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Downhill - Much Easier Day - and a Fabulous Wine Tasting
We start off with a great downhill. Hurrah! We descend into the Tiber valley and bike about 12 Km into Todi, another of Umbria's City states, boasting by repute the best proportioned piazza in Italy. It sits on top of a steep hill, and the Duomo looks out across the Piazza del Popolo, surrounded by impressive municipal buildings. A perfect place for a gelato, the traditional Italian ice cream.
From Todi we cross the Tiber and head across the Vale of Spoleto toward Montefalco. This is much gentler terrain, but there is the inevitable climb to the hill town of Montefalco, known as the 'Balcony of Umbria'. It has spectacular views in all directions across the Tiber valley, boasts a beautiful circular piazza, and produces some interesting wines.
Foremost among them are the wines of the DOCG Montefalco Sagrantino, made from Sagrantino grapes grown only around Montefalco. These are some of the most powerful and distinguished reds in all of Italy. The name is derived from sagra, the Italian for feast.
This was originally a wine reserved for feasts and festivals, but more is produced now and it is more widely available. Of course we'll take the opportunity to try it out, courtesy of Arnoldo Caprai-Val di Maggio. They also produce Montefalco wines (DOC and Colli Martani Grechetto, but the point is the Sagrantino.
Leaving Montefalco, we cycle along the bottom of the Vale of Spoleto - we've earned a flat ride - to the walled town of Bevagna, where we stay at the 3*** Hotel Brunamonti. Today is our longest bike ride yet, but a fascinating and beautiful trip.