Stage 07: From Rigoso to Sassalbo
18.2 607 911 1299 812 6h:30m
First stage in Lunigiana, quite long but very interesting and pleasant, which allows you to cross the bioclimatic and agri-food border between continental Europe and the Mediterranean basin, while remaining in a fairly similar environment due to the altitude. We therefore abandon the beech woods to meet extensive oak and chestnut groves, furrowed by lush streams with the remains of ancient mills, and the suggestive villages of Torsana (with the annexed church of San Giacomo of the 12th century) and Camporaghena (with the church of Saints Peter and Paul ), real pearls of rock and stone in the heart of the Tuscan-Emilian Apennine National Park, now inhabited by very few. On the horizon the jagged profile of the Apuan massif, towards which we are headed, begins to be seen.
- Challenging stage in terms of length and gradient, without intermediate refreshment points or shops (instead, abundant water is available).
- Difficulty in orientation due to the few or absent signs in the initial stretch between Passo del Giogo and Torsana, where the SD joins the TL (Trekking della Lunigiana); pay attention to transit difficulties near the Luscignano stream (caused by a small landslide that becomes hard to cross in case of heavy rain) and be careful also of the subsequent fords.
Description of the stage
Leaving the village of Rigoso, trace your way back on path 703, now slightly uphill to Lake Squincio, then take 00 path to Passo del Lagastrello and then go up on a paved road to Passo del Giogo. Here leave the 00 path to go along a cart track up to a crossroads (1228 m) where you will turn right to continue on the forest road until you reach a new crossroads (1080 m). There you will turn left on the forest road (which at times is eroded) to continue downhill until you reach the Trekking della Lunigiana (TL) at about 980 meters. Follow then the path to the left, crossing woods and streams until you reach Torsana, perched under the slopes of Mount Buffanaro, where you are welcomed by the small and charming cemetery, immersed in the quiet of the woods and with a magnificent view of the surrounding valleys. The path continues easily on TL up to Camporaghena, a hamlet under the slopes of Monte Alto and the homonymous Camporaghena Groppi. The route now develops first on a beautiful mule track with various votive chapels and then on slightly uphill meadows and then descends to Sassalbo, greeted by a magnificent chestnut wood, the final destination of this stage.
From Camporaghena (via path CAI 102 and then CAI 00) or from Sassalbo (via path CAI 98 and then SS63) it is possible to leave the Sentiero dei Ducati and return to Reggio Emilia reaching Passo del Cerreto (bars, restaurants, hotels). Passo del Cerreto can also be reached from Sassalbo by public transport (about 10 minutes) along the SS63 (bus Sassalbo - Passo del Cerreto with line 23 of the CCT-North bus from Massa Carrara or line from Aulla). From Passo del Cerreto continue by SETA bus to Castelnuovo nei Monti and then to Rivalta and Reggio Emilia.
- Camporaghena: Small B&B useful if you want to break the long stage. However, check whether the B&B is operative and the actual vacancies at the time you are travelling.
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