Eremo Colle San Marco, dayhike above Ascoli Piceno | Italy1 |

From Ascoli, head up towards Colle San Marco to the south. You will pass a nice osteria called C'era una volta and later reach the little town of Piagge. Just before exiting the town, you will see a little brown sign on your right with a sharp right turn to get up to the little church of San Bartolomeo where you can park and read the sign above in either italian or english before taking the trail to the left of the church up to the cemetery. You can save a couple of hundred meters climbing if you park instead at the cemetery. Either way, the trail starts to the right of the enclosed cemetery and not to the left which also has a well marked road but is posted as private property. The climb is easy and takes 15 minutes or a bit more and is well marked. 

Head left and in just a few minutes you will arrive at the beautiful arched stairway which leads into the little monastery.
This was built 8 hundred years ago, which makes it all the more impressive. Obviously subsequent works have been done to make the whole thing safer so we can still visit today.
View of the bell tower and the facade which the old Benedictine monks built to close in the grotto and another with the imposing cliffs above and below

Via Mariano Pallottini, The Retreat