The Bruschetta Loop, Italy
31 Mi.(50 KM)
% Rideable (time)
The Wild Side
Bruschetta is a peasant dish and a famous appetizer in Italy made from Italian bread, garlic and olive oil, easy to prepare and incredibly tasty. This route has the same features… it is a simple and beautiful ride doable on an easy sub-24 overnighter bikepacking trip.
The “Bruschetta loop” starts from Marsia, a small village in the west of Abruzzo at 1500 meters above sea level. There a wide gravel road will take you first to Piano del Pozzo, an area with some paths for cattle herding, then to Piano la Sella, a beautiful prehistoric-like valley along the southern slope. After passing the small village of Camporotondo (1450 meters) you quickly reach the Cesa Cotta plateau, the widest along the route. The magic of the “Bruschetta Loop” is in the crossing of the many plateaus in the area of the Simbruini Mountains, like a corridor joining several rooms in which woods, hills and grassy meadows paint new and enchanting scenarios.
The southern portion of the route runs along the initial stretch of Fosso Fioio, a scenic canyon featuring pinnacles of limestone rock. This was once the border between the Papal State and the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies. After about four kilometers the route leaves the canyon and climbs through a rough dirt road until you reach Piano Morbano, a gorgeous plateau located in the center of the loop and among the most beautiful meadows to camp, observe the starry sky surrounded by huge beech trees, and have a tasty bruschetta accompanied by an excellent craft beer. Majestic beech trees, enchated valleys and peaceful plateaus will accompany you on doubletrack roads to return from the northwest to Marsia, the starting point.
- Beautiful submontane scenery and wildlife.
- Riding along ancient borders between the Papal State and the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies delimited by boundary stones installed in 1847, in number of 680 and along the route you will find some of that near the canyon of Fosso Fioio. They have a cylindrical shape, on one side they have engraved the keys of St. Peter, symbol of the Papal State, and on the other one the Lily, symbol of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies.
- Incredible view from Cesa Cotta plateau to Monte Cotento (2015 s.l.m) the highest peak of the Simbruini Mountains.
- Riding in Western Spaghetti scenarios, where in the 70s Sergio Leone filmed some scenes from his famous movies.
- Most of the route has no technical difficulties and can also be ride with a gravel bike (40mm +). Only a couple of climbs are bumpy and have surface roots that could put the skinny tires in trouble.
- The best time to deal with this route is from May to November, while in the other months it is possible that snow will make it impracticable.
- There are some shelters along the route but they are closed.
- The route offers a lot of opportunities for easy wild camping. Be discreet and #leavenotrace
- At the starting point of the route there is a camping (Europing Di Marsia) with a diner.
- There are plenty of springs on the route (showed in the map).
- The only point along the route where you can resupply is the mini-market in the small town of Camporotondo.
- Bruschetta (pron. Brusketta) recipe: roast a slice of rustic italian bread, sprinkle it with extra virgin olive oil and add salt (more or less to taste). If you sleep alone in the tent you can spruce up the bruschetta by rubbing some garlic on the bread.
- Along the route you can find super-tasty wild strawberries between spring and summer.
- Visit MontanusWild.com – For the full set of photos from this trip.