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A walk in Campofontana

A walk in Campofontana

A walk in

Campofontana

on a Winter Sunday
Last Sunday I went to Campofontana for a walk.

It was quite busy up there, it’s becoming more and more popular to go to the mountains at weekends.

Sundays in Campofontana

Campofontana, in the Natural Park of Lessinia, is very convenient for those that live in Verona and Vicenza, and it’s beautiful.

campofontana
campofontana

The itinerary

Usually when I go to Campofontana I take the road that from the Cemetery goes up towards the famous beech, passing by Contrà Pagani.

A couple of times I also went to Mount Telegrafo, not this time (due to headache). 

Last Sunday I wanted to try a different path, that I had heard about. I took the road that cuts to the left just before the town of Campofontana, there’s a sign directing to Agriturismo L’Incanto.

This road passes contrade Grisi and Zocca and after the last contrada there’s a gravel road (on the right) and a path (on the left).

The path, number 251, goes through a thicket, that is the reason why I wanted to walk there.

campofontana

Beechwood

And here was the nice grove that I had heard about. A beechwood, to be precise.

Beechwoods are particularly nice, trucks are clean and high, the undergrowth is also neat.  

Another beechwood I like a lot is the one in Cansiglio, that is much larger, but this one in Campofontana is closer if you live in Vicenza like I do.

faggeto campofontana
faggeto campofontana
We stopped to take some pictures because it was too beautiful. 
parco naturale della lessinia
faggeto campofontana
sentiero 251 campofontana
bucaneve campofontana

Snowdrops

And here comes the surprise: snowdrops. 

You could barely see them, they were just the promise of a white lawn.

There were so many, it was almost impossible not to step on them. 

faggeto campofontana

Lodges/ agriturismi

Agriturismo Bucaneve

Surely, this agriturismo couldn’t have a different name (Bucaneve is snowdrop in Italian). You can get there by car, but of course the short walk in the wood is recommended.

It’s a nice location, near the wood but sunny, at least at lunch time.

agriturismo bucaneve campofontana

Rifugio Monte Torla

The Torla has become very popular since it opened in 2018. 

I don’t know if they refurbished an Alpine cottage that was already there, but that is the style. Beautiful inside and outside. In the toilet the sink is huge, like those of the great-grandparents. 

rifugio torla campofontana

We ate at rifugio Torla, but there were too many people. It felt like the beach in Summer.

Next time I will probably stop in another of those agriturismi nearby. Better to book, by whatsapp as there’s no signal there. 

gnocchi:

Monte Veronese and fumed ricotta

tagliere rifugio monte torla

Cold cuts and cheese

pranzo rifugio monte torla

Bona la mostarda!

Going back we took the other road, the one that goes higher, near the contrada Pagani. 
campofontana

Smog!

These last weeks the smog alert was high in our cities. And you could see it from up there.

There was a pink-grey strip that looked pretty, like low clouds lighten by the setting sun.

But no, it was smog, pollution.

campofontana
Walking back
foto campofontana
lessinia
parco naturale lessinia
paesaggio campofontana
parco naturale lessinia

Contrà Pagani

Anyone who has been to Campofontana before knows Contrà Pagani.

It’s a typical contrada of the Cimbri, the population of the area. 

contrà pagani campofontana
contrà pagani campofontana
contrà pagani campofontana

Campofontana and Natural Park of Lessinia are beautiful in every Season.

It is true that recently they have become very popular, a bit too much to my taste (usually you go to the mountains to find some peace). 

But it must be the fashion of these years, Dolomites are swarmed with tourists too. 

It’s ok, as long as the mountain doesn’t suffer from this, as we should all enjoy the beauties of Nature. 

