Furlo Tunnel

Furlo Tunnel

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Via Flaminia

The Via Flaminia or Flaminian Way was an ancient Roman road leading from Rome over the Apennine Mountains to Ariminum (Rimini) on the coast of the Adriatic Sea, and due to the ruggedness of the mountains was the major option the Romans had for travel between Etruria, Latium, Campania, and the Po Valley. Today the same route, still called by the same name for much of its distance, is paralleled or overlaid by Strada Statale (SS) 3, also called Strada Regionale (SR) 3 in Lazio and Umbria, and Strada Provinciale (SP) 3 in Marche. It leaves Rome, goes up the Val Tevere ("Valley of the Tiber") and into the mountains at Castello delle Formiche, ascends to Gualdo Tadino, continuing over the divide at Scheggia Pass, 575 m (1,886 ft) to Cagli. From there it descends the eastern slope waterways between the Tuscan-Emilian Apennines and the Umbrian Apennines to Fano on the coast and goes north, parallel to Highway A14 to Rimini.

This route, once convenient to Roman citizens and other travelers, is now congested by heavy traffic between north Italy and the capital at Rome. It remains a country road, while the traffic crosses by railway and autostrada through dozens of tunnels between Florence and Bologna – a shorter, more direct route under the ridges and nearly inaccessible passes.

Giacobbe Giusti, Furlo Pass, ancient Roman tunnel,via Flaminia


Giacobbe Giusti, Furlo Pass, ancient Roman tunnel,via Flaminia

Entrance of the Roman tunnel.

The Furlo Pass (Italian: Gola del Furlo or Passo del Furlo) is a gorge on the ancient Roman road Via Flaminia in the Marche region of central Italy, where it passes near the Candigliano river, a tributary of the Metauro.

The gorge was formed between the Pietralata (889 m) and Paganuccio (976 m) mountains by the river Candigliano, which whooshed in full spate through the district until it was dammed in 1922. Since 2001 it has been included in a State Natural Reserve of the same name. It is often marketed to tourists in the region as the « Grand Canyon of Italy. »

The Roman emperor Vespasian had a tunnel built here to facilitate passage on the Via Flaminia at the narrowest point of the gorge (hence the name, from the Latina forulum, meaning « small hole »). Next to it is a similar but smaller tunnel dating from Etruscan times. The tunnel has a length of 38.30 meters and a height of 5.95 meters. During the Gothic Wars (6th century), the Ostrogoth King Totila had the pass fortified, but his troops were ousted by the Roman general Belisarius. The Lombards conquered the pass between 570 and 578, and destroyed the fortifications.

In the following centuries Via Flaminia was nearly abandoned. In 1502 Lucrezia Borgia used it on a journey to Ferrara and in 1506 Julius II took the road on his way to Bologna. In the beginning of the 18th century the transit remained difficult and dangerous, and only in 1776 was the tunnel and the road re-opened. Between May 23 and June 12, 1849, soldiers of the Roman Republic, commanded by Colonel L. Pianciani, fought a skirmish in the pass with the Austrian army.

During the Second World War, the Gorge experienced moments of tension, but it was not the scene of fierce clashes. The seventies saw increasing destruction of the natural beauty of the surrounding landscape, as well as the deterioration of the road, due to the intense activity in quarries located within the Gorge.

In the 1930s, a profile of Benito Mussolini was sculpted on the slopes of Mount Pietralata by a local branch of the Guardia Forestale (State Forestry Corps), which was destroyed by partisans during World War II. In the 1980s, traffic in the Furlo tunnel was bypassed by the construction of two highway tunnels.

Outside the Rat Race

Perhaps the coolest part about "Furlo" is that it actually comes from something historically significant in Italy. Plus, it's still around! I'd like to share that.

Gola del Furlo (Furlo Gorge)

Furlo Gorge is in the Marche region of central Italy (see map below), where the Candigliano River passes through it. describes it as "an overwhelming chalk formation which the Candigliano River cuts through in order to later join with the Metauro River. The drive from Acqualagna to this natural phenomenon is truly a thing of beauty. The mountainous terrain surrounding this gorge also offers challenging routes for hikers and mountain bikers. Their efforts will certainly be rewarded with spectacular views."

That does indeed look like it would be awesome to hike around. Here's the map of where everything is within Italy.

Passo del Furlo (Furlo Pass) aka Galleria Furlo (Furlo Tunnel)

Unfortunately, the pass couldn't be completed without building a tunnel.

