Hiking the border path between Toscane and Modena in the Orecchiella mountains, above the Garfagnana.
Ridge path hike in the Orecchiella mountains of the Apennines. We enjoyed an especially clear day with not only a clear view across the Garfagnana of the Alpi Apuae but far views towards the distant Swiss Alps across the Po Valley and the Alpi Maritimi across the Gulf of Genoa. An exceptional morning.
We started from the village of San Pellegrino dell’Alpe (1535 m.), the spring water is good but it’s not the same location as the popular bottled water. Our highest point, with the most spectacular views, was the Alpicella della Radici (1682 m.), it’s also a popular launch site for hang-gliders. We also took in the Passo delle Radici (1529 m.) and the Giro dell Diavolo (1628 m.), where legend has it that the devil created a whirlwind to try to lead San Pellegrino astray.
This is the border between Toscane and Modena provinces in modern times but it’s easy to imagine the path was originally laid out as a military patrol road by the Romans but the route is now popular with mountain trail bikers as well as hikers. We saw a deer and some birds of prey but also spent cartridge cases, evidence of hunting. The Passo delle Radici (1529 m.) is also a favourite with road bikers and has a small ski-lift installation.