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Friday 10
March 2023

168 km
Altitude gain 3800 mt

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Morro d'Oro -




technical info

This is the toughest stage of the Tirreno-Adriatico, featuring a summit finish. Starting in Morro d’Oro, the route is an endless succession of climbs and descents, linked without pause for breath. The stage passes through some of the most popular locations of the ‘Race of the Two Seas’, such as Offida, Comunanza and Amandala. After taking a first pass through Sarnano, the route takes in successive climbs, with KOM points up for grabs in San Ginesio and Gualdo. The course is very demanding in both course and profile. Overall, the roads are relatively wide and well surfaced to slightly worn out. The closing climb from Sarnano to Sassotetto (14.5 kms) has a 6.5% average gradient, with peaks topping out at 12%.
Final kilometres
The final kilometres correspond to the closing climb leading to Sassotetto. The gradients are quite steady around 6-7%, peaking out above 10% at points, and long straight stretches alternate with hairpins. The gradient decreases shortly before the finish. The home straight is 100 m long, on 7 m wide asphalt, and slightly uphill.

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tourist info

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Morro d'Oro


Situated astride the Vomano and Tordino rivers, the small town has medieval origins, as evidenced by the typical 15th-century structure of the fortified village.

Points of interest

Noteworthy are the parish church of San Salvatore built in the 14th century and later remodeled (inside is a 16th-century terracotta statue of the Madonna, Baroque altars and organ) and, in the surrounding countryside, the former convent of Sant’Antonio Abate with a 14th-century portal.

Finally, the important complex of Santa Maria di Propezzano is worth visiting. Legend has it that the church was built following an apparition of the Virgin Mary on May 10, 715. But the mysteries associated with this church extend to the very construction of the complex, which was inexplicably begun in Gothic forms but finished in Romanesque style.

The façade consists of three parts of different heights; the one on the right is incorporated into the convent, the central body, on the other hand, possesses a three-arched portico under which is the portal and remains of 15th-century frescoes, above the portico an oculus and higher up a sober rose window. The right side has a portal called the Holy Door, which is opened only on May 10 and Ascension Day.

Just behind it we find the quadrangular bell tower.

Inside the convent (which cannot always be visited) is the 16th-century quadrangular cloister, with a double row of arcades and a well in the middle. In the lunettes of the cloister are remnants of 17th-century frescoes by Polish painter Sebastian Majewski, and in the refectory room 16th-century frescoes with stories from the founding legend.



Situated on a rise to the right of the Tennacola River, well silhouetted against the backdrop of the Sibllini Mountains that seem to protect it from the rest, Sarnano (m. 539 a.s.l., inhabitants 3391) preserves intact its historic center of medieval origin.

It is no coincidence that Sarnano is part of Italy’s Most Beautiful Villages.

Old Sarnano, in fact, still has the shape of the “castrum,” a fortified village that winds in concentric circles from the Piazza Alta and descends through alleys and hovels to the base of the hill, creating an evocative atmosphere where time seems to have stopped.

Food & Wine

The Sarnanese gastronomic tradition is linked to the customs of mountain people and farming families. On every table you will find multiple reinterpretations of typical local dishes: simple and genuine dishes that provide an intense sensory experience of forgotten scents and flavors.

Start with a slice of fresh bread, strictly without salt, spread a slice of ciauscolo, the soft cured meat, king of Sarnanese typicalities, on it and accompany it with tasty pecorino cheese or delicate ricotta. Don’t miss the coratella d’agnello, seasoned in a variety of ways, then try vincisgrassi, the lasagna of the Macerata area, or perhaps polentone, baked with pecorino, fat and lean or tomato sauce. Or turn your fork to a nice plate of tagliatelle or pappardelle topped with mushrooms and truffles, or with wild boar, hare or duck sauces. Enjoy rabbit cacciatore with garden herbs or discover the intense flavor of beans with pork rinds and cleanse the palate with strascinate herbs. Close with a slice of nougat tart, a true Sarnanese uniqueness, prepared with candied fruit and dried fruit mixed with other very secret ingredients, and perhaps accompany it with a small glass of long aged vino cotto.

