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A weekend: Villages and towers

The Apennines, together with the pristine nature and the mountains, preserve the testimonies of people who lived and shaped it over time, telling very old events. A weekend in Borgo Pace can also be an opportunity to discover the area from a different angle, looking for the settlements, small villages and castles along the ridges and valleys of this municipality.

The peaks of the Apennines will be a treasure chest and you will certainly be surprised by the treasures you can discover. It is possible to divide this exploration in two days, one day dedicated to the Meta valley and one to the Auro valley.

The departure is from the modern Borgo Pace: just above the village, in fact, stands Castel Bavia (Castrum Abbatie). In the Middle Ages its inhabitants decided to leave the castle walls and descend to the valley, where the two streams meet,  creating a new settlement there. Today there are only a few ruins, but it is really worth a walk to this place where nature is regaining possession on the square stones of the castle walls. Going up the Meta valley, the village of Sompiano, homeland of the Red Potato, also merits a stop; there are the Oratory of Carmine and the Church of Santa Croce inside its stone alleys dating back to the 15th century. These two buildings are examples of well-preserved local religious architecture, simple and straight like the inhabitants of these mountains, but not for this less evocative and profound. The most upstream outpost of the Meta valley is Lamoli, the largest hamlet of Borgo Pace, where in the highest point the Benedictine Abbey of San Michele Arcangelo , whose visit is a must, with its imposing naves and a valuable wooden crucifix from the Umbrian school.

When the exploration is over, it will not be a problem to find accommodation suitable for all needs, in the numerous accommodation facilities, not before consuming a local dinner in one of the farmhouses and restaurants in the area.

The second day of our exploration is dedicated to the Auro valley, a place of settlements and villages on the ridges, excellent lookout points to defend the borders. Here in just 5 km, between Borgo Pace and Parchiule, and in other villages, there are 5 watchtowers built in sandstone, the towers of: San Martino, Sant'Andrea, Castel de 'Fabbri and finally the two towers above the village of Parchiule.

The first recommended stop is Figgiano, where St. Francis also passed in 1213. According to legend, near the village, the saint touched a stone from which water with curative properties began to flow. Today, pure water still gushes from the Fonte di San Francesco and from here, with a quiet walk of half an hour, you can reach the Oratory of the Colubraia, a privileged panoramic point between Tuscany and the Marches. Going up towards the mountain we arrive at Palazzo Mucci, on a relief 619 meters high, a fortified castle that has been known since the 12th century. Here you can admire the Palazzo di Muccio, a seventeenth-century building where, for some people in 1802, for other one in 1818, Napoleon's brother, Luciano Bonaparte, was hosted. Following  the road that runs along the Auro, our journey ends in Parchiule, a charming village divided in two parts by the stream that marks an ideal border between two "neighborhoods" called the Lame and the Villa. A watchtower whose ruins are still visible today watch over the dark slabs of the stone roofs. The recommended itinerary in Parchiule arrives at the church of Santa Maria, connected with a beautiful and ancient stone bridge.

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