Periods of Activity:
To venture along the "Sentiero Matilde" the best seasons are undoubtedly spring, late summer and autumn, trying to avoid rainy periods, midsummer for the lower altitude areas and winter for the Higher Altitude Apennines.
On foot, on horseback and on mountain bike.
Itinerario ideato e promosso dalla Provincia di Reggio Emilia.
Toano capoluogo dista:
Da Reggio Emilia 60 km. Si percorre la S.S. 476 per Veggia, qui si imbocca la S.S. 486 per il p.sso delle Radici, seguendo le indicazioni per Cerredolo e Toano.
The itinerary is suitable to single excursionists of small groups as well as to families or organized excursionists who, perhaps, prefer to rely on an environmentalist guide of the area.
The 80 km of so of the Matilde path, technically easy, takes place for the most part, along mule paths, carriage roads, gravel roads and paths. The allow you to reach, starting from the plains, the apennine ridge, the dividing line the Tyrrhenian and the Adriatic. The itinerary goes from Vico di Ciano d'Enza up to S. Pellegrino in Alpe, in spite of being done by trained walkers in 3-4 days, it has been purposely proposed in 7 easy stages. This is to allow for a detailed visit of the area. There are numerous points of historical and architectural interest which you encounter along the route, from the main castles of Matilde, to the sandstone tower-houses which dot the landscape, to the Romanesque parishes. And not the least, slowly walking along favors aeno-gastronomic encounters which, being in the heart of Emilia, are not lacking: we would like to cite the Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese produced in small scattered dairies, or the traditional Balsamic vinegar ( founded on the cliff of Canossa), the mushrooms, the chestnuts.
Details of tour:
Itinerary in detail
Descriptive part specific to the stage Toano-Gazzano
Time needed: 6 hrs
Difference in altitude climbing: 600 m
Difference in altitude descending: 700 m From the parish of Santa Maria of Toano (933 m) the route continues along a carriage road southwards through the pine forest, on the edge of the wooded mountain ridge. Once we have come through the forest, the path skirts a rural building on the left, then turns left until it reaches the provincial road Toano-Quara, just a few dozen metres before the junction for Cavola (846 m). The route continues downhill for a short distance on an asphalt road which goes South – South-East, then breaks off immediately onto a mule track on the right which goes down at a right angle towards the River Dolo. The road then becomes a carriage road, goes through the woods and comes out as a dirt road near to the isolated parish of Prevedelli (620 m), set in a panoramic position. From the parish, the "Matilda Path" continues steeply downhill and passes by a building in ruins, then reaches Frale (554 m), a rural village on a shelf overlooking the River Dolo. From Frale the trail continues along a carriage road for about one and a half kilometres at an altitude of 500 m, until it reaches a ditch which is crossed by coming off the asphalt road Monzone – Macognano, only a few hundred metres below the bridge over the River Dolo (443 m). For a short distance the path follows the secondary road at the bottom of the Dolo valley up to the hamlet of Villa Bonicelli – Bonzeto. By the first hairpin bend (478 m), a straight mule track continues alongside the River Dolo and then crosses cultivated fields followed by a highly valued naturalistic area. We are now near to the Quara Springs, to the left of the River Dolo. From the humid thermal area, a well-signposted footpath (white-red of the Italian mountaineering club) starts to meander up the valley side, with sharp bends, and then becomes a wide mule track. From a junction with footpath 613 which goes uphill on the right to Castagnola and Quara (campsite Lo Scoiattolo, B&B Mara e Marzia), we then turn down the well-signposted mule track on the left which cuts through the steep slope of the River Dolo southwards, crosses the wooden bridge over the Malpasso ditch and continues with safety rails in wood and steel cable provided by the "Pro Loco" (municipal tourist board) of Quara. One of the most spectacular footpaths of the Reggio Apennines runs high up above the gorges of the River Dolo, at an altitude of 500 m up to Cadignano (587 m), in the municipality of Villa Minozzo. Above us stands the village of Gova, which is famous, together with the nearby centres of Costabona and Morsiano for the "Maggi" celebrations, which offer dramatic performances typical of the upper basin of the River Secchia and River Dolo and also the Garfagnana. From Cadignano the Matilda Path splits into two: the main route goes downhill to the beautiful humpbacked Bridge of Cadignano over the River Dolo, and once continued into the province of Modena passing through Romanoro, Ròvolo and Fontanaluccia before a huge landslide, which still blocks the footpath on the Modena side. Another path (footpath n. 690) leads to Morsiano, Gazzano (Hotel Del Lago ***) and to Civago (Appennino**, Val Dolo *). The Matilda Path is clearly marked with signposts and information boards. The path is marked horizontally with painted red, white and red markings and is marked vertically with posts all along its entire length with metal arrows according to CAI (Italian Mountaineering Club) standards. There are several stopping places at strategic points on the "Matilda Path" with an information boards
Last update: March 8, 2021