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2 - BAGNO DI ROMAGNA - CAMALDOLI
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Il sole illumina la corona di monti vestiti di bosco. Il Cammino riprende: la meta è la Foresta di Camaldoli, dove San Romualdo eresse l&rsquoEremo e il Monastero. Un viaggio attraverso la natura e la storia, i cui protagonisti sono gli uomini e gli alberi.

Start Stage
Bagno di Romagna
Arrival Stage
Camaldoli
Stage Length
19
Nation
Italy
Region
Emilia Romagna  
Ascent
1369 mt.
Descent
1044 mt.
Difficulty (1 .. 5)
CAI (Diff. Escurs.)
File PDF
GPS Maps

From Basilica di Santa Maria Assunta, the Cammino gets back on via Fiorentina, through the oldest nucleus of the residential area, directed to the spa. The stoned blazons in the facade of Palazzo del Capitano are those that the city of Florence used to send in order to coordinate the activity of the Captain of Val di Bagno. Past the SP 142, the Pietrapazza mule track enters the Volanello valley. Recent works have made the first section open to vehicles, without modifying its blueprint. Overpassed the old farmhouse Falcone, the trail enters into a conifer forest. Among the trees, a chapel enclosed by a wall convinces you to take a break. The owner is the Fabbri&rsquos family, who built it in 1880 as a burial place. The road is flat up until the intersection with the Chiardovo trail, whilst the Cammino continues on the mule track. Some tracts still preserve the original cobblestone in other tracts it has been removed due to the passage of mechanical transportation. The mule track climbs up the shore, plunged in the broad-leaved forest that during spring time is embellished with yellow spot from the blooming of the laburnums and of the brooms. The ruins of the farmhouses of Barco, Casa Nuova and I Prati, emerge one after the other and the wood wraps them up. Right after I Prati, the valley opens up and rewards the pilgrims with glimpse of a panorama in which the vegetation becomes thinner and the trees grab on to the rocks in order to hold out against the wind. After a little sprint, you arrive below Monte Carpano, where there used to be a group of houses and a little tavern for those who worked in the Lama and Camaldoli forests. When you reach the crossing place, the mule track ends, wiped out by the trail that descends to Pietrapazza. Ample panoramas open up on the Savio and Bidente valleys, that start and separate right here. The intersection is often &ldquomarked&rdquo by excrement through which wolfs marks their territory and the echo of their howling resound in the most hidden clefts, where the flock protects its cubs. The Cammino climbs up on the trail 201 GCR, towards Poggiaccio, overpasses the bar and goes down to Prato dei Grilli, where a small way unravels alongside the ridge. The fog blurs the contour of the woods and amplifies its tranquillity, and during the spring you may gather in full its beauty, when the blossoming of snowdrops, wild saffron and alpine squill peeks out the carpet of dry leaves, while the new ones, just come out, have a clear colour and a tenderness that makes them edible. Spots of green leaves stands out in the litter and they spread in the air the acrid smell of bear garlic, used in the preparation of sauces. The cracks of the leaves under the weight of the boots is the only sound that accompanies the Cammino, while walking uphill, all the way to the crossing place with 00 GEA trail. An ample lowland area covered by beech trees, marks the Tuscan border. Among the trees, you find charcoal&rsquos remainders which re-invoke the sound and the voices that used to neutralize the quiet of the woods.

The Cammino follows up on the 00 GEA trail and it remains close to the ridge. When you reach Passo del Lupatti, the trail crosses and then overpasses the road Cancellino-Lama, still remaining near the crest. Those who do not want to cover the entire route, shall take the track 58 CAI, on the other side of the dirt road and hike down to Carbonile km 2,191, where they have the possibility to spend the night and restart the journey the following day. 

Past Passo della Crocina, the Cammino goes around Poggio allo Spillo and then on the SP 69 to Aia di Guerrino here you find a water source, and it follows the road up until Passo ei Fangacci, where there is an occasional water source and a shelter managed by the CAI. From the cabin, the Cammino bumps into a beech trees forest and at the end of the road a mule track starts. Sometimes you can still see the cobblestone and the curbs that mark the pavement, where a water source gushes. The marks left from past excavations are almost completely covered, but the ones that are still visible indicate Cava dei Frate, where monks used to extract the rocks for the hermitage and the monastery. Then the Cammino goes down the 98 CAI trail until it crosses again with the SP 69, in the glade of Prato di Penna, where a picture of the Virgin Mary that encourages us to pray is located: &ldquoHail, Holy Queen, turn thine eyes of mercy toward us.&rdquo The road to the hermitage goes through a fir tree forest: the landscape has welcomed it with harmony and has made it a distinctive feature of this side of the Apennines. Its slim trunks looks like the columns of a cathedral, below which the 74 CAI climbs down towards the SP 69, and merging in Croce della Calla. From here, the trial continues alongside the paved road until Eremo di Camaldoli, where the Cammino descends along the old path for the hermitage, now partially substituted with a steep road.  After 300 meters, the trail passes through a small artificial lake, for which Priore Generale Ambrogio Raversari had it dig in the XV century for the cultivation of fishes. The reason for this was that monks did not eat any other type of meat. The lake is now an important faunal area, where a rare specie of amphibious, the alpine newt, lives.

A little further, in a shaded glade, Three Crosses mark the limit of the area that was previously reserved to reclusion of the monks, and before 1866 it was prohibited to women to access it.

The trail keeps going on the other side of the road, it intersects and then re-joins it after a steep shortcut downhill. The Chapel of S.Romualdo emerges among the pine trees. Erected in memory of a miracle of the Saint against the Devil that wanted to push him into the creek. It still conserves a stone that, according to the tradition, is engraved by the mark of one foot and one hand which belonged to S. Romualdo.

Following an evocative tract on a cobbled mule track, the Cammino temporarily drifts from the woods, and goes back to leap over a creek on a bridge built in 1458 by Priore Generle Mariotto Allegri, that brings you to the Chapel of Madonna della Neve. The chapel&rsquos access is of a roman arch type, and it was built in the XV century. At the end of the grade, the Monastery of Camaldoli emerges from the trees.

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