A stage of good length, characterised by long sections on asphalt and a very pleasant middle section through coniferous woods.
The last kilometres of the stage are on a fast-flowing provincial road: be careful.
Only water point in Potame, halfway through the stage: take a good supply with you.
From the Casellone forestale di Monte Cocuzzo, we walk slightly uphill on the asphalt road and then take a comfortable forest path that leads downhill (about 100 m drop) until we meet the asphalt road again. So we continue for several kilometres in almost imperceptible ups and downs, passing an adventure park until we reach the village of Potame, which is characterised by its colourful murals (the so-called “talking houses”) and its partly alpine architecture.
Leaving the village, we part from the asphalt road and, passing a chain, we take a wide path that leads us in a short time to a large clearing. From there we tackle a steep climb (about 150 m height difference) on a gravel path, at the end of which we enjoy a beautiful open landscape over the Cosenza plain and the Sila mountains. We continue on level ground along an easy dirt track that alternates with open stretches and passages through pine and larch woods. At a crossroads we continue straight on and then take the dirt track that descends in a traverse to the right, on the southern slope of Monte Serratta: we thus begin the long descent (about 500 m drop).
The path is at times overgrown with vegetation (mainly brambles) and we have to make our way down until we meet the asphalt again and continue to lose height. We pass a few hamlets and finally come to the provincial road, which we follow to the left until we reach the village of Piano Lago after several kilometres.
Not far from Piano del Lago is the valley where the river Savuto flows, for the Greeks probably the river Ocinaros, at the mouth of which was the ancient city of Temesa.
The river is known to have caused the death of Isabella of Aragon, wife of Philip III of France, in the 13th century. On her way back from the Eighth Crusade, she fell from her horse together with her husband and with her child on her lap and died a few days later.
From nearby Marzi comes Mauro Fiore, a cinematographer, naturalised American, who won an Oscar in 2010 for best cinematography in James Cameron’s film Avatar.
There are many traditional local crafts, including the goldsmith’s art of Burrascano Creazioni and the creations of Tutti Telemaco, a pottery craftsman who is also an expert in making the classic Calabrian nativity.
The Savuto Valley is an area historically dedicated to wine production. In particular, Savuto DOC is a red wine that was already appreciated by the Roman patricians (wine and wood were used to pay imperial taxes).
The wine is traditionally grown on the north-western slopes of the Reventino Massif and its production with bush vines dates back to the 3rd century BC by the Bruzi people. Prized by travellers as Duret de Tavel, Savuto has remained a top-class wine thanks to its production refined over the centuries. It is characterised by aromas of undergrowth and liquorice and silky tannins that give it an enveloping taste.
The Classico and Superiore versions are aged for at least three years. There are also rosé and white wine versions with a full and delicately savoury flavour.
Albergo Carpino, in Piano Lago. Tel. +390984 969000
Hotel Bruni Snc, in Piano Lago. Tel. +390984 969649
The starting point is reachable by car.
The starting point is NOT reachable by bus.
The nearest location that can be reached by bus is Mendicino, starting from the city of Cosenza.
Here is the LINK to check the timetables.
The starting point is 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.