A very short stage with moderate differences in altitude, offering gentle and beautiful landscapes.
The Piano Grande, with its western film flair, is somewhat reminiscent of the Campo Imperatore.
Once you leave Piano di Campizzo behind, the path on the ground becomes more confused and it is not always easy to identify it or recognise the markings; it is good to watch the GPS track.
There are no water points until Masistro Park.
After leaving the beautiful old town of Morano, we take an ascending road and start gaining altitude (about 300 m height difference). Shortly after, having left the last houses behind, we take the dirt road protected by the shade of the wood; the slope is always constant. Then, near a collar, we change to a path and continue nimbly along the slight slope, before tackling a beautiful traverse that takes us up to a short, steep scree slope, from which, coming into the sun, we descend carefully to Piano il Campizzo, where there are some cultivated fields.
We cross part of it on an asphalt road and then take a dirt track to the right; we pass a barrier and shortly after arrive at a barbed wire gate: we do not cross it, but take the small path on the left that runs along the fence and climbs among the dense ferns (about 250 m height difference) (it is not easy to find your way, it is best to follow the GPS track). The nature of the path is changeable, sometimes easy and well recognisable, sometimes complicated to read. With some effort we reach a saddle from which the climb continues gently in a traverse (at this stage the markings are difficult to see) over the grassy slope to the pass overlooking Piano Grande.
We descend nimbly from the pass (about 100 m drop) and then cross the wide, treeless plateau (Piano Grande), which is somewhat reminiscent of Campo Imperatore. After reaching the eastern edge, a quick climb leads us to Piano di Mezzo and from there we soon reach the picnic area of Masistro Park, protected by a beautiful beech wood.
The mountains that frame the Piani di Masistro are called Monti della Luna (Mountains of the Moon) because of their bare appearance.
They are characterised by their three striking plateaus, which create a spectacular combination of light and colour depending on the season and the time of flowering, making this magical place ideal for welcoming wildlife - especially migratory birds.
A few kilometres from Masistro Park you can admire a huge “woodpile”. This is an impressive building, the operational headquarters of the La Catasta project.
The initiative aims to promote the Pollino area and its specialities in order to make the naturalistic aspects of the park better known.
The large exhibition area in the premises is a recreation centre, a place for exhibitions and other activities. The friendly staff alone are worth a visit!
The Moscato di Saracena is a Passito wine protected by the Slow Food Presidia. It is characterised by a bitter note and is a wine with an ancient history, much appreciated by the popes. It is made from the indigenous grape varieties Moscatello di Saracena, Guarnaccia and Malvasia.
The grapes are dried and then macerated for six months, following a very ancient winemaking method that also involves careful pressing to avoid crushing the seeds, which would give an undesirable tannic note.
Its delicate aromas, reminiscent of citrus and honey, make it a meditation wine that is also used to make a variety of desserts.
Masistro Park, in the Masistro Plain, 3 km north of Piano Novacco (it is a picnic area, but you can also camp there). Tel. +39376 076 2017
The starting point is accessible by car.
The starting point can be reached by bus, starting from the city of Castrovillari.
Here is the LINK to check the timetable.
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.