The South Entrance
According to Wikipedia, the Roman emperor Vespasian had the Furlo Tunnel (or Gallery) built to facilitate passage on the Via Flaminia in the narrowest point of the Furlo Gorge. The tunnel has a length of 38.30 meters (

42 yards) and a height of 5.95 meters (

20 feet). During the Gothic Wars (6th century), the Ostrogoth King Totila had the pass fortified, but his troops were ousted by the Roman general Belisarius. The Lombards conquered the pass between 570 and 578, and destroyed the fortifications. In the 1980s, traffic in the Furlo Tunnel was bypassed by the construction of two highway tunnels, but maintained the same name "Galleria Furlo".

The Furlo Tunnel was dug by hand through rock using chisels, which you can still see the marks of today. Here's a close-up picture of the plate they put up (left hand side of the picture above). Since Vespasian ruled between 69-79AD, I'm going to guess that 76DC = 76AD. This makes it the 5th oldest tunnel dug.

Fun fact: I looked up "gallery" on and apparently it can mean a long covered area, narrow and open at one or both sides, used especially as a walk or corridor. It even says it could be an underground passage. So that's cool.

This map below shows the tunnel location (the dotted part). It's only 42 yards long. The yellow lines above are the new highway tunnels. If you follow the white road South (down), you'll notice that the road is called Via Furlo. That road leads to a town called Furlo, which looks to be a suburb of Acqualagna.

Here, you can take a little virtual trip around the town compliments of Google Maps. You can see the gorge in the distance.

Given the way Italy generated their last names, there's a VERY high probably that my name comes from this very town. I like to think of this as my last name's "home town". ha ha. If you'd like to visit, I recommend checking out B&B Casa Furlo. It looks like a nice place to stay.

It's pretty amazing how technology allows us to really dive into a place without actually having to go (though I still want to). It also helps that it has a fairly rich history (thanks Romans!). Thanks for letting me share where my last name comes from.

Roman Urbs Salvia

Don't get confused between Urbs Salvia and Urbisaglia.

URBS SALVIA was the city of the V Regio Augustea (Picenum) Roman colony and was located at the meeting point of two important ancient roads which linked present day Fermo, San Severino Marche, Macerata and Ascoli Piceno.

A military post then which history tells us was also the birthplace of Flavio Silva Nonio Basso. Who? Perhaps more familiar as the Roman general who conquered Masada on the Dead Sea in Israel.

Urbs Salvia was destroyed by the Visigoths in the first half of the 5th century AD and became abandoned.

URBISAGLIA is the medieval town near the Roman ruins.

Learning from the Romans' mistake the new town was surrounded by a stout wall and defended from a huge, four tower fortress still visible today.

The city has 2800 inhabitants who remember their Roman ancestors with an annual theatre performance in the ruins of the ancient ampithaetre in July and August.

It is such a nice place to live now that whole zone is an archaeological park and has been awarded the 'Città per il Verde' prize by the Ministry of the Environment and the 'Bandiera Arancione' by the Touring Cub.

Travel idea: the unique panoramas of Gola del Furlo

and dense forests: the landscape around here is never boring. The Furlo Pass represents an extraordinary scenery to explore by foot along the many hiking trails that lead to its peak. Along these trails, one can admire the majestic cliffs, the ancient Roman Age tunnel, many rare plant species and the emerald green waters of the Candigliano River.
The deep gorge is the result of the hard and extensive erosion performed by the river waters, which, just like a sculpting artist, smoothed the rock turning it into a true work of art.

San Vincenzo Abbey: a church of Roman architecture

Dominating the charming natural landscape of Gola del Furlo is without a doubt the astonishingly beautiful San Vincenzo Abbey, a truly ancient monastery immersed in the green expanses of Le Marche hills. The simple and majestic appearance of the fortified structure make every visitor fall in love at first sight: the doors that lead inside are skillfully decorated and bear witness to the important role of the Abbey, a priceless Medieval jewel.

The abbey hosts inside well preserved fifteenth-century frescoes of Umbria-Marche origins, but the most mysterious and interesting portion of the Roman church is undoubtedly its crypt. The relics of the Bishop of Bevagna, San Vincenzo, rest here and it is from him that the abbey takes its name.

The sculpted walls of Gola del Furlo

In the past, Via Flaminia used to be a major connector between the cities of Rome and Rimini however, the road was impervious, bumpy and difficult to travel. A road that snaked between the frequent rock slides and that climbed up the steep walls of the mountains with cliffs overlooking the river that roared below them. It was specifically for this reason that the Romans built a tunnel approximately 40 meters long that made Via Flaminia easier to travel.

