A very long and demanding stage with two climbs (a long one at the beginning, a short and steep one at the end), but on the whole smooth ( brambles aside!), marked by a second part along the Peschiera Stream, which offers us the possibility of a refreshing swim.
Several sections of the path are overgrown with brambles, which sometimes (especially in the first part, the descent on the Latronico path) make it difficult to find the way: you have to proceed carefully and watch the GPS track.
The only water points are at the beginning of the climb (in the hamlet of Masullo) and in the last part at the refuge on the Frido River, just after crossing the asphalt bridge.
We leave Latronico and, after passing through a subway, we tackle a descent (about 300 m height difference) on a very steep and sometimes uneven path. In the first part, some brambles make orientation difficult, we have to make our way. Then we come to a dirt track, the slope becomes gentler and we cross a grassy depression and pass the main road. Shortly after, we continue on a dirt road, cross the Sinni River on a bridge and tackle the long climb (about 600 m height difference) in the woods, which has a constant gradient.
At the end of the climb, we switch to a footpath and start to lose height (about 200 m drop), sometimes making our way through brambles. When we come to an asphalt road, we turn left and briefly come to a provincial road, which we follow to the left before turning right again onto a minor road; shortly afterwards we pass a picnic area with two open and abandoned shelters (useful shelter in bad weather). In this way we reach the locality of Madonnina, from where we return to the dirt road and descend slowly again (about 200 m drop), still in the beech wood. After a few kilometres we reach the bank of the Peschiera torrent, near a children's playground. Descending to the torrent, we find some beautiful marmitte (natural pools), perfect for a refreshing swim. We continue our walk along the stream, enjoying moments of great beauty in the woods. Finally, we reach the confluence of the Peschiera and Frido streams and arrive near the asphalt road; we take the road, cross a bridge and shortly afterwards turn right onto the path that runs along the opposite bank of the Frido to reach a refuge where we can fill up with water.
We take the path behind the refuge (shortly afterwards the path gets lost, we have to follow the GPS track) and continue up the stream with a few ascents and descents. After crossing an asphalt bridge, we continue on a flat dirt path, occasionally overgrown by brambles. After a bend, we take a small path to the left, cross the Frido stream for the last time and have to face a steep climb (about 150 m height difference), which is quite tiring given the accumulated fatigue and leads us to the gates of San Severino Lucano, a pretty little village that opens the gates of the Pollino.
Located between the Tyrrhenian and Ionian Seas, San Severino Lucano owes its name to the famous noble family of Sanseverino, one of the most important families of the Kingdom of Naples.
The village of San Severino (orange flag of the Italian Touring Club) is the gateway to the Pollino National Park: numerous itineraries start from here on foot, by bike or on horseback.
The hamlet of Mezzana is the heart of the Pollino massif and the Magnano Forest is a fascinating place where you can meet wolves and deer; the otter still lives on the banks of the Peschiera river.
Legend has it that Teana, the wife of Pythagoras, spent her summers on the heights of the Pollino. A small village in the area is called Teana and some claim it was founded by Pythagoreans.
One of the most famous carnivals in Basilicata is celebrated in the centre.
Since 1996, the Pollino Music Festival has been held in San Severino Lucano in the summer, featuring national and international musicians.
Among them are Subsonica, Caparezza, Daniele Silvestri, Afterhours, Bandabardò, A Toys Orchestra, Teresa De Sio, Inti-Illimani, Brunori Sas, Niccolò Fabi… Around three hundred concerts in more than twenty-five years.
In San Severino you can visit numerous small museums that tell of the past linked to ancient trades, such as the Museum of Farming Civilisation or the Museum of Artisian’s Civilisation. In the hamlet of Mezzana there is the Minor Fauna Laboratory Museum.
Also worth seeing is the Iannarelli Mill, a structure dating back to 1745 that houses a hydraulic sawmill and a gualchiera, two examples of machinery from the pre-industrial era.
On the day of the Immaculate Conception, 8 December, San Severino celebrates the Pirtusavutt, or the tapping of the barrels: on this occasion, people gather in the cellars to taste the new wine.
On the feast day you can try many local specialities, such as rascatieddi (handmade orecchiette pasta), Lagane e fasul’ ( noodles and beans), Pasta ca muddrica (handmade pasta with breadcrumbs and herbs), Mazzacorde (offal with garlic, parsley and chilli) and Suffritto (liver and various offal in sauce).
Hotel Paradiso, a San Severino Lucano. Tel. +390973 576586
The starting point is reachable by car.
The starting point is reachable by bus, starting from the city of Sapri changing at Maratea and Lagonegro.
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.