Unboxing Pandora’s Box

During the last week we started writing down, checking different maps, tracks that were partial or that seems to be ending nowhere. On OSM this is fairly easy, since you can use the tag fixme=continue to mark them, if for any reason you cannot map a whole track.

Since Elian was not able to join me, I decided to simply go exploring in a zone I already knew pretty well, Trebbana. The idea was to verify that all those pieces of not completed trail were really existing (since some of the data we analyzied were more than 10 years old) and, while I was there, to check if any extra one popped up.

If only I had known…

So as usual we parked (my dad joined me in the exploration) in Ponte della Valle and, from there, we start hiking towards Trebbana! We immediately meet the dogs that live near the (now abandoned) hermitage here.

Just a bit after that, on the right, we pass near an enormous abandoned house. Unfortunately there’s no mention of it in the various map I have with me, but it’s pretty big!

Val di Lupo. How do I know the name? Read on and you will see…

The last time I was here it was pretty dark, so I surely lost some details all around. In fact, going up the track, we notice on the right an old abandoned house, on the same height where we are but on the other side of the little river. This one is not even marked on the map…

Valbona! As above, read on and you will learn where I found all this informations…

We head on while the sun is shining. There are some clouds in the distance, ma it’s really cool with a soft breeze blowing.

After a while we reach Mestiolo, and old abandoned hamlet now nearly completely crumbled down.

From here we quickly reach Trebbana. We stop for a moment to drink and catch some breathe: the uphill part is a bit steep, but nothing too difficult. From here we walk through the nearby meadow, following the CAI 549 trail, headed to Ca’ del Piano, where the secular oak of Trebbana is.

On the map, east from here, there are two localities marked: LEnsetola and Frassinello. The first one, following this post from a great hiking blog, should be visible from here. The picture of it is from 2011 and I cannot see a damn thing from here now. We then head to Monte Caibano on the main trail. The landscape is, as always, awesome.

And just after a while, in the distance, I see an house: Frassanello! IT’s in a great position on the ridge: I suppose the view from there is great.

From here on I go just a bit over the trail we should follow just to mark the path that goes downhill to there (I don’t want to go there now, since coming back up would be a bit challenging), then we head to Monte del Cerro and finally back to Trebbana

Going back to Ponte della Valle, I meet a good amount of tracks that would be interesting to complete, since they are not completely marked on the map:

  • A sign point me to a spring, only 30 minutes from the main road near Mestiolo;
  • I find the ford and the pretty unclear path that should go up to the house we saw before over the little river;
  • I randomly find another trail that goes up near the first abandoned house we found while coming up;
  • There’s a road in Ponte della Valle, that I thought was private, that is instead explorable.

I mark everything on the map and, for today, exploration is finished, Once at home I decide, for my mere curiosity, to understand why that hamlet was named Mestiolo. You can’t imagine what I discover after that…

I randomly find the CASTORE project (historic regional land register) managed by the national archive in Florence: they basically scanned and uploaded all the map from the 19th century, integrating them with another project, RETORE (toponomastic regional repertoire) where you can compare these maps with newer ones: the one from the Geographic Military Institute from the ’50s, the one from the revenue agency or the more recent regional technical one.

This, for example, is Trebban and surroundings (at the time it was called Terbana)

As you can imagine this is an awesome resource for what we usually do! Thanks to all this informations I already discovered some cool things: the first abandoned hosue we encountered is named Val di Lupo (Valley of the Wolf), the one over the river is Valbona, the house I always known as Ca’ del Piano is instead, as today, still named Pian di Terbana and Mestiolo is the older name of Muschiola.

Of course this is just the tip of the iceberg: I already gave a look to the Lozzole’s surroundings and, thanks to all this services, I’ve probably seen where some houses we where missing are (or at least where they were). Moreover there are not only names, but also some old street that can help us on understaing how to reach those houses!

The next week we will surely come back here to explore some of the tracks I marked tiday. I’m really looking forward to it!

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