A challenging stage for length and height difference, characterized by the long ascent to the Passo Cercen, followed by an equally long descent.
The view of Ortles Cevedale is magnificent, in particular on Monte Cevedale (3.769 m) and on Monte Vioz (3.645 m) which overlooks the town of Peio.
Due to bad weather conditions, the stretch from Passo Cercen to Peio is a deviation from the Sentiero Italia (which reaches Peio through the whole valley).
The route is easy but do not underestimate the long climb to Passo Cercen.
The mountains surrounding the pass are full of iron, it is good to stay away from them when thunderstorms arrive (or there is a risk of it): they attract a lot of lightning.
We take the asphalted road heading westward and, shortly after, on the left, we take the comfortable carriage road that enters Val Cercen. Here begins the long but gradual climb (approximately 1,350 m height difference), enlivened by the view of the Ragaiolo waterfall. Staying on the road, we reach Malga Cercen Bassa and, shortly after, the Cercen Alta, right on the edge of the woods where we catch our breath.
The carriageway gives way to a good path with a constant slope. We reach a plateau and, with the last stretch also the coveted Passo Cercen (2,623 m). The pass gives us an immense landscape, starting from the peaks of San Matteo (3,678 m) and Vioz (3,645 m).
Once crossed the road, we face the long descent (approximately 1,450 m drop) towards the Peio Valley. Shortly after returning to the woods, we meet Malga Levi (where we find a bivouac, used by shepherds). Finally, we reach the bottom of the valley near the town of Cogolo, and proceed on a flat level northwards, where we cross the valley and the Noce Bianco stream. We take the Sentiero Botanico that climbs towards Peio (approximately 300 m height difference), where it is easy to spot some doe with their fawns.
Finally, after a panoramic stretch along the hillside, we arrive at the town.
In Peio there is one of the last "turnaria" dairies in all of Trentino: a true example of cultural resistance.
The turnario dairy is a community cheese production: all the farmers brought their milk and, in proportion to the part paid, they were entitled to the caserada, a certain quantity of cheeses.
In the past, families took turns for the production of cheese (hence the name turnario, shifting), today it is a cheesemaker who takes care of it. SEE ARTICLE
Shortly after leaving Bagni di Rabbi, we pass by the beautiful Ragaiolo Waterfall.
The best way to admire it is to venture on the fantastic Tibetan bridge that passes over it, suspended over 60 meters of void, for 100 meters in length.
A must-do for those who love strong emotions!
Typical of the Val di Sole is the casolet cheese; traditionally eaten fresh, it has a sweet and delicate flavor.
The name is in the local dialect and indicates a small form. The cheese, produced with raw cow's milk, was created for the family consumption of the farmers.
The casolet is today protected by the Slow Food Presidium.
Bivacco Malga Levi, along the descent towards Cogolo; it has 3 beds, stove. Always open (shepherds use it).
Camping Val di Sole, in Dossi di Cavia (just below Peio). Tel. +39 0463 753177
In Salorno there are several accommodation facilities (hotels and B & Bs).
Starting point reachable by car.
Starting point reachable by bus from the city of Trento, with a change in Malè.
Here the LINK to check the timetables.
Departure point NOT reachable by train.
Va' Sentiero is a grassroot project, thanks to the spontaneous contribution oft housands of people.
Even the most complicated dream, a 7,000km uphill dream,
can be achieved... together.