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To the Eremo della Verna from Chiusi della Verna

Skiing round the Apennine hermitages

Easy excursion offering rapid access to the Eremo della Verna via the old Franciscan road. From here you can either continue in the forest around the hermitage or go along a spur leading to the Apennine ridge.

The starting point of this itinerary is La Beccia, which can be reached by car from Chiusi della Verna following signs for Bibbiena and Arezzo. From La Beccia there is also a splendid view of the hermitage set into the rock. Put on your skis and set out on the itinerary, passing alongside a fountain/spring and go down the road that goes first through the houses and then starts climbing steeply. After passing a chapel and negotiating a final steep stretch you arrive in front of the entrance gate of the hermitage. If you want, you can enter the piazza of the hermitage and then exit from the opposite side, walking, obviously without skis, along the paths around the complex. Otherwise you can go along the path by the outer walls, which soon levels off for a brief period. When the track begins to descend you are close to what is the current road for the hermitage, a stone-paved road that leads to the large piazza/car park. Removing your skis, go along the paved road in the direction of Chiusi but after a few dozen metres leave it at a right bend. Put your skis back on and take a track (closed off by a chain) that initially runs along by the wall delimiting the Verna forest. Immediately after a tabernacle there is a junction. Take the smaller track to the left, climbing to the Cancello della Calla where, following the wooden signs for La Grotta, you enter the north-east part of the forest. Returning to the Cancello della Calla, go back down to the main track and turn left. This will bring you to the Cappella di Frà Filippo (ignore the road going downhill to the right) and then onto the ridge. From here you can continue to follow the track, which sticks close to the ridge and is marked by GEA signs, as far as the Passo delle Gualanciole. Alternatively you can go right at the first crossroads and go downhill on the wide unpaved road till you reach the village of Montalone (this is only possible when there is plenty of snow). Return to Chiusi the way you came.

Distance 15 km (round trip)
Difference in height 280 m
Time 4 hours
Level of difficulty   Easy
Map Multigraphic 1:25.000 n. 33-35
Suggested period January/February
Getting there From Arezzo take the SS no. 71 to Bibbiena and then the SS no. 208 for La Verna. From Cesena take the SS no. 3 bis (much of it dual carriageway). Exit at Pieve S. Stefano and from here take SS. no. 208 for La Verna.

 

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


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