Walk 34. Hike to Campocatino
The most beautiful alpine pasture in Tuscany
Vagli di Sopra - Campocatino - Eremo san Viviana
Starting point: Vagli di Sopra, 679m.
Access: From Castelnuovo di Garfagnana to Poggio, there, go left via Vagli
di Sotto to Vagli di Sopra: 17 km.
Walking times: Vagli di Sopra - Campocatino 1 hr., side-trip to hermitage and
hrs. descent 45 min.; total walking time 3 hrs.
Grade: Easy walk on roads and paths.
Refreshment: Ristorante/Pizzeria Buca dei Gracchi in Campocatino (uniquely
built into the rock, tel. 05 83/66 41 03).
walk around the Campocatino basin (trail no. 177, then Sentiero Natura): 1½ hrs.
Vertigo-free mountain climbers can continue above the hermitage on trail no.
147 high above the valley; after a rest area,
a surprising mini ferrata leads to a marble quarry. Descent follows gravel
and asphalt road through the alpine valley of Arnetola: 2 hrs.
Map: Carta dei Sentieri e Rifugi No. 101/102, Multigraphic Firenze.
Before the impressive rocky backdrop of the 1700-m high Monte Roccandagia
lies one of the most beautiful spots of the Tuscan mountain country: the Campocatino
basin, dug by Ice-Age glaciers, with its archaic-looking stone huts. The shepherds
who lived in them every summer have long since passed on. Today, the old houses
function as weekend residences or shelters for hikers, and the feathered inhabitants
are cared for by the birdprotection organisation LlPU. An interesting side-trip
takes us to the cave that St. Viviano (or Viano) once chose as his dwelling.
From the Vagli di Sopra village road, the Via Campo Catino (marker 7) branches
off to the right: The cobblestone path leads across the wooded slope and past
two chapels, up to Campocatino, 1000m. After the first huts, we reach a fork:
To the right, one can reach the
nearby Ristorante Buca dei Gracchi, to the left, a well. From there, we continue
on the gravel road to the meadow ridge. Soon, we branch off to the left onto
the »Sentiero Natura«. On the hill, we once again meet up with
the gravel road, onto which we turn left and pass under a transmitter, then
through a small birch wood to a rest area.
Then at the fork: To the left, we walk in the direction of Eremo S. Viviano
to a pretty vista point, and head downhill in serpentine curves into a rocky
trench, ultimately over steps upward underneath a large rock wall to the
hermitage (you can borrow the key in the ristorante). Return via the ascent
This walk was reproduced by kind permission of Rother Walking Guide »Tuscany
North« by Wolfgang Heitzmann / Renate Gabriel, © Bergverlag Rother · Munich.
For more information and to purchase your copy of the full guide visit their
website at www.rother.de