In our previous two articles regarding the AVP501 endurance trail we looked at how the race route crosses many places connected to spirituality and faith. And we also covered the main mountains which runners will cross along the long distance hiking path: The Alta Via Dei Parchi, where the AVP501 trail running race takes place.

The ample cut off time of 200 hours, 8 days and nights, means that not only will trail runners be able to appreciate the environment but they’ll be covering a large amount of terrain!

501Km to be exact with over 30,000 meters of level gain.

Italy’s longest ultra trail passes a wealth of stunning landscape, and some fantastic hamlets and villages. We list you our favourite!

NATURE #1) The Acquacheta Waterfalls – San Benedetto in Alpe

Acquacheta Waterfall - from Wikimedia commons img. Pederzoli Valter
Acquacheta Waterfall – from Wikimedia commons img. Pederzoli Valter

Acquacheta starts as a stream in the province of Forlì-Cesena, in Emilia-Romagna.

Here we can find one of the most evocative areas of the Foreste Casentinesi, Monte Falterona and Campigna National Park. The 90 meter tall spectacular Acquacheta waterfalls attract people from afar, and are also famed for being cited by Italian medieval poet Dante Alighieri in his Divine Comedy (Inferno, XVI, 94-102 – see below). Nearby is the intriguing Piano dei Romiti, at 734m, where the ruins of the Abbey of San Benedetto make a solemn setting of contemplation.

Even as that stream which holdeth its own course
The first from Monte Veso tow’rds the East,
Upon the left-hand slope of Apennine,

Which is above called Acquacheta, ere
It down descendeth into its low bed,
And at Forli is vacant of that name,

Reverberates there above San Benedetto
From Alps, by falling at a single leap,
Where for a thousand there were room enough;

Thus downward from a bank precipitate,
We found resounding that dark-tinted water,
So that it soon the ear would have offended.

HAMLET #2) Marradi – 328m – AVP501 Life Base n° 3

By Zebra48bo - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,
By Zebra48bo – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, 

We’re at the base of the Apennines, on the border between Tuscany and Emilia-Romagna. Like a tiny elegant Florence set in the hills, Marradi, boasts noble Palazzos and graceful architecture, throughout the genteel streets. Due to its strategic location between Florence, Faenza and the Adriatic Sea, Marradi, became home to exiled nobility during the 16th century, who earnest to maintain high living standards strived to create an elegant habitat.

NATURE #3) Alto Appennino Modenese – The High Modena Apennines

Lago Santo Modenese - Pievepelago, Modena, Italia by Giorgio Galeotti
Lago Santo Modenese – Pievepelago, Modena, Italia by Giorgio Galeotti

A destination adored by hiking enthusiasts, trail runners and walkers.

Modena’s High Apennine area is also a location for several trail races that make full use of the impressive mountain terrain as a setting for some of the region’s best loved events.

This area offers some of the most interesting scenery to be found along the race route, with impressive peaks softened by vast meadows and pastures (one might be mistaken into thinking they are in Scotland!). Several lakes will delight and refresh the spirits on your way, Lago Santo Modenese, Lago Baccio, Lago Nero and Lago Scaffaiolo at 1754m.

AVP501 – The Trail Of A Lifetime

But the main wonder itself is the event: The AVP501 Endurance trail, which after years in the planning, is destined to go down in Italian trail running history books!

Sign up HERE:

The race takes place from 1 to 9 September 2018, registrations are open from 1 March 2018 and will close on 15 July 2018.

  • 501 km with a total climb of 30,000 meters
  • 40 refreshment points and 7 life bases
  • Start from Pennabilli (Rimini) and finish in Berceto (Parma)
  • Registration fees from 1 March to 31 March 2018: 390 euro
  • From 1 April to 31 May 2018: 490 euro
  • From 1 June to 15 July 2018: 550 euro
  • REIMBURSEMENT OF REGISTRATION FEES: In case of accident or serious illness, with official medical certification, until July 31, 2018 the athlete can choose whether to move the registration to the 2019 edition or receive a refund equal to 70% of the fee paid.

For more information see the official website:


Maria E. BelliniMaria Elisabetta Bellini is’s founder, born in the U.K, she came to running whilst living in Italy, where she still lives and trains. Never ceasing to marvel at what’s at the summit of a hill, or around the bend along the trail, she loves using trail running as a means to explore nature, contemplation and Italy.