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6 - VERGHERETO - BALZE
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Il Massiccio del Monte Fumaiolo sovrasta con la sua altezza le testate dei fiumi Savio, Marecchia e Tevere che solcano le vallate tra Romagna, Marche e Toscana. Sentieri antichi poco battuti conducono alla sorgente del Savio e alle conosciute vene del Tevere, in mezzo a boschi verdissimi e prati coperti di fiori spontanei, dove cacciano le loro prede il lupo e l&rsquoaquila reale.

Start Stage
Verghereto
Arrival Stage
Balze
Stage Length
13
Nation
Italy
Region
Emilia Romagna  
Ascent
710,5 mt.
Descent
427,2 mt.
Difficulty (1 .. 5)
CAI (Diff. Escurs.)
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GPS Maps

From Piazza San Michele Arcangelo in Verghereto, the Cammino goes on the paved road to the City Hall. The votive niche located inside the garden of a house marks the deviation. The urn contains a polychrome terracotta with the Virgin Mary and the Child. The ascent keeps going on Via Fontanelle up until the mule track. The presence of a water source allows you to refresh and recharge your bottles, before entering the pine forest. It is one of the reforestation, that according to a law stipulated after the war period, was necessary to prevent the hydrogeological instability. Under the shade the mule track goes up towards the the top of the ridge of Poggio Valogna. Past this, the Cammino keeps going in the middle of grass fields, where bovines graze, all the way to the SP 93, close to the residential area of La Casa and Pianello. On the other side, on the layers of Monte Comero, you see the building in clear stone of Casale, where between 1920 and 1925 Gabriele d&rsquoAnnunzio had stayed, favoured by Contessa Giuseppina Mancini Giorgi, owner of the place. Past the county road, you take the trail on the left, marked by bushes of maples and turkey oaks, in the middle of fields of leguminous plants. The morning breeze whispers in the fresh grass, while you climb up towards SP 93, and then deviate on the left. You pass the little gate with the scalandrino. The Cammino heads to Poggio della Biancarda, crossing a black pines forest. During the spring, the bark of the roe deer and the frequents fregoni left on the cortex of the trees, signal the intense activity of males, wanting to mark and defend their territory from other males. They let in only females and their little ones. It is a type of behaviour which precedes the coupling period that will happen in July and August. Its aim is to let the females pick the best males to couple up. The roundish top of Poggio della Biancarda appears at the end of the climb: on the crest, swept by the winds, the foliage of the trees emerges, while a wooden cross is visible on the horizon. A small deviation between pastures and woods, brings you to the slopes of Monte Castelvecchio, where the Savio has its start. The water source is in the middle of a rest area signalled by a monument in wrought iron of a wolf that howls, which is the symbol of Montecoronale and Caveja.

The Cammino goes up the slope of Monte Castelvecchio in the middle of pines, beech trees and fenced trees, where the activity of mountain pasture is still in use. The fields are apt to grazing and the formation of beech tree woods, but not for agriculture, therefore the residential areas are not less common than in the other places in the Apennines. You now follow 137 CAI trail in the descent towards the road and in the intersection of the county roads of Alfero-Monte Fumaiolo/Alfero-Balze you take this last road until Sassoni. The view is beautiful, it opens up to the horizon on the valleys of Savio, Tevere and Torrente Alferello. In front of you, you see Ripa della Moia and Fumaiolo if you look north you see Testa del Leone and Dorsale del Comero and west of you Monte della Versa emerge beyond Giogana. In wintertime, the view is spectacular, when everything is covered with a mantle of snow and the silence invades every corner of the mountain and the spring offers unique emotions, when the blossoming of the flowers covers the fields in bright colours. The area is perfect for birdwatching, thanks to the multitude of specie of birds and rapacious, in particular the golden eagles. For this reason, the Site of Communitary Importance was established and denominated Balze di Verghereto, Monte Fumaiolo, Ripa della Moia. Past Sassoni, the Cammino goes to Rifugio della Moia, managed by State Forestry Corps. From the shelter, you keep going on 127 CAI trail in the middle of a beech tree forest, you follow the road and than the trail that cuts it and arrives to Valico del Monte Fumaiolo. On the left the road descends to the southern side of Monte Fumaiolo with 104 CAI trail, passing some glades and in 600 meters arrives to the monumental stele in white marble that marks the place in which Vene del Tevere springs. The votive column was inaugurated on 16 August 1934 by the highest offices of the fascist regime, with eleven musical bands, greeted by a multitude of people. The stele is now surmounted by a bronze eagle with three heads of wolfs on the sides. On one side, you can read the sign: &ldquoHere the sacred rivers of the fate of Rome has its start&rdquo.

The Cammino gets back on the top of the mountain following the Tevere river all the way to the large piazza. Beech trees that are hundred years old encircle and bring shade to the trail. From the square you go to the right on SP 43 ad then after 150 meters, on the left, you move to the side of the mountain covered in beech and fir trees. Among the trees, a white fir emerges: its trunk is crawling at the bottom and some vertical branches grow from it, and they form new trees with their own foliage. The forest experts use the word policormico to describe this phenomenon.

Then you flank the fence that separates the Tiber camping from the trail, and you get out on SP 43 in Villa Adriana. Now turn right, on the sides of the paved road you see a monumental beech tree that resemble a huge candelabra and then the votive niche dedicated to San Romualdo. Underneath it, the first waterfall coming from the Tevere river echoes in the background, and you can go see it with a little deviation.

Past the road, the 106 CAI trail goes up among beech trees and arrives to the upland I Laghi, above Scogliera delle Balze, a limestone raft run aground the water edge, just like Fumaiolo, La Verna, San Marino and Perticara. From the summit, the panorama opens up on the valleys of Tevere, Marecchia and Sematello in the background Monte Aquilone, Alpe della Luna, Sasso di Simone and Simoncello close the view. The descent to Scogliera is very short, as well as very steep and it ends in Piazza 17 Luglio, in the heart of Balze.

 

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