A new path to Frassanello

As I said in the last post from now one I will try to add many more technical details in my posts. Just one detail: all placenames will be fully in Italian, because translating often leads me to error (and they will be, as always, linked to OSM for quick reference).

This hike was done a couple of days BEFORE the one in the 50 Shades of Autumn (just for the sake of precision): the objective was to hide a cache in an abandoned house, Frassanello, which I saw last year in the distance from the main trail going up from Trebbana. At the time there was no track leading there on OSM, but I had located where the possible path began.


Time and distance are reported both in partial and total portions. I will list all the localizable places, so that you can calculate also partial routes.

Ponte della Valle abandoned hermitage548mN44°02.887
Val di Lupo560mN44°02.826
Junction from Frassanello573mN44°02.795
Muschiola676mN44°02.460 E011°41.138850m/1.65km14min/26min
Trebbana736mN44°02.507 E011°41.188200m/1.85km5min/31min
Way of the Cross736mN44°02.526 E011°41.24590m/1.94km1min/32min
Pian di Terbana740mN44°02.672 E011°41.322320m/2.26km5min/37min
Monte del Cerro879mN44°02.445 E011°41.592710m/2.97km19min/56min
Monte Caibano829mN44°02.835 E011°41.954950m/3.92km17min/1h13min
Junction to Frassanello794mN44°03.067 E011°41.842470m/4.39km8min/1h21min
Frassanello690mN44°02.921 E011°41.564660m/5.05km14min/1h35min
Junction to Monte di Bufalo (maybe)657mN44°02.915 E011°41.240970m/6.08km18min/1h53min
Junction from Frassanello573mN44°02.795
Valbona607mN44°02.650 E011°40.900830m/7.71km20min/2h27min


You can download this trip GPX here.

As you know I’m a huge map-enthusiast, so I will suggest one or more paper-map that have the whole route on it.

22 – ALTA VALLE DEL LAMONE (Monti Editore) – 1:25000

Appennino Faentino – Edizione 2019 (Dream Italia) – 1:25000 – (instruction to buy online-edition are here)

It’s early in the morning as we arrive in the parking: still dark outside and a group of dog barking in the distance. Luckily I’ve already been here, so I know they are blocked inside an abandoned house: nothing to worry about.

We begin going up, passing nearby the abandoned hermitage of Ponte della Valle. I think it’s a private house: I have looked for a while on how to visit it, but without luck. The way continue to go up, passing nearby Val di Lupo (another abandoned house) as the sun fully rises. In the distance, amidst the trees, I can see Valbona, a place I want to discover sooner or later, since I located the path leading there. In not much time we arrive at Trebbana but this time we don’t take a break here, since we are headed elsewhere. I take a quick detour to Pian di Terbana and, from here, I take on CAI 549A trail (just to see if there is any unmapped signpost). In a matter of minutes we reach Padre Daniele’s cross and, from there, Monte del Cerro.

We take a left on CAI 553 (on the right the way leads to Lago di Ponte) and, along the border between Emilia-Romagna and Toscana, we head for and reach Monte Caibano. Then we quickly reach the junction I already marked where, on the left, we are supposed to reach Frassanello. Time for some exploration (finally!).

The path quickly get lost under tall grass: we can barely see where we should head and, in fact, we find ourselves along the wrong way a couple of times. But following the GPS and my map we continue to head in the right direction (orientating ourselves using a nearby mountain, Monte di Bufalo). After a couple of curves Frassanello is in front of us! And what a view from here!

I take a minute to find a good spot to hide a cache (knowing that no one will ever come here to log it, but that’s the spirit!) and we proceed, as the way gets clearer and clearer. We coast a mountain side for a while on a very scenic path: the only thing I can notice is that this way is not much used, as one can tell by looking at the grass and vegetation on it. The more we go on the more the way become clean: this is in fact a lumberjack-zone (even if none of them is in sight) and they probably never go past certain points.

After nearly 20 minutes we are back on the trail we came from, nearby Val di Lupo. Since it’s still pretty early I decide to go towards Valbona: the path is just across the little creek and the roof of the house is visible from here, meaning it should be near. To be fair it was… but I couldn’t imagine how much vegetation there would have been in the way! We went through brambles, over fallen trees and on a nearly-invisible path (since it was covered in grass) we reached a little wood from where I was able to see the house. But to get near it we had to go through some more brambles… but in the end we managed to reach it!

I hide a cache here also (if no one will ever log the Frassanello’s one, I can’t imagine how much I will have to wait for an FTF on this!). The way proceed onwards, probably going back onto the main trail, but we decide to go back since this last portion really tired us.

This is the kind of exploration I LOVE! Finding hidden abandoned places not very visites is what I strife for. I love to map this unknown trail and upload them on OSM, to watch those big holes in the map getting filled as time goes by from me and other users. It’s amazing!

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