Winter among the villages of the Apennines

© Photos Giuseppe Giuliano – Wok Photography


• Walking distance: 3 hours 30 minutes
• Difficulty: Hiking. Particular attention is paid to the snow cover which involves the obligation of snowshoes on the feet.
• Difference in height: 1000 meters


• Mountain shoes
• Snowshoes
• sticks
• Waterproof jacket
• Winter trousers
• Map

Such a good opportunity to be in the woods covered by the fresh snow that fell in the past days. These are the best moments for venturing, after the great snowfalls, when the winter forests are abducted by a solemn silence. The day promises good weather, and we decide to leave early in the morning to take advantage of all the hours of light that the season grants us. The hike that awaits us is a circular tour, which starts from the Segavecchia hut, passes through the small towns of Monteacuto delle Alpi and Pianaccio, before returning to the starting point.

Let’s start. After a ritual coffee at Segavecchia hut, we leave the cars and continue on the forest road that climbs towards the CAI 113 path. Snowshoes are mandatory, since the 50cm of snow in recent days do not allow more comfortable alternatives. All around us is invaded by snow and the trails are only slightly beaten by some early riser who preceded us. Shortly after we reach Acerolo, a crossroads of multiple directions, and it is here that we take the CAI 113 path, which I think is one of the most beautiful trails in the area, to be traveled especially in this season and in autumn for the great variety of colors and landscapes. In winter everything seems paralyzed by whiteness and frost, that turns the forest into an icy place, silent and full of charm. By the way, when you are facing a stretch in the middle of winter with fresh snow, you need to calculate at least an hour more than what is reported by the signals. Obviously, everything depends on personal training, the difference in height or the difficulty of the route, but most of the time it is a good approximation.

After some caution crossing due to the snow, we cross the Causso stream and take the CAI 113A path towards Passo della Donna Morta, but near Monte Cielvivo we take the CAI 111 path to Monteacuto.
Just over half an hour before arrival, the forest opens for a moment to the imposing silhouette of the Corno alle Scale, covered by the snow.
Like the undisputed guardian at the entrance to the town, we find the legendary Bocciofila of the Pro Loco. Raised hat and head bowed for the infinite respect and we’re ready for the restaurant. The vision of the sign “Trattoria Il Bagigio” moves us a little bit. Greeted by the good Larry, historic pillar of Monteacuto delle Alpi, we refresh ourselves with good wine and typical mountain Bolognese cuisine. It is really worth stopping here to take a break, finding relief in the great hall, whose windows give us a breathtaking view on the Alta Valle del Silla, dominated by the bulk of the Corno alle Scale peak in all its majesty of rock and snow.

We are satisfied, a bit ‘tired and the weather seems to change to our disfavor, so we decide to take the road easier and safer, going down the road that brings us back in an hour and a little more to the village of Pianaccio , an ancient village well known for being the birthplace of Enzo Biagi, whose documentary center can be visited. In any case, you can always go back to Segavecchia hut by taking the CAI 113 path, which from Monteacuto plunges back into the forest and returns to the Causso torrent crossroads, and finally returning to the starting path.

The journey back to Segavecchia is quiet and despite seem endless, it is comfortable and open to all the wild landscape of the Alta Valle del Silla. Continuing on a snow-covered road, we line the Monti Grossi, while the Corno keeps an eye on us from up there. The weather revealed clement, and we can regain our strength in the heat of a stove in the hut before returning home.

Things to know:
The village of Monteacuto delle Alpi rises to 900 meters of altitude, located on a mountain that dominates the valley. It is very old and has always been an important transit point for traffic from Emilia and Tuscany regions. There is the Trattoria il Bagigio, run by Larry and Elisa where we always recommend a stop and a nice meal. At the entrance of the village there is a grocery store with a curious small bar, where you can chat with the patrons.
Pianaccio rises to 700 meters above sea level and is also a peculiar village to visit. Like all the towns of the Apennine area, Pianaccio lived thanks to the chestnut growing, of which we find many traces in the chestnut woods that dominate the vegetation. However, few people know that the notorious “Longbow”, the English bows, were built here in the Middle Ages, because of the excellent quality of the yew wood that grows here. Few are the lucky ones who know the location of the ruins of the legendary Arcerio, the main place where the famous longbows were produced.
A mandatory visit to the Antica Locanda Alpina, run by the Gentilini family, which for decades has been conducting business and as a real inn, you can stop for a glass, eat wonderful plates and even take a room for the night.