But it’s important that we respect it. 

parco naturale della lessinia
parco naturale della lessinia

A week later…

One week later we went back to Campofontana because it had snowed and I was looking forward to a walk in the snow and to check out the snowdrops. We also found some other pretty flowers (the winter roses, we call them). Love.

cava di marmo campofontana
campofontana contrada pozza
neve a campofontana
casa vecchia campofontana
gatto a campofontana
campofontana arte cimbra
neve faggeta campofontana
punaro a campofontana
cavallo a campofontana
rosa d'inverno campofontana
faggeta campofontana con neve
neve campofontana
bucaneve campofontana
bucaneve campofontana
agriturismo bucaneve campofontana
katty piazza
luca fracca
rifugio torla campofontana
neve a campofontana
campofontana cimbra
neve a campofontana
neve a campofontana
porto di sopra campofontana
porto di sopra campofontana

This time we walked a bit more. We went up to Porto di Sopra and we wanted to hike to the Telegrafo, but we took the wrong path. 

porto di sopra campofontana
campofontana
campofontana
contrà pagani campofontana

Contrà Pagani always beautiful.

contrà campofontana
contrà pagani campofontana
It’s Going to be Perfect!

vieni con me!

Cima Marana in Winter

Cima Marana in Winter

Hiking on

 mount Marana

in Winter

Yesterday, Boxing Day (Saint Stephen here in Italy), I went to Mount Marana (on the Little Dolomites) with my brother, following the usual path that starts at the right of Contrà Gebbani. 

There were many more people that had our same idea; it was sunny and warm, even too warm for December. 

I must say that it was harder than usual. 

Maybe because I was heavy with winter clothes and a backpack (usually in Summer I hike on shorts and a water bottle), or I was heavy with the Christmas lunch of the previous day; or simply I’m out of shape (I don’t do much activity anymore). 

But at the end it took us the same time as usual (about one hour and 15 minutes).
The path was quite clean and dry until what we call the quarry. From there it was muddy (the snow was melting), with a bit of snow and a short part icy and slippery.

But nothing a 42yo out of shape couldn’t do.

Of course, had there been more snow, I wouldn’t have gone, because I don’t have the tools nor the knowledge.

We didn’t stay too long on the peak, despite the sun it was a bit chilly.

Going back down we met a group of youngster that were going up to spend the night there.

Cima Marana is always a nice walk.

It’s Going to be Perfect!

vieni con me!

Bolsena Infiorata

Bolsena Infiorata

Bolsena

Infiorata

Corpus christi

Bolsena, a medieval village on the shore of a lake with the same name, on the day of the Corpus Christi becomes even more beautiful with the Infiorata.

The infiorata is an exhibition of drawings made with flowers, seeds, leaves and peat along the streets of the town.

(Bolsena is also famous for the hydrangeas, there are plenty around town and there’s even a festival a couple of weeks before the infiorata, dedicated expressely to this flower) 

I was in Bolsena during the infiorata in 2019 and I took loads of pictures, that I obviously would like to share. 

but first, a bit of history…

In 1263 AD in Bolsena during Mass a consecrated host started to bleed, as if it was flesh. This miracle was considered proof that the body of Christ is in fact in the Eucharist. So the following year Pope Urban IV established the feast of Corpus Christi, that previously was only celebrated in Belgium. From that date, during the Corpus Christi the Eucharist is exhibited and carried around the towns.
In Bolsena the procession is particularly important because with the Blessed Sacrament there’s also a “Sacred Stone” that is taken around, the stone where the blood dropped. 

Moreover, since 1995 the celebration got even bigger with the Infiorata.

Getting ready

Works for the Infiorata start a few days before the Sunday on which the procession will take place.
Along the streets of Bolsena you can meet groups of women that separate petals from the flowers, the main material used in the Infiorata.
The Infiorata and procession are held on a Sunday, but some groups start to draw on Saturday night, because it’s very hot during the day and it’s more difficult to work in the sun. 
Creating the drawings is a team work, everybody is busy, from the youngest to the elderly. It’s a nice party of the town that involves everyone.
Sunday
On Sunday works start early in the morning  and continue without break.

Before

 

After

Flowers are kept wet throughout the day, so that they stay fresh and they don’t fly away.
Here are two galleries of images (click on the arrows to see all the pictures) 
Many drawings represent religious images, but there’s more. 
The procession
At 4 pm starts the procession during which Eucharist and Sacred Stone are carried around the town of Bolsena, followed by representatives of the town, of the Church and of the communities. 
The procession follows the drawings on the streets. Only the priest carrying the Sacred Stone can walk on the flowers, the others must walk on the side.
Once the procession is finished you can walk on the drawings. If you are strong enough. 

Personally I didn’t feel like ruining these works of art that took days to prepare, just an hour after they were finished.   

