In 2014, when a section of the road collapsed within the Furlo Gorge, the road was closed to both pedestrians and motor vehicles. Now,
however, as of 2016 the gorge has been reopened for pedestrians, cycles and motorbikes.
If you're travelling along the modern SS3 superstrada turn off at the signs for Furlo rather than taking the 3 km tunnel. You will now be on the old Roman Via Flaminia and in for a treat as head to the gorge. You'll need to park and walk through the gorge as it's now closed to cars for the foreseeable future.
This is a place for lovers of gothick scenery - naked limestone cliffs rise up on either side of the bright green
waters of the Candigliano river, leaving just enough room for the narrow road to pass.
At one point the ancient highway passes through a tunnel hewn by hand through the hard rock. The work was ordered by Emperor Vespasian in 76 AD - a
remarkable feat of Roman civil engineering. You can still see the chisel marks in the rock - if you dare risk being run over in the process.
The small village of Furlo at the mouth of the gorge is a good place to eat truffles in season. Or you might hunt out a picnic spot by taking the strada panoramica from
the village and climb up to the top of the gorge. But be warned - it's a longish and twisting drive.
The area is now a natural park and home to rare flora and fauna; you may even see a golden eagle wheeling
overhead. If you're coming from the west, the gorge ends abruptly as the road enters a wide, wooded valley where the Candigliano flows into the Metauro.
Well worth a visit is the small romanesque Abbey of San Vincenzo, on the Acqualagna side of the gorge. Built
before 970, it is one of the oldest Benedictine monasteries in the Marche.
To one side of it are the vast blocks of a viaduct which supported the ancient Flaminian Way, with six sturdy buttresses to protect it during times of flood
The small kiosk by the abbey also sells delicious piadina, or flat bread, filled with sausage, cured meat or cheese, which make an ideal lunch-time snack.