The route is divided into two parts: an approach to the stage finale, and a closing circuit. In the first part, the route follows mainly the Salaria state road, undulating across the Apennines. The roads here are usually wide and well paved, only narrowed at points, with some tunnels along the route. Street furniture will be the main impediment as the stage passes through urban areas. The closing circuit begins at km 167.
The final kilometres are part of a circuit of 17.1 kms, to be covered 3 times, which consists of a descent and a closing climb to the finish, with a small flat stretch along the coast in between. The final 3 kms have a mild uphill gradient of approx. 7%. The final 100 metres are flat and on tarmac.
start / finish
Greccio and its crib: a story that has its origins in the Christmas night of 1223 when St. Francis, returning from Palestine, wanted to reconstruct right here, in a cave, the Nativity Scene of Bethlehem. A unique event that radically changed the destiny of the small village on the slopes of Mount Lacerone. From a simple castrum – originally called “curtis de Greze” – Greccio became over the centuries a staple for thousands of tourists. All because of the intuition of Saint Francis, as known as “Il Poverello di Assisi” (poor fellow of Assisi) who on these mountains “invented” the crib, whose eighth centenary falls this year. For this anniversary, a National Committee has been established by the Ministry of Culture that will present major cultural events, including international ones, throughout 2023, such as its debut last December, at the Peace Center in Bethlehem.
Where is Greccio located? Situated halfway up the wooded Sabine mountain range, 705 meters above sea level, the medieval village overlooks the Valley of Rieti bordered by the Apennine mountain range of Terminillo.
Contrary to what many people think, St. Francis of Assisi was not a vegetarian at all and invited his friars to help themselves to “all the foods that men can eat.” But his favorite dish was shrimp pie, and he also loved some sweets such as almond mostaccioli. The pasticcio, or “coppo of St. Francis” is a dish based on succulent shrimp meat and its tasty juice with the addition of walnuts and spices, which give additional fragrance to the dish, served in a hard dough container, called – precisely – “coppo.” The recipe has been handed down through the centuries and has come down to the present day, presumably with some modifications, so much so that a typical restaurant in Greccio is still used to cook it as a tribute to the saint. Today, as 800 years ago, this and other recipes are part of the town’s gastronomic tradition, enriched over the centuries with various delicacies made with mushrooms, truffles, asparagus, legumes, hare, wild boar and lamb.
Particularly popular are the “Cannelloni alla Francescana”, a first course made with fresh homemade pasta stuffed with veal and natural flavorings, and the wild boar in red wine, a second course that has its strong point in its marination in Sabina oil, salt, pepper, juniper berries, bay leaves and rosemary. Also worth mentioning are the “Fregnacce alla Sabinese” and the baked baby lamb. Around the time of the grape harvest and during the Christmas season, local tradition offers honey sweets and short pastries kneaded with flour, grape must and dried fruit, especially hazelnuts, but also almonds and walnuts.
Tortoreto is the main seaside tourist destination in Abruzzo, boasting about 570,000 overnight stays a year. Overlooking the Adriatic Sea, it is divided into five areas: the historic center, the Lido and the three hamlets of Salino, Cavatassi and Terrabianca. The historic center, of medieval origin, can boast churches with nationally important works of art as well as a wonderful view from the coast to the Gran Sasso d’Italia massif. The Lido, equipped with a magnificent bicycle path immersed in greenery and surrounded by equipped areas, can boast beautiful bathing facilities, restaurants and hotels ready to welcome the thousands of tourists every year. This tourist vocation is certified each year by the various banners obtained: Blue Flag, achieved 26 times of which 25 consecutive; Green Flag, awarded by Italian pediatricians to beaches suitable for children; Yellow Flag of FIAB bikeable municipalities; Green Ear for sustainable rural development; Lilac Flag for accessible tourism; certification as “City of Running and Walking” FIDAL.
Tortoreto, thanks to its agricultural and seafaring vocation, due to the location of its territory, with its various restaurants perfectly embodies all the requirements of excellent cuisine. It is a cuisine characterized by typical and unique products that have become famous all over the world and that represent a land of sea, mountains and fertile hills. Around Tortoreto you can go through food and wine itineraries such as the “roads of the seven hills” that allow to appreciate the crops and the products such as fresh and seasoned cheeses, typical cold cuts derived from the ancient tradition of homemade pork processing, and the great wines of Abruzzo that are the result of traditional and native grape varieties: Trebbiano, Cerasuolo and Montepulciano d’Abruzzo. The presence of many olive groves characterizes the area for the production of excellent oils, by oil mills and independent producers but also by important labels such as Olio Eterno and Olio Monaco, which has been awarded several times at the national and international level. We cannot fully get to know this territory without first tasting the typical recipes that characterize it, from timballo to maccheroni alla chitarra with pallottine (meatballs spaghetti), from lamb to arrosticini, from fish “brodetto” (soup) in its most varied interpretations to scrippelle, the Abruzzese equivalent of savory crepes, without forgetting sweets and liqueurs that are the result of ancient traditions rooted even in the new generations. Among the typical dishes, Chitarrina alla Tortoretana is a traditional first course that, with its homegrown, noble, fresh and quality ingredients, perfectly represents the place “of sea and land” that is Tortoreto. In this exquisite dish, the traditional dough of maccheroni alla chitarra (an ancient recipe from Abruzzo) is enriched and colored with the addition of spinach with the intent to recall the green of the beautiful hills, while, the clam “venus galina,” known for its unmistakable aroma and delicious taste, represents the pride of Tortoreto’s seafaring tradition, as well as the cuttlefish, caught skillfully and by our sailors with the characteristic “creels.”
Wine and beverage
Tortoreto hills are famous for the quality of their wines, and the area can boast wineries that produce Montepulciano d’Abruzzo D.O.C. and Montepulciano d’Abruzzo Colline Teramane D.O.C.G., Trebbiano and Cerasuolo d’Abruzzo D.O.C., as well as Abruzzo Passerina D.O.C. and Abruzzo Pecorino D.O.C. The pride Tortoreto’s and Abruzzo’s wine production is the Tenuta Terraviva winery, which, every year, receives national and international awards for its wines.