La Via della Carta (“The Paper Road”): From Camerino to Pioraco

La Via della Carta (“The Paper Road”): From Camerino to Pioraco

La Via della Carta (“The Paper Road”): From Camerino to Pioraco

Duration: 4,30 h
Elevation: 464 m (total elevation gain) | 632 m (total elevation loss)
Difficulty: Hiking (E)
Lenght: 12,5 km
Departure: Via Dante Alighieri (below Rocca Borgia), Camerino
Arrival: Pioraco Town Hall, Pioraco


If we could go back in time, the landscape would be crisscrossed by many roads connecting Camerino to its neighbouring cities, to which it was tied by military alliances, trading ventures, religious and cultural association. We can still savor history when treading the medieval Paper Road (Via della Carta). One of the oldest documents produced in the Pioraco fulling mills has a watermark depicting a small dragon: it will guide you along the Paper Road. Departing from here, we descend to Madonna delle Carceri and locality Calvie. The road then plunges into the countryside to reach Seppio, and the Church of Fonte Venere after that. We arrive in Pioraco by way of narrow, rather idle secondary roads.


In the Middle Ages, while the pilgrimage to Loreto was being established, this area had notable economic growth. With the technological, financial, and commercial support of Camerino, the neighbouring village of Pioraco set up dozens of fulling mills for the production of paper. The new writing support made from used cloth, the carta bambagina, was gaining success in Italy and Europe. Camerino and Pioraco were so interdependent that merchants, papermakers, and workers needed to move continuously between the two in the fastest and most convenient way possible. To access the mills, they used a main road that went “from the Porta Angelescha and down to Pioracho”. This road was constantly under maintenance and was even partially paved (mactonata). Today, the ancient route is only partially accessible: an alternative is suggested for its first segment.

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