The tunnel is still visible and usable to date a masterpiece created with extreme care and accurate excavations that passes through the mountain in the narrowest point of the gorge.
It is from this tunnel that the name “Furlo” originated: from the Latin term “Forulum” which, in fact, means hole.
The Romans were not the only ones to leave a mark in this enchanted place: in 1936, the “Milizia Nazionale Forestale” (State Forestry Militia) sculpted the face of Benito Mussolini on the rocks of Pietralata. It is said that in the ‘20s, Mussolini, when leaving Rome to head back to Predappio, followed the Via Flaminia and thus crossed the Gola del Furlo. Despite the immense effort and extraordinary artistic feat accomplished, the sculpted image of the “Duce” was destroyed towards the end of WWII and the material obtained used to rebuild the surrounding roads. Today, of the dictator’s sculpture, only a few rare photographs remain while it is very difficult to notice where it was located on its former site.

Gola del Furlo between history and legends

Gola del Furlo, nowadays a place of peace and wonders, in the past was instead home to bandits of all sorts and thus marred by bad reputation. As stated earlier, the Furlo Pass was a strategic location in the Roman Age since it allowed reaching Ravenna, which at the time was the capital of the Peninsula. Therefore, it is clear that the Furlo Pass was a mandatory stop for travelers, goods and soldiers: not by chance a station and an Inn were found here where travelers could stop and rest.
It did not take long for bandits to understand the value of the Furlo Pass and that included especially the Goths, a population that easily decimated the few Roman soldiers standing guard to the Pass and who subsequently fortified it. The castle, built by the invaders between the tunnel and the Grotta del Grano (Cave of Wheat), was conquered next by the Byzantines but less than ten years after that, the fortress was once again under the control of the Goths.
Subsequently, it was the turn of the Lombards to take over the Furlo, but by then this majestic and spectacular place was cursed to endure a thousand years of fear and darkness.
In fact, the Furlo Pass turned into the turf of merciless cutthroats to the point that even the Papal State Mail service for a long period chose not to make use of this road, certainly faster respect to others but a lot less safe.
A tale worthy of mention is the one of the legendary capture of the brigante Musolino, a murderer who managed to escape from prison to kill his accusers. When Musolino happened to be near the area of the Furlo, he was captured by two officers of the Carabinieri force, who did not give him any chance to flee.

Gola del Furlo and its nature

The distinguishing characteristic of the Apennines in Le Marche region is that most of mountain range in this area is crossed by rivers not too big but ancient enough to have dug deep caves between the mountains: the famous calcareous gorges capable of astounding for their incredibly vertical walls one of the most accessible, and even most spectacular of these is indeed Gola del Furlo.

This extraordinary place is also an area full of biodiversity varying from forests to vast and sunny meadows to the typical humid areas of the river, all in a short distance. Over these stiff and rugged calcareous rocks it is possible to find growing rare bushes which can survive in extreme conditions thanks to their ability to root themselves into the rock.

In addition, Gola del Furlo is one of the richest and most famous deposits of Ammonites: the site is so important that some of the fossils took the name from the place where they were found. The last wonder, but not in order of importance, is the Furlo Dam. It was one of the first dams built by Le Marche Region and it forms a special lake by blocking the flow of the Candigliano River.
Now the Gorge does not frighten as much as it did back in the Roman Age and the reason is simple: the presence of the lake slows down the river, which, in the past, roared furiously in the narrow and deep gorge, frightening and causing vertigo to those traveling on the nearby road.

From Gola del Furlo to the precious truffle of Acqualagna

The three kilometers of the Via Flaminia that cross the Pass ensure a relaxing and easy hike which is not to be missed since the beauty of the varied and flourishing nature in this enchanted place will remain an unforgettable memory immortalized also in the pictures of tourists well after having completed the short excursion.
Thus, what is better than sitting down and eating after a good hike on mountain trails?
Once having walked among the wonders of nature and enjoyed the many legends of this extraordinary Pass on the Apennines, it will be time to head to the road leading to the small town of Acqualagna.

This small place is well known internationally because of the quality of the dishes served at its local osterias: Acqualagna, in fact, is the paradise of white truffle, a delicacy that not to be missed by tourists.

