The Conero reserve is located in the center of the Marche region just below Ancona covering almost the entire province.
To explore it there are many possible points to start but the best in our opinion is a Poggio, a small village just above Portonovo, from where the 301 track starts, that we will cover almost entirely.
On the road in the center of the village, https://goo.gl/maps/orahDVEtN4F3MhPd9 you will find the possibility to leave the car. You will find at various points along the path signs like this one that will help you orient yourself.
The start is on a fairly hard stretch of dirt mixed with stones that in hot weather will make you start with a little ‘fatigue. But just a km and you will be in the highest part of the park surrounded by greenery.
In the first part, as soon as you finish the climb, you can enjoy a wide and spectacular view of Portonovo and its bay.
A little further on from this first viewpoint some of the paths of the park start to branch out. We choose to go to the highest point, the North Lookout.
Strong but short climb on the left and you arrive.
Retracing one’s steps and continuing at high altitude one continues towards the former Camaldolesi convent, now used as a boutique hotel for the most demanding tourists.
The road continues always under the trees and finally on asphalt, in a pleasant coolness that will accompany you even in the hottest months.
We continue our journey south towards Sirolo, but first stop is the Passo del Lupo. The path downhill is not the easiest, you have to be careful because it is easy to slip.
“Tremendous” to arrive at the pass and discover that the road down to the beaches is now impassable due to the landslide. But we will not miss it, the beach of the seagulls and its surrounding wonders will not escape us. After all, if you can’t get there by land, do it by sea!
We continue towards Sirolo to close the tour that touches all the most characteristic points of the park.
The view from the top of the village and of the reserve is not bad at all and in spite of the heat of the period, to which we suggest you to pay particular attention (especially for the water that you won’t find along the way except at the former convent)
On the way back you can choose to go back the way you came or you can choose to go inside on the dirt path and save yourself some asphalt.
In the interior of the park you will also find many characteristic and not sea-related points, which you can see on the way back. We recommend that halfway up the hill leading to the former convent, you take the path on the left that goes into the woods.
From here you can get to the “rock carvings” and “Roman caves”.
Probably excavated in the imperial age, they are located towards the middle of the road from Massignano to Poggio; they were quarries dug by slaves. It is thought that from the bowels of the caves came out the stone blocks with which was built the Poggio, Massignano and some monuments and churches of Ancona (perhaps even San Ciriaco).
An ancient legend tells that the caves dug by the Roman slaves hid a treasure that nobody has ever looked for because it was guarded by the souls of all the stone quarrymen who died there. A second legend tells of a brutal and bloody revolt of the slaves that led to the death and burial in those “tombs” dug by them of their torturers.
There are many legends and stories that we have heard in the park of Monte Conero, driven by curiosity we will certainly return with different eyes…
Trail Type: trail and asphalt
Water: only present at the former convent near the bathrooms