Starting point: Colle Umberto (bivio per M.te Tezio)
Time required: 02:20 h
Change in level: 650 m
Length: 32.20 km
Degree of difficulty: difficile
Monte Tezio has always been a focus of natural interest and leisure activities for the people of Perugia: a destination for pleasant walks or more demanding hikes, for picking wild asparagus or mushrooms, for having picnics, and for many other pursuits.
Our circular route departs from the hamlet of Colle Umberto, at the foot of this splendid mountain massif.
Head towards Perugia and turn off onto the local road for Forcella. On the hill opposite, you will see the unmistakable shape of the Castle of Oscano, surrounded by tall trees and vegetation. Continue uphill to the valley formed by the Oscano river and when you reach Val Serena, take the road towards the Parco di Monte Tezio nature reserve. After reaching the brow of the hill, continue along a grassy plateau and then head right up a steep stretch of paved road leading to the entrance of the Park. Enter the gate on a steep unpaved road sheltered by trees. Ignore the forest trail on the left, which takes you up to the mountain pastures, and carry on straight ahead past an animal enclosure containing a she-wolf. She looks rather dejected, possibly as a result of being kept inside a pen for so long.
Climb up to the Belvedere, a natural viewing-point from which to admire the beautiful countryside around you. From here, you cycle through woodland until you come to the Podere Romitorio, an ancient Benedictine hermitage founded in the 13th century. It has now been restored and forms part of an agritourism business
Cross the plateau, keeping to the left, and descend by an uneven, stony track towards the road for Migiana di Monte Tezio. After the hamlet, follow the road through the scrubland on the eastern flank of the mountain. You eventually come to a point where you can see the Castle of Antognolla (the heart of the castle was a building with a polygonal ground plan, which was extended over the centuries around the original bastion, a Benedictine site probably dating from the 11th century)
At the junction with the paved road from Pierantonio, you continue gently uphill towards San Giovanni del Pantano. You then turn left again at the junction and continue up to Pieve Petroia, following the main road, which starts as tarmac, changes to an unpaved road and then reverts to tarmac again near the end. Cycle through the small hamlet, inhabited by a single extended family, and head down towards the village of Maestrello. Bear left here and you will soon find yourself back at Colle Umberto.