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From Resceto to Vagli di Sopra

Resceto (485m) - Finestra Vandelli (1450m) - Passo della Tambura (1620m) - Vagli di Sopra (725m)

The route combines natural landscape interest and the thrill of walking along an eighteenth century road, one which was so difficult and rough that it became impossible to travel along just a few years after it was inaugurated.

Starting from Resceto, walk along the road which passes above the church and goes along a tree-lined ridge. Leaving to your left CAI footpath no. 170 (which climbs to Vettolina) you reach the Casetta del Fondo. Then, having crossed a second ridge, you get to a junction: on the left, footpath no. 166 climbs towards the Passo della Focolaccia while the Via Vandelli (footpath no. 35), which has recently been having some maintenance done to it, is to the right. Take this path, which climbs steadily and has numerous bends: at 1250 metres, the dark colour of the rocks marks the presence of the ferrous mineral hematite. Two hundred metres higher up you come to the Finestra Vandelli (the Vandelli window) which is cut into the crest and has a wide stretch of meadow where a tin shed acts as a permanently open refuge. Continuing onwards amidst large dolomitic rocks you come to the Rifugio Nello Conti (for information about when it is open, contact the C.A.I. of Massa, tel. 0585/488 081).

Retrace your steps to the Vandelli window, and climb gently to the Passo della Tambura (there is a spring in the meadow just a little bit below it), and then drop down towards the valley along path no. 35 which passes the remains of Casone, and after a number of bends, joins path no. 31. Following this path to the left you pass Arnetola and finally, having crossed a wide valley where there are lots of marble quarries, you arrive at Vagli di Sopra.

Access Resceto is approximately 10km by car from Massa. There is also a bus from Massa (CAT bus line, tel. 0585/41030).
Vagli di Sopra is about 10km from state road no. 445, and is between Castelnuovo Garfagnana and Piazza al Serchio (CLAP bus line, tel. 0583/62039). The local railway station is Poggio-Careggine-Vagli on the Aulla-Lucca line).
Time required 6 hours
Difference in height 1130 m
Difficulty E
Maps   S.EL.CA. scale 1:25,000 accompanying the book  - Garfagnana Trekking Multigraphic - Alpi Apuane
Characteristics Characteristics: unpaved roads and mule tracks
Best season Spring and autumn
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Text and pictures Gianfranco Bracci
Translation: Jeremy Carden


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