At Easter, try glaze-free doughnuts, accompanying them with cured meats; at Christmas, get lost in the myriad flavors of walnut pizza; in autumn, intoxicate yourself with the aroma of the must doughnut to be dunked in new wine; and, at Carnival, indulge in a sin of gluttony between scroccafusi and cicerchiata.

Points of interest

  • The Via degli Orti: begin your walk by starting from the Loggiato di Via Roma, an exhibition gallery built on part of what used to be the IV city wall (second half of the 16th century). Walk down the street keeping the Loggiato on your left and, after about fifty meters, take Via San Filippo, which is on your right. A little further on, on the left, you will cross a “piaggia”: this is where the Porta Poggio of the IV city walls dating back to the end of the 16th century opened. But how many circles of walls and how many gates were built over the centuries? Continue along Via San Filippo where you meet, on the left, the small church of the same name, closed by a glass door that allows you to see inside. Go a few steps past the church and, turning your gaze to the left, below you, observe the area of the vegetable gardens, a part of the ancient incasato destroyed by an earthquake in 1730 and never rebuilt. In fact, the areas on which the collapsed houses stood have been transformed over the centuries into characteristic urban gardens that are still cultivated today.
  • The Barbican: At the edge of the vegetable garden area you can see the remains of the fourth circle of walls and a polygonal defense tower. Just before you reach the end of the street, on your right you will find a tall and narrow opening, the barbican. The barbican was a typical medieval defensive structure: a smaller gateway than the main one, thus easier to defend in case of siege, flanked by the bertesca, a series of narrow openings from which to throw arrows and stones at attackers. Today the bertesca is walled up, but its shape is still clearly visible on the wall.
  • Porta Castelvecchio and Porta Pesa: cross the barbican to enter a narrow, steep alley, Via Rismondo, and, on your right, observe Porta Castelvecchio on the 2nd city wall, also now walled but visible on the wall. Continue to the stairway on Via della Costa and walk down it so as to cross the point corresponding to the Castelvecchio Gate placed on the III city wall. The III city wall dates back to the first half of the 1500s and covers only the section joining Porta Poggio, Porta Castelvecchio and Porta Bisio. As you go down you see on the right what was once the Jewish ghetto and, on the left, the church of Madonna del Carmine. Go down again through Via Buozzi until you cross Via della Vittoria at the place once occupied by Porta Castelvecchio on the IV city wall. Take a few steps to the right along Via della Vittoria and, on your right, observe, incorporated into the walls of the present buildings, what remains of the IV city wall whose battlements are still visible. Turn back to Via Buozzi and take a left past the Monte di Pietà building, evidence of the widespread presence of Franciscan friars in these areas. A few more steps and you come to Largo Decio Filipponi where, on your right, observe Porta Bisio on the III city wall. Turn right onto Via Cairoli where you encounter, also on the III city wall, a loggia, better known to the Sarnanese as the Arco del Trecento. Next to the loggia, you can also see an example of cantilevered houses, a particular type of building about whose origin is still uncertain. Go up, to the left, into the street above, Via Mazzini, passing the church of the Annunziata, now deconsecrated. Continue on the same street for a few meters, turn right and go up, on the left, a short flight of steps that leads you to Via Baracca and walk along it to the right, returning again to the steps of Via della Costa. Go up, to the left, until you cross Via Leopardi. Go down the alley on your right and, after a few steps, on the left, on the wall of a building, observe the trace of what used to be the Castelvecchio Gate on the First City Wall (13th cent.). Why do we insist on pointing you to all the collocations of a gate that actually no longer exists today? Because Porta Castelvecchio is the only one to have been rebuilt along all four circles of walls and, moreover, the distance between the Gates gives you the measure of the progressive enlargement of the enclosure.
  • The Old Convent and the Assassin’s Arch: Turn back and walk down the flat stretch of Via Leopardi. On your left is the Church of St. Clare and, in the square behind it, the entrance to the Pinacoteca and Civic Museums worth stopping to visit. A few more tens of meters and, on the left, you will encounter the Church of St. Francis and the Town Hall, which also houses the library inside where valuable volumes and manuscripts of considerable historical and cultural interest are kept. Originally all these sites were a dual monastic complex: that of the Poor Clare nuns (now the Museum) and that of the Franciscan friars (now the Town Hall).
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