The Leo Hotel in Leonessa, located near the ski slopes, will be the ideal starting point for fantastic slaloms down the slopes of Monte Terminillo during winter, or for exciting mountain excursions in summer.
Nearby there are the most interesting historical, artistic and religious places to visit in Lazio. For example, Monteleone di Spoleto, located at a distance of 9 km, Cascia and Norcia are respectively 22 and 40 km far, Spoleto 36km, Assisi 80km and Labro, a small village of the Middle Ages, 15km far. The town of Rieti and other Franciscan Centres are located about 20km far, the Falls of Marmore is 40km far and Piedilugo Lake 35km far.
The following are the tours in the area:
Leonessa during the winter
Leonessa, a splendid town at about 1000 meters altitude, is in a wide basin in the midst of the Apennines. Leonessa has various possibilities for touring and holidays not only for winter: its urban development began in medieval times, and its sacred buildings are rich in valuable works of art. Numerous events and fairs will accompany you during your memorable stay there.
In Leonessa skiing is done usually between December and April along the 11 km of slopes that unwind down Campo Stella.
Following the road that goes from Leonessa, crossing the so-called Sella di Leonessa, one gets to Mount Terminillo on the ski slopes of Campo Stella. An area that has been recently developed with a large area of slopes, two chair lifts and various ski lifts. There are unlimited possibilities for the intermediate skier, from the top of the Rubbio ski lift. From this area there is also a slope of medium difficulty, which is over 6 km, ideal for those who love long courses that are not too difficult. The two chair lifts, Vallonina-Cima Organo and Selletta, permit skiers to climb to higher altitudes. Here, among the beech-tree woods, it is also possible to enjoy splendid off-the-slopes skiing. Campo Stella has an efficient ski school with ski instructors who are prepared to teach skiing in each of its specialties.
If you love cross-country skiing, Leonessa proposes the Vallonina ring, which is 5 km long and the Fonte Nova ring that is over 3 km. These are trails that are appropriate for all, from beginners to professionals.
Terminillo during the winter
Mount Terminillo, known also as “the Roman mountain” is one of the most important and better equipped of the winter tourist resorts that are in the southern central part of Italy. It is easy to get to (only 80 km from Rome, 150 km from Perugia, 130 km from Ascoli, 180 from Pescara) and is serviced by roads that are always accessible and served by public transport as well.
At an elevation of 1500 and 2000 meters, there are: 3 chair lifts, a cable car that serve 40 Km of slopes for downhill skiing, 6 of which are equipped with artificial snow machines. All of the slopes allow for sure fun both for the beginner as well as the more export skier. Further more, there are three slopes officially recognized for international races. Terminillo has qualified teachers that work in different ski schools; it has hotels of different categories, a modern Congressional Hall, a youth hotel, a CAI (Italian Alpine Club) refuge and numerous rental apartments. Those keen on winter sports can choose between downhill skiing, cross-country skiing and snowboard.
One can get to the slopes thanks to the many lifts that are available. A cable car that moves along Terminilluccio is 761 meters long, beginning at an elevation of 1630 meters and arriving at 1868 meters. Three chair lifts go up the Carbonaie (471 meters long) and up the Southern Cardito (400 meters long). The three chair lifts reach, respectively, an elevation of 1653 meters, and 1708 meters. The tapis roulant cover: Campo Togo (523 meters long), Terminilluccio (816 meters long), Terminilluccio II (563 meters long) and Cardito Nord (706 meters long); reaching respectively, an elevation of 1762 meters, 1860 meters, 1860 meters and 1685 meters.
There are three entrance areas to the trails at Terminillo: piazzale Tre Faggi at Pian de' Valli, Cinque Confini on the provincial road 10/a and Piazzale La Malga at Campoforogna in the direction of Leonessa. All points of access have ample parking. The cross-country ski trails of Terminillo are many: the Fonte Porcini ring (5000 meters long), ring Colle Scangive link (5000 meters long), the Acerone ring (3000 meters long), the Galoppatoio ring (1000 meters long), ring Cinque Confini (3300 meters long) and the Tre faggi link (2500 meters long).
Summer in Terminillo: from Sella di Leonessa to Monte Cambio
You leave Sella di Leonessa (near the Sebastiani Refuge), and you descend for about 3 km toward the Terminillo-Leonessa road, going along a series of hairpin curves till you meet, at the end of the first straight long stretch, a dirt road that goes off to the right. One can park the car in the vicinity and turn into the road that goes up to the Sella dei Jacci.
The dirt road continues to coast against the mountain, while our itinerary unwinds on the crest that brings you to Monte Porcini. From the summit, you can descend for about 200 meters, till arriving at the Maiolica Refuge. At this point the path, going east, passes through undulating meadows to Monte Cambio. Before arriving at the base of the mountain you arrive on top of a saddle reaching an elevation of 1790 meters. Here it is possible to take a variation in the itinerary passing on the left of the mountain reaching the Vallebona Refuge.
