by Lorenzo Piccoli
Until this month of October I had never properly hiked on the Appennini. Finally, thanks to Nicola and the Slowcai I have gotten to know this group of mountains a little bit better.
We hiked from Passo San Pellegrino to Passo Cerreto in three days. Actually, the core group hiked from Lago Santo to Cerreto in four days: Federica and I only joined on Friday night. It was fantastic to arrive at Passo San Pellegrino in the night, park the car in the deserted village, hike with the lights to Rifugio Pradaccia and found a warm meal. As Federica told me, the cabins on the Appennini are simple and welcoming, a bit like those I visited in Switzerland. Less luxurious, but more authentic and cozy, than most huts on the Dolomites. The place is somehow forgotten, which is why it is so charming.
On Saturday we walked from Rifugio Pradaccia to Rifugio Battisti. Before us, the scenic mountains of the Apuane, which were the target of the last three years Slowcai expeditions – two of which failed, with no victims, the last one succeeded. The photos below record the wind and colours. Alas, they do not fully capture the usual light hearted spirit of this company that I adore (Nicola, Birgit, Federica, Francesco, Federica, Alessia, Michele, Francesca, Lorenzo, Ale, Carola). Also, I did not take any picture when we were walking in the beeches but that was quite cool. I am slightly ashamed to confess, but it made me feel like one of the characters of the Hobbit. Our destination, Rifugio Battisti, is managed by a group of people from Reggio Emilia in their 20s. They cook good food and paint beautiful paintings.
On Sunday we walked from Rifugio Battisti to Passo di Predarena, where we had a tumultuous lunch at Rifugio Carpe Diem (on a large road full of motorbikes). We left at 15:00 hearded to Bivacco Rosario, where we arrived at dusk – of course… We set up the tents (figure which one is mine) and the fire and had a good night. I missed sleeping it a tent, even though I almost froze to death. Note to self: buy a sleeping bag for cold temperatures.
We enjoyed spending Monday morning at the Bivacco. From there, it was a short hike down to Passo Cerreto. We rented a van to drive back to the point of departure and then took another three hours to return to Florence.