the walk was beautiful, encompassing three valleys, so two long ups and three long downs, through glorious much more open countryside, under a blue sky and surrounded throughout by wild roses and furze in full bloom, poppies and the purple flowers of clover everywhere. The walking, too, was good under foot, with broad footpaths marking most of the way until I hit the asphalt down in the valley. Today also I could finally see where I was going for most of the time, the lack of sight having begun to irritate me over the last few days. As I was not caught entirely in woods today, I had long views over the terrain I was about to cross from valley to valley an after reaching the highest point at around 1100, magnificent views over the long, green, almost alpine valley that stretched away below and in front of me to the plain at whose end Gubbio lay.

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And then after a tea, coke with lemon juice, a panini and a bus ticket purchased and consumed at the little bar opposite the bus stop and a wait of only an hour, the luxury of a bus into Gubbio; and what a town Gubbio is! I was immediately captivated by the beauty and historical overload that this magnificent specimen of what must in former times have been an opulent, wealthy and powerful city emanates and after a few hours in the citta, in my even more exquisite hotel, with my own private balcony overlooking the town and the appenines in the near distance, had fallen hopelessly in love with the place.

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Tea break looking down on the trail at the highest point of today’s stage

I will let the pictures speak for themselves and deliver a guided tour through the history of this remarkable town, when I have explored it with the help of a guide this afternoon, but suffice it to say that I have changed my plans and will be walking my sections for the next few days, but returning here in the late afternoon and using Gubbio as my base camp. They will have to throw me out, I think…

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A few scenes shot from today’s quite beautiful walk….

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The first view the valley with Gubbio at the far end… barely visible on the photo, but clearly discernable from my vantage point, hundreds of cedar alleys lining the roads and paths.

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Almost at valley level.

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Then Gubbio – a magnificent museum of a town, bursting with ancient and medieval architecture and very much alive as a town.

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The forum in Gubbio.

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Street views – endless streets of medieval merchants houses, palazzi and municipal buildings interconnected with stairways and narrow alleys.

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The centro municipale (and an ice cream for anyone who can spot my icecream taking a quick nap).

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The view from the terrace attached to my room – why would I want to move on from here?

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The houses of Gubbio still festooned with flags from their Patron Saint’s (St. Ubaldus) Day on the 16th May.

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Simply stunning – the ducal palace originally built by the ruling Gabrielli family then after their demise in 15th century, rebuilt by the new rulers, the Montefeltro family.

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4 thoughts on “Walking (mostly) from Pietrolunga to Gubbio

    • And thank you Melinda for your cascade of ‘Likes’ during the morning – very encouraging and delighted you are enjoying the walk with me, in spirit at least. I have only glimpsed at your site, but am dying to get into the routes you describe and obviously love. I have not yet done much walking in France (Alsace many years ago and loved it), so I will mine your site for inspiration. Very best wishes Steven

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