The itinerary continues straight uphill, short but steep, along a rocky ridge. The summit of Monte Cambio, one of the highest in the Reatini Mountains, is the eastern most one of the group. The return trip can take place passing along the same itinerary or descending into the valley lying below the town of Albaneto.
The uphill itinerary can take about 2 hours and 30 minutes; downhill can take about 2 hours.
The peak elevation:
Sella di Leonessa: 1910 meters
Sella dei Jacci: 1840 meters
Monte Porcini: 1982 meters
Maiolica Refuge: 1704 meters
Monte di Cambio: 2081 meters
The gradient: is 600 meters.
This is an easy excursion. One can find difficulty only at the beginning during the springtime when the ground is still covered with snow. The itinerary takes place amongst peaks and meadowed valleys with panoramas of the northeast side of Terminillo and of the Vallonina. On the meadows, from April on, there is an explosion of colors, with splendid and rare flowers.
Potato Festival, a grand event for all lovers of gaiety and good food. Organized by proloco and the municipality where you can eat typical dishes made with local potatoes. So many people rushed from all sides took to the streets of the city to wander through the many stands, many catering outlets which serve sandwiches, sausages and wine. The center of the festival is still the big square where a huge indoor space receives dozens of tables with lots of visitors intent on eating dumplings, and fried potatoes rescallate.
During the last week of June, Leonessa(RI) holds its annual "Velvet Horserace", a historical commemoration of festival that, for eight days, took place five centuries ago for the solemn Fair of St. Peter. The celebration includes the ceremony of dressing the Cavalry and the Tournament of the Equestrians, during which the various "Sexts" challenged each other to classic games, traditional of that period. In addition, there are music, concerts, recitings, taverns with food typical of that era, jugglers, and the city as a whole recalls the atmosphere of the 500's. The "Velvet Horserace", whose name is linked the local activity of weaving, was held from 1464 until 1557 when the celebration was abolished by an order from the governor, don Alessandro Oliva. In fact, after the dispute about the race, many fights arose among its supporters, and brawls resulted in four deaths that year. The prohibition was accompanied by very heavy fines that aided in the disappearance of this yearly tradition. The festival was brought back into vigor by the Community of Leonessa in 1997, connecting it also to the solemn entrance of Margaret of Austria, daughter of the Emperor Charles V and the duchess of Parma, whose father had granted her Leonessa in a feud. A complete set of races are held, the most important of which is the horses, between rappresentatives of the districts, known as "Sexts", in which the city was divided in 1278 during the act of foundation on the part of the king of Naples, Charles d'Angiò. In memory of this date, a procession takes place, dressed in costumes from the French city of Gonessa, the Angiò family's place of origin, and coupled with Leonessa. The "Sexts" are: Corno, Croce, Forcamelone, Poggio, Terzone, Torre, from the names of the most important castles from which the city of Leonessa was founded. The "Sexts" of Terzone was the winner of the 2003 edition of " Palio del Velluto". The Palio of 2004 will take place from the 25th to the 29th of June.
Saint Joseph of Leonessa ((Italian) Giuseppe da Leonessa) (1556—February 4, 1612) is a saint of the Catholic Church. He was born Eufranio Desiderio at Leonessa, a small town then in Umbria, now in the Lazio. It is said that from his infancy he showed a remarkably religious bent of mind; he used to erect little altars and spend much time in prayer before them, and often he would gather his companions and induce them to pray with him. Whilst yet a boy he used to take the discipline on Fridays in company with the confraternity of St. Saviour. He was educated by his uncle, who had planned a suitable marriage for him, but in his sixteenth year he fell sick of a fever, and on his recovery, without consulting his relative, he joined the Capuchin reform of the Franciscan Order. He made his novitiate in the convent of the Carcerelle near Assisi. He died at Amatrice. His feast is kept on 4 February throughout the Franciscan Order. He was canonized by Benedict XIV. In his natal town, there is a church and sanctuary of San Giuseppe da Leonessa. The main street is called the Corso San Giuseppe, after him. His cult is mostly local to central Italy; churches at Otricoli and San Lorenzo Nuovo contain paintings of him.
The Saint Francis Walk is the same route travelled by the Saint in the Sacred Valley. By taking the Walk, you will travel along the paths and roads that Saint Francis loved so much. You will be immersed in the same spectacular nature that enveloped Saint Francis and you will have a unique and purely spiritual experience. The Walk was conceived by the Director of the Rieti Tourist Board, Diego di Paolo, and was made possible thanks to the precious contributions by the National Forest Rangers Corps and the synergy with provincial institutions. The 80 kilometres that make up the Walk, inaugurated in December 2003, are divided into eight stops that have been blessed by the presence of Saint Francis. The stops along the Walk will take you to Medieval Rieti with its palaces and churches, the Greccio, La Foresta, Poggio Bustone and Fontecolombo Sanctuaries set within green and lush woods, the Saint Francis Beech Tree at Rivodutri , the ancient town of Posta , a pearl in the Velino Valley, and to the top of Mount Terminillo.