The rediscovered path

It is a ring route that leaves from and returns to Ca 'd'Alfieri and allows you to see more than one valley simultaneously from the terrace of Pizzo d'Oca: Val Noveglia, Val Ceno and the thousand-year old Fortress of Bardi.

It is a beautiful ring route that starts from the Agriturismo Ca 'd'Alfieri, crosses many times the Via degli Abati, the Hippopotamus of the Apennines, several CAI paths and then directly comes back to Ca' d'Alfieri.

These paths represent two ancient roads that connect up small towns of the valley which have been now cleaned and reopened in order to offer visitors a nice hike among secular chestnut woods, turkey oak woods, stone-handfacts, paved streets and dry stone walls. Just climb to 1000 meters up and look over the sandstone slab of Pizzo d'Oca and you will enjoy a spectacular 360 ° view of the Val Noveglia, the Val Ceno and the Fortress of Bardi.

Description of the track
From Ca 'd'Alfieri to the shed with table

It starts from the Agriturismo Ca 'd'Alfieri passing in front of the Casella and follows a short uphill path that cuts a couple of bends on asphalt and comes out on the Via degli Abati. Take the wide path on the right that enters the wood (n° 18 on the map) and goes up through the old chestnut wood. When the path splits, keep the right uphill one (n ° 17 on the map) until you reach the open space of the shed with a table (n ° 16 on the map). It is an opportunity for a brief stop in the green.

From the shed with table to the intersection with the CAI path 803 / AVC

Carry on walking on the dirt road up to a large crossroads then take the path that goes up to Pizzo d'Oca (n° 14 on the map). People who do not want to go up to Pizzo d'Oca can cut along the CAI 803 path, which is easy and shaded, and meet a huge century-old chestnut. Then the path rejoins with the descent from Pizzo d'Oca (n° 11 on the map).

Let’s go to Pizzo d’Oca

The path becomes narrower and rises between spontaneous vegetation and large sandstone stones. It passes through the ruins of an ancient quarry, where the Pietra del Pizzo d'Oca was extracted, and reaches a really impressive panoramic viewpoint. It is a sandstone strip that lolls over the void and lets you have a breathtaking view of the valley (n ° 13 on the map). A sort of small "Preikestolen", the rock overlooking the Norwegian fjords of the Parma Apennines! You can climb even up to the end of Pizzo d'Oca, 1004 meters (n ° 12 on the map), with a very wide view that extends over the Val Ceno.

The path becomes smaller and druggy between tufts of grass and bushes but paying little attention it is easy to identify it, and anyhow it goes down until you cross again the path CAI 803 (n° 11 on the map).

Dry stone walls, Rio Fontana della Lite and Ca’ Pennino

The path carries on through the woods along ancient dry stone walls and paved stretches. You cross the Rio Fontana della Lite (n° 9 on the map) and get to the ruins of Ca 'Pennino (n° 6 on the map). You go ahead shielded by the vegetation and then come out among badlands and juniper bushes (n° 5 on the map).

"Lunar" landscape on the badlands up to the Tre Croci di Monastero

The landscape and the bottom of the path change completely. The landscape becomes "lunar" between sandstone and ravines . The panorama on Val Noveglia is wide and dotted with small groups of houses that emerge from vegetation. Hiking down between stones and crumbly and slippery rocks, you should proceed slowly and carefully up to the Three Crosses (n° 4 on the map). Another short but challenging descent begins (now marked as VA - Via degli Abati) and you get to the inhabited area of Monastero (n° 3 on the map), which promises to be an impressive bell tower. The baroque church was built on the site of an ancient Benedictine monastery. A beautiful fountain with benches is what you need after the descent.

From Via degli Abati to Ca' d'Alfieri (from Pavia to Pontremoli along the way to Rome)

After the restoring break, let us leave again through the small village with beautiful stone houses, unfortunately many of them are uninhabited and in poor conditions. The well marked and flat path continues until you meet the Rio Fontana della Lite, cross a small wooden bridge, and shortly after take the detour on the left that leads directly to Ca 'd'Alfieri (n° 21 on the map). You go across a rural way and a small badlands and then enter the woods by following some high dry stone walls (it was the ancient road of the village), you should also see a drinking trough and a stone wash house.

A few hundred meters further on, you arrive at the old farmhouse of Ca 'd'Alfieri, built around 1860 with local stones and inhabited by the "alfieri", as the important people of the area were called.

It's time to taste the dishes cooked by Luisa with the prevailing use of the products grown on our organic farm or to rest in the beautiful rooms conservatively restored and furnished with antique furniture.


valcenotrek.it di Giorgio Tanzi – IT89 Val Noveglia: al Pizzo d’Oca da Monastero
Carta Escursionistica Via degli Abati – Percorso storico ambientale
Carta Escursionistica Val Ceno – Dal Monte Penna al Monte Barigazzo

Reconnaissance responsible:

Maurizio Bovi, Tiziana Azzolini, Davide Galli