Another gallery. I took so many pictures, and the drawings were so all so special, it would a shame not to share them all. 

I was impressed by the quality of the drawings made with products found in nature 

and there are actually many people involved in the making of the Infiorata, with great care and attention

truly beautiful

It’s Going to be Perfect!

vieni con me!

Hiking between Marana and Montefalcone

Hiking between Marana and Montefalcone

  • Italiano
  • English
Hiking between

Marana and Montefalcone

among clouds and nature

Last Sunday I went hiking with my brother on the mountains not far from home.

Wanted to go to Cima Marana how we often do during the year, but instead of taking one of the most common paths, those starting from Contrada Gebbani (or Castagna) and going up directly to Cima Marana, we chose Sentiero 203, that from Gebbani goes to Malga Casoline and ends at the dirty road that goes from Piatta di Montefalcone.

The sentiero 203

Taking the path that starts between the Gebbani and Castagna contrade that goes directly up to Cima Marana (the path we call “of the ridge”), not far from the departure point there’s fork: to the left you go to the Marana peak, to the right you go to Malga Casoline, that is Path no. 203.

Here we were close to Malga Casoline, at about one hour from departure.

The 203 is longer and a bit harder than the other paths that go to Cima Marana, but it’s almost entirely in the shade and it crosses a beautiful forest.

Passo della Porta

After about 2 hours of hiking (consider that I’m not very fit), we got to Passo della Porta, along the dirty road that connects Campodavanti to Montefalcone.

Instead of walking on the road to go to Montefalcone, we decided to walk on the ridge. 

But on the other side of the mountain there was quite some fog, adn we could see nothing.

The view from up there is amazing.

I know because I took the same path one year ago, in a nice sunny day.

That is why I am showing you here the pictures I too one year ago. 

The ridge one year ago

You can see the Carega peak and Rifugio Fraccaroli from up there, if it’s not foggy or raining.

Towards Montefalcone

It might have been foggy, but I managed to find some pretty cute things that deserved a photograph.

And finally, the Rifugio Montefalcone

It took us more than half an hour to get to the lodge from Passo della Porta, partly because I was starting to feel tired and the ridge has some pretty hard climbs, partly because I was taking pictures on the way. 

Lunch at Rifugio Montefalcone with minestrone soup and red fruits strudel 🙂

Towards Cima Marana

After a short siesta we left for Cima Marana.

Again, beautiful landscape and nature, despite the fog. 

what about these roots???

Cima Marana is one of the southernmost peaks of the Dolomites, and one of the lowest.

At 1554 meters above sea level, it has a special view of the Chiampo and Agno valleys and you can even see the Garda Lake and Venice Lagoon on bright clear days.

It’s a shame there’s always someone who leaves some garbage behind. 

I collected 5 cigarette butts, only around the cross of Cima Marana.

 

The descent towards the Gebbani was a bit hard for me, I was feeling more and more tired and my knees were starting to ache. 

but I love this itinerary so much, I’m looking forward to the next time!

It’s Going to be Perfect!

vieni con me!

A walk on the hills of San Zeno

A walk on the hills of San Zeno

Last Monday (April 25 is Liberation Day, a National Holiday in Italy) I took a walk on the hills near home, in San Zeno of Arzignano, during the local “sagra”, a food and cultural festival that takes place every year in my village.

On the hills of San Zeno
On the hills of San Zeno

The “sagra” is spread in two weekends and it’s very well organized, considering San Zeno is a very small village. Every day there’s something different in the menu: porchetta (roasted pork), risotto, paella, fried fish, etc. There’s a photography exhibition and contest (I won the third prize this year 🙂 ), a vintage motorbikes show, a music festival for teenagers (I get emotional at hearing these youngster singing with so much passion and talent).

The walk takes place on April 25. As usual I loved walking in the nature and seeing the old houses in the countryside. Plus, it’s an occasion to meet new and old friends, your neighbors that you don’t have the chance to meet often. And there’s always some food. At half walk we could eat loads of “panini” with home-made salami, cheese and peppers. A pleasure for the palate and the soul.

Below is a short video I made of the walk in San Zeno, hope you’ll enjoy it.

My not so happy experience on the Floating Piers

My not so happy experience on the Floating Piers

My experience on the Floating Piers on Lake Iseo was not the happiest. It was very tiring and a bit unsuccessful.