Le Terre del Duca – A walk from Fonte Avellana to Urbino

Cross the Umbro Marchigiana and Marchigiana ridge, a section of the Appennini Mountains running from north-west to south-east across central Italy. The path you follow is close to the tracks of the Romans and ancient connections between the villages and towns.
You will encounter Roman ruins as well as Abbeys and Medieval towns, before finishing amid the full flowering of the Renaissance in fabulous Urbino.

Cross the Umbro Marchigiana and Marchigiana ridge, a section of the Appennini Mountains running from north-west to south-east across central Italy. The path you follow is close to the tracks of the Romans and the ancient links between villages and towns.

You will encounter Roman ruins as well as Abbeys and Medieval towns, before finding yourself amid the full flower of the Renaissance in Urbino.The best period for this journey is from April to October.The route is in five stages: the first two are a little bit harder the three others are easier.

Cost per person: £599.00 sharing a room

Single room supplement £169.00

1 night in traditional villa in Fabriano
1 night in traditional villa in Fabriano
1 night in traditional inn in Cantiano
1 night in country house in Cagli
1 night in typical 3 stars hotel in Furlo
1 night in country house in Fermignano
2 nights in 3 stars hotel in the centre of Urbino

  • 4 nights half board (dinner and breakfast)
  • 1 night in an apartment
  • 2 nights in a B&B
  • 5 lunch boxes
  • Private transfer from Fabriano to Fonte Avellana
  • Maps (GPS tracks on request)
  • Briefing with our staff at the beginning of the tour
  • Luggage transfer
  • Emergency assistance during the tour

Arrival in Fabriano (Ancona Airport is 59 km there is a train station in the airport, with a direct line to Fabriano or you can rent a car with drop off in Fabriano). Overnight in the beautiful medieval town of Fabriano (

Transfer to Fonte Avellana (45 mins.), visit the abbey and walk Fonte Avellana – Cantiano (17,8km – h 7 without stops).

Fonte Avellana is one of the most beautiful places in all the Appennines. From the abbey, walk the Sentiero Italia ( rising to Monte Catria, and then crossing from east to west through a pass between Monte Catria and Monte Acuto (1450 mt). The climb is sometimes vigorous, but the view over the abbey and the splendid scenery is really unforgettable. The first leg ends in Cantiano, a small but important village, built by the Romans in a strategic position on the Via Flaminia.

Cantiano – Cagli (14,5 km – h 6,5 without stops)

The second day takes you to Monte Tenetra, crossing the beautiful Tenetra grassland and two protected areas, where, especially in spring, you can see flowering orchids and many other species of wild flowers. After a splendid beech forest, you meet the Sentiero Frassati ( and you will follow this path until the town of Cagli. Dinner not included tonight.

Cagli – Acqualagna – Furlo (19 km – h 7 without stops)

Today the route runs parallel to the Via Flaminia, on its way towards the Furlo Gorge. During the day you will pass through Acqualagna, a small town famous all over the world for its truffles.

Furlo – Fermignano (13,5 km – h 6 without stops)

Walk through the Furlo Gorge, and its surrounding countryside, a place full of history and beauty. After passing through the Roman tunnel, build in 77 AD, commence the climb towards Monte Pietralata, on the northern side of the gorge. From the top, looking south, the view over the gorge is astonishing, whilst to the north you descry Urbino’s majestic skyline.

Fermignano – Urbino (16,5 km – h 6,5 without stops)

The fifth and last leg is a relaxing walk across the hills, heading directly for the Ducal Town. Pass through the village of Fermignano and then up to Urbino, where the massive Ducal Palace dominates the skyline. Enter Urbino directly into the heart of the town, arriving from south and entering through the ancient city walls.

A full day to enjoy the magnificent Ducal Palace, the scene for Il Cortegiano (The Courtier), the classic handbook for the Renaissance man.

Back in the hotel Friday night (28 August), Cheryl saw a picture of the Gola del Furlo (the Gorge of the Furlo River). She wanted to ride there, and then go to Arezzo, which, according to her, was as interesting as Ravenna. Besides, I could go to Ravenna later, while I was riding up the Adriatic Coast. And we both wanted to go to places neither of us had seen.

Saturday morning, we were on the train back down the coast to Fano. We figured an easy 30-40 km ride up a gentle slope on SP3 , take some pictures, and find a place to stay near there. Fano is a bicycle-friendly city, so soon we were in the country heading west. The SP3 turned out to be the ancient Via Flaminia. I recognized the old white milestones. On the seven main roads out of Rome (the famous “all roads lead to Rome” roads), the milestones indicate the distance to the Roman Forum. I liked knowing that we were only so far from Rome, no matter where we were. In fact, if pieces of the Flaminia had not been turned into autostrade, we could have ridden to the capital in less than three days from Fano.

