This excurtion -wich is recommended in the company of a qualified outdoor guide-is an introduction to aspects relating to geology, hydrology and land corrosion caused by macroscopic karst phenomena present in the Park. Scappuccia Valley i salso a protected plant area and has rare anphibians, such as the spectacled salamander ( salamandrina terdigitata). There are no great variations in altitude and it is suitable for everyone. However, it is necessari toh ave shoes with good thick treads in order to deal with the downhill descent into Scappuccia Valley. The total absence of water along the route means that it is essential to take a rucksack with a good supply of water, especially during the hotter summer months.
The route and foot
From the church, continue on foot along the asphalt road towards the villane of Rocchetta Alta. At the end of the village, near an oven, a track begins (footpath 142). After several hundred metres there is a sharp bend and the mule tack continues under plantation. Above you to the right is the large Colle Ameno rock fall, which reveals the crumbling sedimentary strata of scaglia limestone. The path climbs gentely up to the gap between Colle Ameno and il Picco, from which you continue skirting Monte Termine. Crossing the bed of a small torrent, the path descends more quickly and the vegetation change radically- a phenomenon of temperature inversion has allowed a beech wood to grow. Leaving the wood, continue along another track which shortly arrives at the junction with footpath 107AG. Continue to the left towards Valle Scappuccia, gently climbing at first. As you climb downwards, look out for the junction where it is necessary to take the footpath to the left, which turns back and then descends- very steeply for short stretches- into the valley. Having crossed the strema several times, in a matter of minutes you arrive at a short but pretty canyon, where you can see the majesty and compactness of the Limestone massif. Leaving the gorge, you are on the asphalt road.
Not to be missed in this area:
Its excellent restoration conserves the medieval urban layout. Its unusual houses are built directly into the scaglia rossa limestone. After admiring the residence of the counts of Genga- which now houses the offices of the municipal council and the Consorzio Frassassi- with its entrance portal framed by a radial stone rustication, it is possible to visit the collection of sacred art in the former parish church of San Clemente (11th Century). It contains a triptych by Antonio da Fabriano, onje of the leading 15th Centuty Marche paiters, as well as small marble statue of the Madonna with Child from the workshop of the famous neo-classical sculptor Antonio Canova, probably a gift by Pope Leone XII to his home town.
San Vittore Terme
The small village is built around the 11th Century abbey of San Vittore delle Chiuse, which was one of the region's most important monastic settlements and is an exceptional example of central Italian omanesque architecture. Built with blocks of pinkish white stone, it is laid out in the shape of a Greek cross. It has three apses to the read and to two the side. In front of this is a low bell toiwer to one side and a cilyndrical tower to the other. The interior is divided into three naves by four columns that support the dome. It was probably entered by passing over the gotic-arched bridge and under the tower that defended it. The rooms of the former monastery house the Museo Archeospeleopaleontologico, which has three sections dedicated to local achaeology, palaeontology and caving and where it is possible to learn more about what you have seen during your excursions around the area.