The Floating Piers is a work by the Bulgarian-American artist Christo on Lake Iseo. It consists in 3 kilometers of polyethylene boardwalk (covered in a yellow tissue) that connects Sulzano, a small village on the shores of the lake, to Monte Isola and another small and private island. The work of art is free, open to public and walkable for about 2 weeks, from June 18th to July 3rd, 2016.

floating piers
Peschiera Maraglio on Monte Isola

I went there yesterday, Wednesday, in the afternoon, because I was told that it’s less crowded in the afternoon and on weekdays. Yesterday it was not. It was crazy. We could tell it from the traffic on the road to get to the Lake. From home it took us three hours instead of two. You can’t drive into Sulzano, from where the Floating Piers start, which is a very small village and couldn’t welcome all the people flocking to the work of art. So there are other options to get there: you can either drive or take a train to one of the other villages around the lake and from there take a bus, a ferry or a train to Sulzano or Monte Isola. But none of those ways of transport is simple (or guarantee you will be able to get to the Floating Piers); most ferries are booked, buses are slow, trains are irregular. We went to Marone, north of Sulzano, because I was told that from the northern part of the lake it’s easier to get to Sulzano than from Iseo, in the South, where most people go. Still, we had to wait for one hour for the train from Marone to Sulzano, because Sulzano was congested, and people were not allowed in for some time. Once we got to Sulzano, the situation was even worse. We had to queue for almost 3 hours before we could get onto the boardwalk. I admired all those kids that queued with us, they were very brave.

While on the queue, we heard some people that left Bologna at 7 am; they were queuing with us at 9 pm because once in Brescia they were told that Sulzano was closed. They had to wait various hours in Brescia before they could come to the lake.

floating piers
A crowded and yellow Sulzano

We got onto the Floating Piers at 9.30 pm. And we could only stay for about 10 minutes, because it was late and probably the last train back to Marone was at 10.20 pm. I say “probably” because nothing seemed to be clear and certain. On the timetable at the station the last train was specified at 10.20, but the lady that sold us the tickets said the last train was at midnight. To be on the safe side, and not to have to walk 1 hour and a half back, we decided to take the train earlier. And anyway we had 2 more hours drive to go home, it was getting really late.

It was nice to walk on the Floating Piers. Nothing really exciting though; I think most people like the idea of being part of something that has been publicized so much. I like that you can walk to an island when normally you can only take a ferry there. But I would have liked to enjoy it for longer; the plan was to be there by 5 or max 6 pm, and walk a couple of hours.

Floating Piers Iseo Lake
10 minutes on the Floating Piers

Why are the Floating Piers so popular? Or crowded? Probably if they were there for more than 2 weeks, the visits wouldn’t be so concentrated. So, why is it available only for 2 weeks? Is it because it needs lots of maintenance? Or because the holiday season has started and the hotels by the lake need some quiet for their guests? I don’t know.

Anyway, I have just checked the live camera of the square in front of the city hall where we spent 2 hours yesterday, and there’s no queue at all today. So I was really unlucky. And I’m even more upset. I wish I had gone today instead. What I complain about is that there was not enough information. Yesterday, in the morning, before we started our trip to Sulzano, I checked the official website of the Floating Piers; there’s a “news” section and the last news was from June 25th (yesterday it was the 29th); no news about a congestion in town, so I thought that everything was fine. If I had been advised that it was particularly crowded, I wouldn’t have gone and like me I think many people. Probably not those that left at 7 am to get there, but those living a bit closer like me, I’m sure they would have preferred to go today and spend less time on a queue.

I also lament that after so many hours of queue you still had to wait to leave Sulzano. To go north it was ok, we “only” had to wait for 40 minutes (the train was actually at 10.40, not 10.20 as on the timetable ). But the queue to go to Iseo and Brescia was crazy. Why can’t you arrange more trains when you know that there are so many people that want to leave the town? I felt like the whole thing was really badly organized.

Maybe they weren’t expecting so many people, but they could have done something to improve the situation. They could at least have avoided more waiting for those that wanted to leave this unrepeatable (because it’s extremely exciting or extremely tiring, it’s up to you) experience, the Floating Piers.