About two kilometers from the gorge, the road was closed, but not very convincingly. We rode around the concrete barrier, past the parked cars of picnicking families, and headed to the gorge. Suddenly, we found ourselves alone against a temporary wall constructed of chain-link fencing and plywood. Now the road was seriously closed, and we were very curious. We had come too far to let a simple construction barrier stop us, so I held the plywood door up to let Cheryl through, and then stepped through myself.

The road was not just closed it wasn’t there. The construction project sign on the plywood wall had understated the case. A landside at least 50 m wide had taken out the entire road and pushed it into the waters of the Gorge. From the state of the work, it was clear that the construction crews were actually cutting out more of the road and digging it down to give themselves a man-made, solid foundation on which to rebuild the road itself. Obviously, this project was not going to meet its published December deadline, and that it would be probably a couple of years before the via for me it was open again. Later, I learned that the landslide had occurred the winter before last.

Now we had a new problem. How do we get to the other side of the gap? There was a superstrada punching through a tunnel in the mountain above us, but it was forbidden to bicycles. I remembered passing a bus stop just before we got on the final road to the gorge. We rode back to the bus stop, and found that the bus should arrive shortly. It was our lucky day. The driver was obviously understood the problem and let us to pull our bicycles up into the bus and hang onto them while he went down to the superstrada, then sped through the tunnel. Soon we were standing in the middle of Acqualagna, where the only accommodation was closed and for sale. We decided to ride back to the other side of the gap (about 7 km), and stay at the Antico Furlo, for which we had seen billboards along the road. The other side of the gap had the familiar plywood wall, but there was a pleasant park on that end of the gorge.

The Antico Furlo had more history than I expected. No surprise that it had been in operation for centuries, but I felt that I had entered a shrine to Benito Mussolini. Indeed, the Italian dictator praised the cooking at the Antico Furlo, coming back more than once. I can affirm that the place is clean, comfortable, and well-run – and the food is good.

We had had quite an adventure for having ridden only 50 km all day.

Sunday morning, we enjoyed the excellent breakfast at the hotel, and headed west. Our 1:200,000 map seemed to show a series of provincial roads that could take us across the Apennines without having to climb the sharp ridge that dominates the backbone of the country. We crossed a wide variety of terrains, from farmed plains near Acqualagna, through pine-covered slopes around Piobbico and Apecchio, along a windy ridge road, down to the industrial valley around Città di Castello. We rode in and out of the region of Umbria in just three hours. A pair of state highways took us into Tuscany and through a deep valley to the plain around Arezzo. The needle-like pines of the Tuscan wine-growing hills took over the scenery. It was not a fast ride (except for the downhill from the ridge to Città di Castello!), but we did not stop for lunch. We rode into Arezzo, 100 km from Furlo, before sunset.

Cheryl was right: Arezzo is a jewel. For my money, it was better than Siena and, for some things, better than Florence. The Piazza Grande looked like a construction zone, but the work was for the medieval jousting and other events that would take place after we left. The town was dripping with late Medieval and early Renaissance art. We were able to see Cimabue’s crucifix, and Piero della Francesca’s frescoes, but the museums were closed. Cheryl had seen them, and I would return.

Over dinner at the Piazza Grande, we modified our plan to ride to Florence the next day. Instead, we picked another town on our respective bucket lists: Cortona.

Book Review: The Frontiers of Imperial Rome, From Pen and Sword Publishers.

The Frontiers of Imperial Rome, David J. Breeeze (Barnsley, South Yorkshire: Pen and Sword, 2011). 242 pages, illus. maps, notes, biblio. ISBN: 978-1-84884-427-8. $45.00.

The most familiar Hadrian’s Wall was atypical of the barriers erected by the Roman Empire to mark the limits of their territory. Wherever the Romans built border limits, they used the most available materials and took advantage of terrain features to achieve their purpose. These barriers were designed to defend the empire, but not in the sense that they formed an impenetrable curtain wall. They controlled access to the Empire and movement within it, protected farmers and traders against raiders, were springboards for offense and were symbolic “Look upon my works and despair”. Hadrian’s Wall was erected under the supervision of the Emperor and displayed a more splendid aspect than the ditches, palisades and outposts of other frontiers.

