The "Sentiero dei Ducati (Path through Dukedoms) was originally the border between the dukedoms that separated neighbouring villages and valleys until 1848 and were continually crossed by travellers, pilgrims and smugglers.It runs almost parallel to the river Enza and starts out at Quattro Castella, before passing close to some of the more important locations, historically speaking, such as Canossa Castle and the Church at Pianzo; it reaches the top of Mount Barazzone and Mount Staffola, skirts past the splendid Tassaro river valley and visits the hamlets of Legoreccio, Pineto and Spigone. After Vetto, the path enters into Ramiseto territory and presses on as far as the Lagastrello Pass, within the confines of the new Tuscan-Emilian Apennine National Park.
Details of tour:
STAGE 6: FROM CAMPORELLA TO SUCCISO NUOVO Approximate time: 4.400 hours
Path climbs: 790 metres
Path descends: 460 metres
Distance covered: 13.4 km Café at Castagneto, café trattoria at Ponte Andrella. At Succiso Nuovo: trattoria, shop, "Valle dei cavalieri" farm accommodation. Follow the main road SP15 to Succiso, past an old landslide. The path takes the track up to the left ahead of the cemetery. Two bends take you up to 830 m; the path continues up and down through the woods, passing a pond that may be empty or full of water, depending on the season. After the ridge, the path drops down on the right to a fork offering views over the upper Val d'Enza. It continues to make its way down through the fields: take the left fork on the ridge above the hamlet of Lùgolo and start on up again, into the Andrella valley. Once you are back among trees, you should notice an outcrop of ophiolite. After two gullies, the path goes past a meadow and descends a little before veering off to the right on the track alongside a field (you will go up to Poviglio if you continue straight ahead). Near a stone cottage, the track starts its descent down to the valley floor with hairpin bends. It comes out on the access track to the Adani Mill: continue right, along the track on the bank of the stream. When you arrive at the main road SP15 (there is a trattoria 100 m on the right), you will go left across the stream over Andrella bridge 652 m (1.30; 2.10). A short distance ahead, the path takes a steep track up to the left and reaches the crest of the hill. Hedges and rows of oaks flank the path as it approaches the hamlet of Fòrnolo on the road to Poviglio. Pass through the houses in Fòrnolo 820 m (0.30; 2.40) and continue until you reach the road on the opposite side of the village. Follow the road to the right for a short distance and then continue on the track up to the right. The path climbs up steeply to a ridge with scenic views: a stretch close to the stratified wall past the bed of a stream that is nearly always dry (detour at the bottom). Another climb takes you to a fork below an isolated cottage: Take the right fork (if you continue straight on, you will eventually reach the Scalucchia or Pratizzano Pass) and then go right again, in front of the house. The wide track crosses the stream and comes out onto a forest drive near a hairpin bend. Take the track up on the left to the gap separating the Andrella and Liocca valleys, on Costa Borella (1075 m). The path drops rapidly down the other side of the hill along the W slope of Borellaccia with wide views over the Liocca Valley and Alpe di Succiso. You soon arrive at the village of Succiso Superiore 987 m (1.20; 4.00), whose houses were abandoned because of the risk of landslides. Just below the little square with the water trough, the Cécciola detour via path n°609 is ahead on the right. Take path 609 (the Shepherds' trail) to the left on the road: at first, the road drops a little and then starts to climb again to the left; you abandon the 609 Shepherds' trail shortly afterwards and veer left towards the Scalucchia Pass, continuing halfway up the hill and passing several streams. After you arrive at the Scalucchia – Succiso road at the hairpin bend, walk downhill to Succiso Nuovo or Varvilla 975 m and the Park's Visitor Centre (0.40; 4.40).