Nature Path of the Pietra di Bismantova
Località Pietra di Bismantova - 42035 Castelnovo Ne Monti
CASTELNOVO NE' MONTI
Piazza Gramsci, 1, 42035 Castelnovo ne' Monti (RE)
0522 610111, 0522 810947
- 0522 810430 IAT di Castelnovo ne' Monti
- 0522 812313
Periods of Activity:
The excursion reaches the locations of greatest interest of the area of the Pietra of Bismantova, climbing old mule roads that in the middle ages lead to the peak of the mountain going up the north-east sides of the plateau.
The itinerary takes place on a ring circuit of about 5 km along a path marked by the Italian alpine Club, in the direction of the peak of the Pietra di Bismantova, where you descend again back to the starting point.
Details of tour:
Difference in altitude: on the whole the itinerary exceeds a difference in altitude of about 250 m, wit vast opportunities to take breaks along the path.
Difficulty: the path, well marked, is easily done also by excursionists who are not in good shape.
Time needed: 2 hrs.
The itinerary begins in a the wide parking lot (Piazzale Dante) which is reached by the carriage road which comes from Castelnovo ne' Monti; you follow this latter road towards the valley until you cross, after a few meters, a small alley on the left, leads to the guest quarters of Eremo of Bismantova, erected next to a gigantic fallen boulder. Having passed the building, you continue towards north along a convenient mule-path which descends deep-set, winding between woods and cultivated areas; this is one of the most charming areas of the whole itinerary: the path is in fact dominated by the imposing eastern wall of the Pietra di Bismantova, which juts out over the underlying Eramo; a little lower in the woods there are enormous boulders which have detached themselves from the Pietra over the centuries. The itinerary goes down through coppice woods and small re-foresting areas, approaching rocky masses wrapped in thick vegetation; after about 10 minutes on route (follow very carefully the markings in red/white on the path), you reach a clearing where, keeping to the right, on the side of a hedge, you get near the margin of a wide "rock slide" which, from the north-western angle of the Pietra descends to Casale. At the Grande Frana (big landslide), the route turns left starting to climb on the side of abandoned tilled land, reaching at last ( 30 minutes after departing) the base of a small flatland entirely made of rocky rubble, on top of which the ancient necropolis of Campo Pianelli is situated. You follow the base of the sepulchral area turning west, following a brief flatish stretch after which you start climbing within the woods which cover the north-western side of the Pietra di Bismantova.
Following an easy carriage road, being careful to notice the markings and avoiding lateral branches, you climb up until you reach a plateau (0.45 hrs) characterized by an extensive grassy surface bordered by conifer hedges which flank a rural construction made with dry walling of local sandstone. Having passed the building you reach a junction where, turning left you start to rapidly climb towards the peak of the mountain.
The route, still on a spacious carriage road enters the woods and reaches after a few minutes ( 1 hr) a stretch of living rock, which shows evident signs of defensive adaptations, this was probably the ancient supervised access which probably in medieval times lead to the fort which rose on the peak of the Pietra di Bismantova: the walking ground and the same rocky walls which flank the path in this point have been artificially contoured so as to make an obligatory passage way for all of those who in ancient times were headed to the peak of the Mountain. You continue climbing for another ten minutes, reaching at last the summit plateau of Bismantova, where there is a vast grassland bordered by arboreal edges. Staying where the grassy clearings are, curving slightly towards the south, and straight after that towards the east, you reach the side of the great eastern wall of the Pietra: having reached this you stay on the side towards the south until you reach the border of the fencing, which protects the underlying Eremo square. Still flanking the eastern side of the wall, you reach the southeastern corner of the mountain; where for a wide stretch nude banks of sandstone surface
The excursion continues leaving the eastern side of the Pietra curving later on towards the west and then heading north, until you reach the arrival point of the main route which comes from Dante square. You take this latter one descending at first quite rapidly (be careful about the small stones which become slippery with heavy use) following then the false plane inside the coppice woods among laburnum, Cornelian cheery, hornbeam, maples and ash trees until you reach the foot of the tall southern wall "Pietra", covered by numerous alpine climbing trails.
From here, progressively descending, you reach the churchyard of the Eremo di Bismantova church, shaded by monumental mountain maples. Having taken the local paved carriage road and having descended the stone staircase down to the parking lot, you reach the near-by Dante Square, where the itinerary finishes (2 hrs)
Last update: March 7, 2023