Let’s say you are planning a trip to Italy, Central Italy to be more specific. This area in the Mediterranean offers you plenty of options to pick from: you could explore some of Italy’s best villas and mansions, learn about culture and enjoy the timeless art of cities like Florence, Siena, or Perugia, or set up an itinerary to discover some of the natural beauty of this region. In case you want to go for something like the latter suggestion, in the next paragraphs I’ll write down an itinerary through the Valley of Metauro; an off-the-usual-path destination which does not lack any of the elements this area is well-known for.
The Valley of Metauro is an area named after the river Metauro which extends for around a thousand four-hundred square kilometers through the territory of three regions (Marche, Umbria, and Tuscany). The valley is characterized by the presence of many rivers and creeks, and as a starting point of our excursion, we can take Cagli, a lovely small town at the edge of the higher part of the valley. Just a couple of kilometers before the entrance of the city, there is a really small hamlet, Foci, and on the side of the street running through it and connecting it to Cagli (Via Flaminia SP3) we find the first must-stop-location of our itinerary, the Pozze di Foci; a set of natural pools created by the flowing of the river over time, where locals and visitors come to catch a breath and cool off during the hot summer days. The location is poorly signaled, but everybody knows it so if you are having a hard time finding it just ask anybody in either of the two towns.
The next stop of this itinerary is the Canyon of Fossombrone, located outside Fossombrone (San Lazzaro), a town in the middle part of the Valley of Metauro. This canyon, also known as Marmitte dei Giganti, is formed by a series of pit-style depressions, created by the erosion-effect of the river’s waters. Once, a very long time ago, the canyon was filled with ice and glaciers; once they melted, the force and intensity of the water was strong enough to create vortexes able to erode the rocks, finally creating this impressive piece of natural art. The best spot to enjoy this beautiful sight is the Diocleziano bridge, but, if you are looking for something more adventurous, you can also arrange a trip in a canoe or kayak to explore the waters of this beautiful canyon (email firstname.lastname@example.org).
My last suggestion is to head east, towards the lower part of the Valley of Metauro and visit the town of Montemaggiore Al Metauro. The village has developed around an old castle (now the town’s historic center) sitting on top of a low hill. It is a perfect stop to try some high-quality products of this territory, such as Valmetauro cheese and Bianchello del Metauro (a white, local wine), while enjoying a stunning view of the lower and middle parts of the valley.
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