A Magical Place

A new destination, suggested by MaximilianPegasus, brought us (me and ndotl) to a really special place, that to this day has a pivotal place in my heart. Moreover it’s the beginning of the exploration of the Bidente’s Valley!


Corno del Cervo883mN43°52’57.28”
San Paolo in Alpe1025mN43°52’35.34”


You can download this trip GPX here.


19 – COMUNE DI BAGNO DI ROMAGNA (Monti Editore) – 1:25000


Another slow hike, since ndotl has still a broken arm, but the title of the post says it all! At 5:30AM we are at the parking, but it’s still very dark (it’s December after all). We begin heading towards CAI 233 (that we plan to complete today) engulfed in the darkness. Luckily we have our headlamp but the air is so thick that you could cut it: I have to stop every 2 minutes to clean my glasses from the droplets around. The air is very fresh though, that’s the important thing. Only a lonely distant lamp, beside the way used by the car to climb towards the basin, lights the surroundings. It’s so melancholic.

We go back on the asphalt for a little while and the sun slowly begin to rise: the sky is reddish but we can clearly see now (and put out the lights). The real slope begins now, and we suddenly reach a fountain: we drink from that and, even if the water comes out really slowly, it’s goddamn fresh! After all it comes from the nearby basin, Ridracoli’s one, that provides drinkable water to a big part of Romagna and San Marino’s Republic! After passing under a bridge under construction we delve again into the woods.

The main idea is to follow the trail as I said, going over Valdoppia, Casa Ronconi and Casette towards our destination. I didn’t take in account ndotl impetuosity though and, as we cross a very foggy zone, he abruptly swerve on the right along what it seems a gravely mountain side reaching for a non-existent peak. Of course I immediately follow him and, after a while, a little track appears as we come out of the fog: there was a path after all! At home I will discover that the name of this path is Corno del Cervo (Antler): if this is not a good omen I don’t know what it is.

Now that we can see the sun again it’s a matter of minutes to reach our destination, San Paolo in Alpe. And it’s flabbergasting.

I don’t have as many pictures as I would like of this place. It’s simply uncapturable in one. As the sky clears a car appears in the distance with an old man on the side: we will call him Tom Bombadil in our future trips, since we didn’t exchange our names. He was trying to take some pictures of running deers, but today there were none around: an occasion to come back in the future to see them, since they should be pretty common in this place. We check quickly inside the shelter for the sake of curiosity and then we cross the nearby meadow to check the old Sant’Agostino church. It’s crumbling down but luckily the old bell tower it’s still standing. There’s also a nearby sing of an unknown place, Fiumari. We note this down to go check there in the future.

And that’s it. We go back quickly and steady (this time along the “official” trail) and we quickly arrive back at the parking. The sun is high now and we encounter so many creeks to wade… It’s simply amazing! As we reach the asphalt we use a different way to go down, headed towards the lonely lamp I wrote before. In the daylight it’s so different… the way continue to coast the Bidente river, until we are back to the cars.

Next time we will have this same destination, but following an opposite path!

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