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To the Eremo della Casella from Falciano

Skiing round the Apennine hermitages

Panoramic route along the highest ridge of the Alpe di Catenaia. There are beautiful beech woods along much of the way, in particular between Fonte del Baregno and Monte Castello and the one surrounding the hermitage itself.

From Falciano carry on along the road in the car towards Savorgnano and Ponte alla Piera. You soon come to the unpaved road on the left leading to La Casetta (this road leaves the provincial road a little before the Maestà d'Agnano). If there is enough snow, you can put your skis on here, otherwise carry on by car along the wide, easy, unpaved track to La Casetta, which lies at about 1000 metres. Put your skis on and climb gently on the wide track which, after passing Casa Taverni (recently renovated building which can be used as an emergency bivouac), come to a junction. Turn right and follow footpath no. 03 until you reach the wide clearing of Fonte del Baregno, where the path meets another forest road. Going left would take you immediately uphill to the Sasso della Regina. However, it is more interesting to go right here. This brings you to a junction; here, ignore the main track which carries straight on and take the narrower, left-hand fork (the red and white signs of footpath no. 50 are visible even in the snow), which climbs steeply amidst the beech trees. This brings you to the large meadow covering much of the ridge between Monte Altuccia and Monte Il Castello; off to the left, the ridge leads to the summit of Monte Il Castello. From here there is a not very clearly visible track that descends along the ridge and then bends to the left (footpath no. 50) towards Sasso della Regina. A brief flattish stretch preceeds a rapid descent that keeps to the ridge. Ignore all the minor paths leading off and stick to the main forest track. Eventually you come to a crossroads. The road to the right leads to Caprese Michelangelo. Instead, go straight on for the final kilometre uphill to the Eremo della Casella. Go back the way you came.

Distance 19 km (round trip)
Difference in height 590 m
Time 5/6 hours
Level of difficulty   For good skiersbuoni (medium difficulty without the climb to Monte Castello)
Map SELCA 1:25.000 "Tra L'Arno e il Tevere"
Suggested period December/March
Rest point/accommodation A specially designated room in the hermitage
Getting there From Arezzo, take the SS. no. 71 towards Bibbiena; turn off it to the right just after Subbiano and follow signs for Falciano.

 

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


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