Quite a short and easy stage, all downhill.
The most intense moments are the Corno alle Scale (wonderful the great eastern wall, with crags) and Monte Gennaio: they are the last high peaks of the Tuscan-Emilian Apennines.
We leave the Rifugio Duca degli Abruzzi and take the 00 path, which continues in ups and downs towards the Passo Tre Termini (1,779 m). We go around the top of Monte Cornaccio from the north and then head to Passo Strofinatoio (1,847 m), not far from the Rifugio Sasseto. From there, a short detour (about 100 m height difference) takes us to the top of Corno alle Scale (1,944 m), the highest elevation in the Bolognese Apennines, which protects the Silla Valley. Its amazing eastern face, which falls for about 1,000 m over rocky crags (second in height only to that of the Gran Sasso), represents a uniqueness of the entire Apennines.
From Passo dello Strofinatoio, we begin the long descent towards Pracchia (approximately 1,250 m drop). We resume the 00 path descending easily to the Passo del Cancellino (1,634 m) and from there, on a comfortable cross path on a slight slope, we go around Monte Gennaio (1,814 m) from the western side. We enter the magical Forest of Teso, go back down, and pass the Rifugio Montanaro (1,567 m), leaving the 00 path and taking the 3 path, on the left.
We pass the suggestive Passo Pedata del Diavolo, immersed in the ancient beech forest, then continue on the GEA, which descends long (but easy) to the small village of Pracchia (607 m), in the upper Reno Valley.
Orsigna, a few kilometers from Pracchia, is the village chosen as a refuge from the world by Tiziano Terzani, journalist and writer, born in Florence and died in 2004 in Orsigna, after a life spent traveling mainly in Asia. He knew these places since his childhood when, due to health problems, he was brought here to breathe fresh air.
Today, many of its readers come to walk the Terzani Path, a path immersed in beech and chestnut trees, in peace and silence. Near a natural terrace, there is a “tree with eyes”, a cherry tree named like this by Terzani, who showed it to his grandson to explain the importance of nature.
Pracchia was once renowned for the production of ice and for the processing of iron, arriving from the Island of Elba.
In particular, at the behest of Cosimo I De Medici, in 1542 a blast furnace was built for the production of cast iron, which in the 17th century became a real ironworks and was part of the most important iron and steel center of the Grand Duchy of Tuscany: the area was perfect, considering the abundance of water supplied by the Reno River (used as a source of energy, to activate hammers and bellows) and of wood (which provided coal and, therefore, the fuel for processing the mineral).
Later bought by the Sabatini family, the ironworks remained in business until 1944: today it is a museum full of machinery and tools, open to the public
For more info, timetables and tickets, follow the LINK.
The chestnut was one of the foods par excellence of these mountains, also called "the bread of the poor" because its flour, mixed with rye flour, was used for bread making. You can make countless recipes, the most famous of which is certainly the castagnaccio, a typically autumnal cake (without eggs or butter, proof of its peasant origins) enriched with pine nuts and raisins.
Rifugio Montanaro, in Poggio dei Malandrini. Tel. +39 331 741 3786
Posto Tappa GEA, in Pracchia. +39 0573 490064 - +39 366 487 4046
Starting point NOT reachable by car.
The nearest location reachable by car is the car park of the Corno alle Scale Ski School.
Departure point NOT reachable by bus.
The nearest town reachable by bus is Corno alle Scale, starting from the town of Porretta Terme.
Here the LINK to check the timetables.
Starting point NOT reachable by train.
The town of Porretta Terme can be reached by train from the city of Bologna.
Here the LINK to check the timetables.
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.