From Pontebari to San Giacomo

The second stretch of the Greenway runs from the green area of Ponte Bari for 3,800 m in a north-easterly direction, along the Tessino and Marroggia rivers. Once over the bridge the path curves slightly towards the left. Cross the footpath that runs alongside the bridge and either follow the cycle path on the other side, or take the footpath towards the sport facilities to the left of the ruzzolone pitch. This second stretch of the Greenway is made up of two paths, a footpath and a cycle path, which run parallel until the San Giacomo Bridge.

The cycle path. The cycle path follows the Tessino River. Along the path, keep an eye on the left to see a fruit farm where a project is underway to revive the cultivation of traditional Umbrian fruit trees. After a few dozen meters there is a large building on the right: the Consorzio di Bonificazione Umbra, or Umbrian Reclamation Consortium. Following the Tessino River, after the building, there is a large floodplain with a healthy mix of different species of trees and herbaceous plants. North of the flood plains there is the Trevi river, to the north east you can see Mount Serano, Mount Brunette and the Campellese mountain area, and to the south lies the Spoleto mountain area. The path leads on to the San Giacomo Bridge.

The footpath. The footpath follows the Marroggia River. The first section runs alongside the ruzzolone pitch. Ruzzolone is an ancient sport that has Etruscan origins. After the pitch, on the right, you can see a vast area that was once a poplar forest. The forest was destroyed by fire in 2012. Beyond this area you reach a fork in the road: go left to follow the footpath (the right leads back onto the cycle path). Cross the Marroggia River and follow the path through a small wood of black locust trees with swathes of shrub-like vegetation with blackberry bushes and wild roses. The path leads on to the San Giacomo Bridge.


Floodplains
Along streams is rather frequent to observe very large flat areas, occasionally or periodically subject to inundation: floodplains. These portions of territory carry on the leading function of overflow protection, because they are a kind of “buffer zones” that can limit the potentially destructive effects of an overflow. The growing vegetation, in addition to the important role of protection of the riverbanks, represents an excellent ecological corridor for fauna.

Ruzzolone game
Along the track we can find evidences of an ancient game of Etruscan origin: ruzzolone. At the beginning, players used a wheel of seasoned cheese that represented the prize for the winner: today it is subsituted by a wooden disc that by means of a string is thrown as far as possible along the track, in order to end the course with the fewest strokes. The ways that lead to San Giacomo run along the game path, one of the few in Umbria: annually draws a large number of players and viewers attracted by one of the most prestigious national race.

The poplar reforestation
Walking through the path that leads to San Giacomo along the river Marroggia, you can easily notice the signs of the fire that affected this area a few years ago. In the 50s the Consorzio della Bonificazione Umbra determined to exploit the area for production of wood by planting poplars, that also had to be the worker’s payouts. The wood that originated has always represented a strong bulwark of wildlife, caught in the grips of city buildings, because it provided nourishment and shelter, until the summer of 2012 when the wood was completely destroyed by fire.

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