The Sibillini Great Loop Route - Stage #5

The Sibillini Great Loop Route is a hiking path of about 124 km that covers the entire Sibillini mountain range in Umbria-Marche Apennines. Divided into 9 stages, it is fully signposted and it allows to know, in addition to the variety of landscapes and natural beauty, part of the inestimable cultural and historical heritage that this territory preserves.

The Sibillini Great Loop Route is one of the most beautiful routes in central Italy. Through the nine stages you can circumnavigate the territory of the Sibillini National Park, visiting the history of its small villages and the wilderness of its mountains. The tour embraces the Park clockwise, starting from the village of Visso and returning in the same village after passing through some characteristic places, such as the ancient route of the Kingdom of Naples, the Sanctuary of Macereto, the town of Fiastra and its lake, the Abbey of St. Salvatore, the Museum of the Argenta’s Valleys, the Abbey of St. Vincent and St. Anastasio, Mount Vettore and much more.

On the way you can enjoy the Apennine landscape and admire the wildlife that lives in the Park. The excellent organization of the park, as well as the wide availability of information about the paths, allows a dynamic organization of the tour, giving the chance to change the length depending on your availability of time and energy.

5th STAGEGarulla - Rubbiano (11 km)

You travel, between ups and downs, the eastern base of Mount Castel Manardo (1,917 m) and Mount Priora (2,332 m), crossing the deep valleys of the Ambro and Tenna rivers.

Dominated by the peaks and the massive limestone and red stone walls that tighten the Ambro  and Infernaccio valleys, the route winds through the "mosaic" of environments that characterizes the transition areas between the hills and the mountains. A mix of oak, chestnut, hornbeam and beech trees forests alternate with small fields, pastures and shrubs. In the sunny slopes grows holm oak, while in the valleys crossed by streams we find poplars, willows and alders.

In these transition areas between hills and mountains there are many species of mammals such as wolves, wild boars, wild cats, badgers and foxes. For their predominantly nocturnal habits, it is not easy to meet them, but looking at the ground, you can discover the signs of their presence.

See the previous stage #4 See the next stage #6

Points of interest


Located between the Sibilla and Priora mounts, these suggestive natural gorges were formed over millions of years by the Tenna river erosion and are now among the most visited of the entire Umbria-Marche Apennines, ideal destination for summer walks and excursions. The Infernaccio’s Gorges are imposing, with vertiginous cliffs and small waterfalls, surrounded by nature and its harmonic sounds, in fact it seems to be in a circle of Dante’s hell (“Infernaccio” means “bad hell”). At the beginning of the path leading to the entrance of the gorges you cross the famous "Pisciarelle", small waterfalls of water droplets falling from the rocks above. Out of the woods, you can reach the Hermitage of St. Leonard (place of pilgrimage), the source of the river Tenna (1,178 mt. above sea level) and the Rio’s Waterfalls, also called 'hidden waterfalls'.


It’s the oldest Sanctuary in Marche, place of Marian devotion, visited each year by thousands of pilgrims. It stands alone in the heart of the Sibillini Mountains, in a picturesque setting between forests and rocky cliffs, on the Priora and Castel Manardo mounts’ slopes, near the river Ambro after which it is named. It is also known as the "Sibillini’s Little Lourdes" for the similarity with the famous French shrine and the' coincidences' that somehow binds them, like that of its origins. In fact, a first small church was built at the beginning of XI century on the site of an heavenly apparition. In '600s the primitive nucleus was expanded to accommodate more worshipers and the small original chapel - now called the Annunciation Chapel - was incorporated into the new complex and decorated in time by painters and sculptors. The bell tower and the portico in front of the façade date back to the 1930s.

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Technical data

City of departure: Amandola

Departure: Garulla

City of arrival: Montefortino

Arrival: Rubbiano

Length (Km): 11

Difficulty: hiking

Discipline: Trekking

Type of Itinerary: Half Day

Difference in height (m): 430

Difference in downhill (m): 530

Highest point (m): 889

Lowest point (m): 567

Duration (h.): 4