Conveniently divided by the author into categories of frontiers, rivers, desert, mountains, and forests the reader can see what impelled the Romans to build the border limits the way they did. All around the Empire from Britain to Germany to the Danube to the Black Sea to the deserts of the Levant, Egypt and North Africa the reader is introduced not only to Roman ingenuity but to their strategic and tactical planning and the vastness of the Empire. Natural obstacles were supplemented by physical barriers and often, the limits were defined by an indistinct line between the sewn and the barren.

In your reviewer’s opinion their frontier limits were extraordinarily successful. They functioned and evolved over a period of 500 years in the Western Empire and much more in the Eastern.

The author is an Honorary Professor at the Universities of Durham, Edinburgh and Newcastle. He is also Chairman of the International Congress of Roman Frontier Studies and Chief Inspector for Ancient Monuments for Scotland.

This book is highly recommended for the general reader interested in the Roman Empire and its frontiers. As my first Pen and Sword selection, I am favorably impressed by subject matter and this book’s adherence to the art of book making.

Day 14 - Santo Stefano di Sessanio in Abruzzo – Thursday 24th September

After a very leisurely start we paid a visit to lovely little town of Offida where lace is made.

The weather wasn’t too kind for us and out came the umbrellas. One person, who shall not be named (Alan) thought buying a coat would be a good idea and in 5 minutes came back with a big glorious Italian wool coat that cost him only 40 euros. He reckons it would be ten times that price back in Brisbane and quite a few people started making him offers for it!

We then walked all the way through town to the far end where we visited the 13th century Church of Santa Maria della Rocca. Whilst the wooden roofed church was impressive, it was the entrance way through the lower level crypt that was striking. Lines of stone vaulted archways, beautifully lit, supporting the whole church structure above.

On the way back we stopped in at the Lace museum and then the gorgeous town theatre. Called the Teatro Serpente Aureo (Theatre of the Golden Snake) it a magical timepiece, with three levels of brightly coloured box seats rising directly up and all around the lower stalls. The old wooden stage was sloped forward and down towards the stalls, and you could imagine actors and dancers on this (still used) museum stage.

Time for lunch, so we drove down to the Adriatic coast to the fishing port of San Benedetto to enjoy a leisurely lunch at the Trattoria Molo Sud, located right on the seafront, close to the fish market and port (San Benedetto has the largest fishing fleet in Italy).

Fully fed and rested, we then drove deep into the Apennines – the mountain ridge that runs down the spine of Italy. The roadway went up and up, and then we reached a large highland plateau at around 2,000 metres. Here we encountered some unruly cows with two young cows deciding to walk slowly along the road in front of us. We needed to speed things up as we were trudging along at a cow’s sauntering pace, so our fearless Tour Manager Gilberto jumped out of the coach to herd the cows off the road!

Stepping back in time we reached the hilltop town of Santo Stefano di Sessanio, in the province of L’Aquila, where we stayed for 2 nights.

Our accommodation in the hotel Sextantio Albergo Diffuso was…. unusual…On arrival we enjoyed a welcome drink in the ‘Tiserania’ (Tea Room), whilst our bags were delivered (very slowly) to our rooms. I say rooms but in reality it was houses…scattered all around this mostly deserted, crumbling village. Going back 15 years ago, an enterprising man discovered this completely abandoned village and decided to rejuvenate it by selecting certain crumbling properties and converting them to period piece apartment rooms. Every room was different and, scattered around town, had its own address and giant cast iron key. Some were on 2 levels, some had tiny stone staircases, some steep wooden steps, all had that incredibly battered and aged look about them, because that is exactly what they were. Furniture was antique and the rooms quite Spartan, which is the way they should be. Many rooms had soot engrained walls or ceilings (yes, they were clean!) The bathroom facilities were excellent and ultra modern… phew! Along with electric lights and Wi-Fi, each room was lit with a series of pale yellow, slow burning candles. The effect was stunning. These were perfectly rejuvenated time-capsules, giving us a magical insight into living spaces within a village unchanged over the centuries. One or two of our fellow travellers found the stairs and darkened, cobbled stone streets a challenge and not quite to their taste. But all would agree, it was an extraordinary travelling experience.

In the evening we enjoyed a light meal in the Cantina with its massive stone fireplace.

Watch the video: GOLA DEL FURLO Riserva Naturale - Nature reserve - HD (August 2022).