Rossano Freedom Trail Walk: Day 3

Day Three of the Rossano Freedom Trail walk starts at the ski lodge at Due Sante.  We hike up the piste with our local guide, Bruno, the very image of a partisan, and continue through woods, skirting the Tuscany/Emilia-Romagna border.  Bruno points out fresh wolf tracks, as well as cinghiale, wild boar, tracks.  The wolf has been following the cinghiale and her cinghialini.

rossano freedom trail 2014Photo courtesy of Brian O’Bree

rossano freedom trail 2014

We drop down to Adelano. This is horse country and preparations are under way for a horse fair.  Later, we pass herds of grazing horses.

rossano freedom trail 2014

We walk along the high ridge between the Val di Magra and the Val di Vara, continuing at times to use the Alta Via, the ancient trail from France, used by Napoleon to invade Italy.

rosanno freedom trail 2014

Photo courtesy of Brian O’Bree

The views are spectacular and to our right we see Monte Gottero, which at 1,639 metres is the highest point in the Northern Appennines.

rosanno freedom trail 2014

Lunch is at Rastrello Pass. Brian lays a wreath at the monument commemorating two of his father’s partisans, shot in January 1945.

rossano freedom trail 2014

After lunch, we are met by CAI La Spezia, who along with Brian O’Bree, one of the walking party who lives in the area, guide us for the rest of the day.  Our afternoon target is the Sanctuary of Madonna del Dragone, which sits at the top of a massive outcrop of rock at a height of 1,011 metres. We take the pilgrim’s route to the top. Unfortunately, it is overcast and the view is obscured.  It is said that on a clear day one can see all the way to Corsica, to the Alps beyond Genoa, and down the coast to Livorno.  Only to the east is the view blocked by Monte Picchiara. It is on this wind-swept sentinel that the International Brigade sought shelter in the freezing winter of January and February 1944.

rossano freedom trail 2014

From Monte Dragone, we scramble down to the road to Pieve and Serò, a partisan stronghold in World War II, where we end our day.

Very approximate stats

Duration (including stops): 8 hours 30 minutes
Distance: 22 kilometres
Vertical up: 1,480 metres
Vertical down: 2,730 metres
 
Rossano Freedom Trail Walk: Day 3 appeared on Ciao Lunigiana on 11 July 2014.

 

 

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