Mountain - Hiking Itineraries: Monte Cimone and Corno alle Scale 1

Sun's reflection on the river
In beautiful Porretta
Call me stupid, but I couldn't avoid it. I couldn't stay at home in the first and only holydays since September untill Christmas, and in spite I was sick with a viral flu I took the way of the mountains. I have no regret. 
I had booked all at the true last minute because I wasn't sure I could afford it, phisically and economically. On Friday 28 I got my pay and I felt immediately better! My backpack was ready. Refuges, hotels and BnB were almost all sold out because the 'ponte dei morti' is a popular holyday and the weather was wonderful, unbelivable for November. I decided to try "La Locanda Zita" in the village of Vesale, where I had spent one night following the Giro d'Italia 2013. There was a room available and I didn't think twice.
Sunset on Monte Cimone from Vesale
My aim was Monte Cimone (2.165 m): the highest peak in the northern Appennini. I had climbed it when I was about 22 by mountaineering ski but I had stopped just under the steep top while my husbamd had gone all the way up. I planned to climb it on Monday 10/31 and Corno alla Scale (1.945) on Tuesday 11/1. 

My son and I left Florence by car on Sunday morning, my husband Tiziano joined in Pistoia and we stopped for lunch in the town of Porretta, famous for its thermes. It's one of my favourite places. 
From there we started climbing the green slopes of Frignano, dotted of farms and villages
Locanda Zita: spa and terrace
We arrived to Vesale in time to admire the sunset on Monte Cimone, emerging in a soft tone of pinck from the blue shadows of the lower hills.
The 'Locanda Zita' is famous for its cuisine and at 4 pm it was still crowded with people eating and drinking. We took a rest in our beautiful room before a generous and tasty dinner. 
The story of the hostel is rooted in the XIX century, when Marietta was the owner and a well known cook. Vesale is a small isolated village and it wasn't easy to reach it at that time, still Marietta and her daughter Zita made it a popular destination. The actual owner, Toni, is Marietta's great-grandson, he runs the hotel with his wife Paola and their two sons according with tradition and modern confort. Indead, food is delicious and there is a new little spa including a sauna and a whirlpool bath. Believe me, you can't want more. And no, they didn't pay me! 
Lago della Ninfa
Vesale itself is nice. The towns of Sestola and Fanano are close but you need a car to get there, or good legs. It's possible to reach Monte Cimone on foot by a long trekking climbing through the forest to Passo del Lupo, but unfortunately there aren't refuges there nor closer to Cimone, because the top is a military area. During the ski season it's possible to stop eating in Passo del Lupo, Pian Cavallo or Cimoncino but not to sleep. In Lago della Ninfa there is a 'refuge' that's almost always open, where it's possible to sleep and to eat. It's a charming place and a good start point for a trekking to the summit of Monte Cimone.......

..................................MORE TO COME...........................

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