A balcony overlooking Roccaporena

Length: 13.8 km

Duration: 6 hours with breaks

Difference in altitude +716 m/ -724 m

Odds: 1312 max/824 min

Difficulty: E

The itinerary starts from Poggio Primocaso, a few meters from the Church of San Fortunato, built on a Benedictine monastic cell dating back to the 12th century. The apse, the lancet window and the semi-columns remain of the original Romanesque structure, but the current appearance is due to the seventeenth-century remodeling and the various renovations (including a rather questionable one in 1976) which also affected it due to the numerous earthquakes that have hit it over the years.
It was in the Church of San Fortunato that San Giovanni da Copertino entered in 1648, sent to Cascia to free a possessed woman. It seems that the saint was enraptured in ecstasy in front of the Blessed Sacrament, as often happened to him.


From Poggio Primocaso you climb towards Monte Maggio (1415 m), whose toponym is probably linked to the rites of passage to adulthood, such as Piantamaggio. Continue along the ridge for approximately 3 km, along which you descend towards Monte Pelato (1314 m) and towards the town of Capanne di Collegiacone to reach our privileged view of the Rito area: Monte Rucino (1033 m). It is from this natural balcony that we overlook the Sanctuary of Roccaporena, the white cave, the golden cave, the sacred rock and the marital home of the saint. You can also glimpse part of the first stretch of the Cammino di San Benedetto which, from Norcia, reaches Cascia, coinciding in this stretch with the brand new Sentiero Ritiano. Both exploit the bed of the Corno river, which traced the path even before the hand of man.

We walk the last stretch of the path backwards and, at Capanne di Collegiacone, we take the road towards Collegiacone, admiring the Church of Santa Maria Appare, so called after an apparition in the area that occurred in the 15th century. The history of this sacred place, however, is older and dates back to the early Middle Ages, when it was born as a Farfa monastic cell. Today it appears as a building with a single nave joined, via an arch that served as a state overpass, with a hermitage which later became a sacristy. It is one of the few examples of a completely frescoed country church, with scenes of fine workmanship. A curiosity: as a tabernacle there was an unusual tempera painted cabinet dating back to 1570, which must have contained a small statue of the Apparent Madonna.

We continue skirting the slopes of Monte della Sassa and the protected area to which it gives its name, to then reach the town of Giappiedi and close our ring by traveling along the provincial road that connects it to our starting point. Before reaching the cars, we admire the base of the hill on which the Church of San Fortunato stands: there is in fact a source, the Sorgente di San Fortunato, which tradition has it was made by the saint to cure the sick and to cement the devotion of the healthy.


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