Friday, May 26, 2017

Ancient Paths. Strada dei Lombardi

Many times, places described in the books and on the sites, I use to plan my walks turn out to be a bit of a disappointment.  Sometimes however they exceed my expectations.



Sassalbo,MC

Strada dei Lombardi, Sassalbo,MC


Strada dei Lombardi, Sassalbo,MC

The “Strada dei Lombardi” turned out to be far more than what I imagined that I might find.
 
This is a very ancient route that once connected Luni and La Spezia to Reggio Emilia and Modena and the Po valley. It was certainly used by the Romans and was in use until the modern road was built in nineteenth century.  The name of the path reminds us that much of Emilia once formed part of Lombardy.

 
Strada dei Lombardi, Sassalbo,MC

Strada dei Lombardi, Sassalbo,MC

Strada dei Lombardi, Sassalbo,MC

Strada dei Lombardi, Sassalbo,MC

Strada dei Lombardi, Sassalbo,MC
The path starts out as a typical muddy mule path, but after a while the remains of the paved road flanked by imposing dry stone walls begin. The paved section continues flanked on each side by the walls for more than a kilometre until the road exits the chestnut woods into the pastures under the Pass of Cerreto where winter snows over the years have cancelled all traces of the road.

A traveller left his mark. Strada dei Lombardi, Sassalbo,MC

Strada dei Lombardi, Sassalbo,MC

Strada dei Lombardi, Sassalbo,MC
 
Strada dei Lombardi, Sassalbo,MC

 
 
 
Last traces of the road. Strada dei Lombardi, Sassalbo,MC
 
At a certain point, another path took me to Lago Padule hidden away in the woods. Remains of ice stores can be seen alongside the lake. There was once an important commerce in ice stored in the mountains and brought down into the towns below by cart.
 
Lago Padule, Sassalbo, MC
 
Lago Padule, Sassalbo, MC

Ice store. Lago Padule, Sassalbo, MC

Lago Padule, Sassalbo, MC

Valle dell' Inferno, MC
 
The extent and the state of preservation of this stretch of path were far more surprising than the descriptions I had read about this path.  Considering the height difference between the start and the finish of the road, I found the path surprisingly easy to climb.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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