Itineraries of the Tuscan-Emilian Apennines the Pietra di Bismantova

Itineraries of the Tuscan-Emilian Apennines the Pietra di Bismantova

Among the mountains of the Tuscan-Emilian Apennines, as a silent guard over Castelnovo Ne Monti stands the Pietra di Bismantova, the one that for its shape and grandeur has inspired Dante for his Purgatory.

The stone is nothing but a large rock mass with an unusual shape some say it has the shape of a ship, some see a simple rectangle and some strange giant trapeze, in short, the interpretation is free and the imagination indulges.

As explained by the explanatory signs placed along the way, the Stone was born about 15 million years ago, during the Middle Middle-Age Miocene, when the Apennines were still completely covered with water. In fact, many fossils have been found on this sandstone boulder worked by time and erosion shells, sea urchins, molluscs, algae are just some of the protagonists of the geological theme.

Besides the geology, literature and nature are the other salient components linked to this environment, considered one of the most pleasant and suggestive hiking trails of the Reggio Apennines.

The first was linked to the great poet, who described this place in canto IV del Purgatorio; the second is the one that surrounds the visitor during his walk up to the summit, a varied vegetation that leads to a breathtaking view that shows the wide valley and the whole mountain range, including the Ventasso and the Verzasca.

How to move and what to see

What Dante has stopped in Castelnovo is all a probable, but I have almost completely climbed the purgatory and now I will tell you how it is better to move. The road that leads from the village to the stone is passable by car to a large square used as a parking lot, where there are also small picnic tables, a restaurant, public baths and a lookout point in short, all excellent ideas for a nice after walk!

Leave the car, continue on foot and the path is twofold you can choose whether to go into the woods, immediately to the left of the parking lot, or go straight up the stairs, to see more the view before entering the woods to the hermitage , the refuge and the railways of the Alpini.

In five minutes you reach the hermitage and the church dedicated to the Madonna di Bismantova, both leaning against the rocky wall and undergoing renovation, it will reopen on September 9th 2017. Not far from here, the Rifugio della Pietra, a bar restaurant with exposed not only the explanatory panels about Dante and Virgilio, but also very suggestive photos of the place and of the slackliners’ performances, which are often found here for their adrenaline performances.

La Pietra is also a place of climbing, under these three structures, there is a path in the woods that leads, instead, to the via ferrata, a place often used as a rock gym.

Depending on the step and the path that one chooses to follow – there are many organized treks that make hikers take several paths before reaching the summit – the peak of 1047 m. you can reach it with ease and ease and, despite the last stretch is a bit ‘challenging, the show that offers the view is able to satisfy all five senses.