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Walking and Biking



To the Eremo di Camaldoli from Passo della Calla

Skiing round the Apennine hermitages

This is the most frequented winter excursion in the Casentino, but it should not, however, be underestimated. Even though the altitudes are not that high (Poggio Scali 1520 m), this stretch of the Apennines often has the severity of high mountain territory. High winds often cause snow to accumulate in drifts that can be several metres deep, making it more difficult to make, and find, your way. Particular care needs to be taken, if there is heavy snowfall, on the short stretch of ridge between Poggio Pian Tombesi and Poggio Scali. However, in ideal conditions this route is undoubtedly one of the finest in the whole of the Tosco–Emiliano Apennines.

From Passo della Calla, take, on the left coming from Forlì (on the opposite side in relation to the paved road for the Rifugio La Burraia), a narrow unpaved road closed by a bar, which climbs sharply towards Il Poggione. Gaining altitude rapidly, the track then runs gently into the wood, following the ridge quite closely with easy up and down stretches. After reaching Poggio Pian Tombesi and passing an area with large boulders, there is a stretch of about 50 metres where the path runs along a narrow ridge (watch out to your left). Then carry on along an easier track until you arrive beneath Poggio Scali, the highest point of this section of the Apennines. You can either carry on along the ridge to the top or follow the track (which often disappears, however) that skirts round the right-hand flank of Poggio Scali and then returns to the ridge. From here the route is prevalently downhill (the first section is quite steep), eventually coming out at a wide clearing with the Fonte del Porcareccio on the left. The track widens here and after another sharp downhill stretch (at the end of which there is small, semi-hidden wooden refuge hut on the right which is always open), the path is very easy. It crosses a number of wide meadows (Prato al Soglio and Prato Bertone) and arrives, after a final steeply downhill stretch, at a barred gateway. Ignore the tracks to right and left and carry straight on on the main track. This soon brings you to Prato alla Penna (a small wooden hut that is always open). The Badia Prataglia–Camaldoli road passes here, which is sometimes used by cross-country skiers in winter. Turn right along this road, following the traces of the track, and you soon come to the hermitage of Camaldoli. At this point you can either return the way you came or, and this is both more interesting and quicker, take path no. 16 (green and white signs) from behind the hermitage. This climbs between fine white fir trees but due to its steepness is recommended only for good skiers. In little more than 1 km it brings you to the ridge near Prato Bertone. From here, go back the way you came to Passo della Calla.

Distance 20 km (round trip)
Difference in height 820 m
Time 6/7 hours
Level of difficulty   Medium
Map Multigraphic 1:25.000 n. 33-35
Suggested period December/March
Rest point/accommodation Hermitage guest house, tel. 0575/556013
Getting there From Arezzo, take the SS. no. 71 towards Bibbiena and then the SS. no. 310 for Stia and Passo della Calla. From Forlì take the SS. no. 310 for Galeata, S. Sofia and Passo della Calla.



Text and picture: Cinzia Pezzani & Sergio Grillo
Translation: Jeremy Carden

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