Dual Wed 08 August 2018

Queen Trophy...Queen check

I love Umbria, PERIOD.
I’m very attached to this region for many reasons, and I think everybody should have the chance to enjoy its food, history and landscapes. It’s a region where the art of the small perched borghi mixes with nature, its woods, rivers and mountains; with a ridiculous population density compared to many other regions, and a web of roads and tracks, more or less impervious, it’s a landmark for motorally and other events and has been for many years now.

Amongst its borghi, Bevagna can be considered the bellybutton of Italy for its position.

Bevagna is famous for its historic downtown where the incredible medieval event of the Gaiteis held in June and is such a great attraction that even a worldwide photography star such as McCurry captured it. Besides being the town of the Gaite, Bevagna is also the home of the MotoClub PepeBevagna, an authentic and informal environment that should always be present at the base of our passion.

This year Cesare, the histrionic president of the MC, organized the “Queen Trophy” project that he defines as “a stroll for twin engines along the fascinating mule trails of this part of Italy, to discover the borghi scattered in these woods!” Cesare has it all mapped out, this isn’t the usual loop track. His idea is broader and long-term: every year the “Queen Trophy” will develop along a track that goes from A to B, not a loop, and the following year it will start from B heading in another direction along a onetime track, that in the years will valorize the whole territory of the region.

The rally will be held on Sunday, but the organizers arranged a short off-road tour or a tour of historic wineries and olive oil mills for those arriving on Saturday, that will end with an abundant dinner in the historic center. Everything is organized in detail thanks to an informal but efficient structure, always willing to give advice and information to participants, who are pampered as both tourists and riders. This year the tour will depart from downtown Bevagnaand finish in Vallo di Nera, 230 km away. Departure is scheduled for 7 am on Sunday, intentionally early to allow everybody to complete the tour without hurry. The day is marvelous and soon enough the track leaves the plain to climb the hills and mountains of this rugged region. We pass through hard to find “borghi”, wondering how there still can be people living in these houses set so far from the rest of the world and difficult to reach.

It’s the magic of this part of the Apennines that delivers hard working and reserved people,devoted to their land, to their roots and to the limestone bricks that have been making up their houses for generations. All in all, I live nearby and am used to these things, but there are Lombards, Emilians and Venetians amongst the participants …. I can’t imagine their amazement, coming from well built-up regions, in crossing towns like Montecchio, Castagnacupa or Montebibico.

The track leads South and the second section runs along the Nerina Valley in the province of Terni. The last 50 km are superb, all off-road, over plateaus and hills from which one can enjoy a unique landscape. As we travel, we have the Sibillini mountains to our right, the Vettore Mountain is so imposing and so close it seems it can be touched it.

The descent to Vallo di Nera is endless and wonderful, the kilometers covered are many andfatigue runs through the participants. When we reach the nth evocative borgo made of dazzling white limestone, nothing can stop us from eating a sublime porchetta sandwich and drinking a glass of local wine at the finish line!

The “Queen Trophy” deserves to become a standing appointment. I can’t wait to discover where Cesare will take us from Vallo di Nera next year!

Text: Dario Lupini

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