The area around Arcevia is full of hidden little treasures, that proudly bear the name of “Castelli”. Indeed, these little castles, 9 to be precise, were built in order to protect the biggest Arcevia against the attacks of Serra San Quirico. Today we are going to Avacelli, small village with very few inhabitants, but many historic traces. The heart of the castle is worth a stroll down the narrow alleys and a visit to the old water pump, that is still in use. Witness to the function of the former Castellum Avacellorum are the defensive walls, still visible nowadays.
To start our walk, you’d better park in the “modern” part of Avacelli, more downhill than the centre. The walk is 4km loop, with only one steep road: suitable for many tourists and also adventurous children, also during Summer, because of the amount of shades. To start our walk, we leave Avacelli through the gate, and descend an easy forest path (easy thanks to the wooden railing aside). The first point of interest we reach is the first settlement of Avacelli, where the Longobard region stretched out, bordering the Byzantine part. It has been restored by the German owner. Along this trail you can find wild asparagus around April/May, admire the stunning colours of orchids, and smell the wonderful scents of the flowering acacias.
The path ends at the main road and you turn to the right to follow the asphalt road until you see a sandy path to the right indicating Chiesa Sant ‘Ansovino.
The Church is dedicated to the Longobard bishop Sant’Ansovino from Camerino and it was built in the 11th century. As a typical Romanesque church, it has round arches and small windows. Even the Templars used to operate in this church in the early 13th, until their order was forbidden by the Pope in the 14th century.
The Church is completely restored since 2013, but unfortunately only occasionally accessible to the public. The interior stands out because of the beautifully decorated capitals and the beautiful fresco Madonna and Child from the 15th – 16th century.
Leaving the building and continuing on the path straight ahead, we retrace many Pope’s steps, that used to travel from Genga to the seaside resort in Senigallia.
Following the sign 141 turn right, you now climb the steep road to go back to the defensive castle of Avacelli, at 441 a.s.l. height.
Since in the recent part of Avacelli there is a small bar and occasionally a smaller one in the historic part, we would recommend to bring your own food.
If this walk is too easy, download the longer walk around Avacelli, which take the podisti of Cupra Montana!