Text and photos by The Pill Outdoor Journal
A breath-taking view, green fields, the spring’s sun that reflects on the Adige and Caldozzano’s lake waters: this is our Vallagarina trekking in short.
Temperatures rise, snow melts, the sky is clear, the air is incredibly pure, and the immersive perfume of flowers surrounds us: it’s the perfect time for an excursion. One that can fulfil our eyes and hearts.
We decide to live in the morning for an exploring hike in Vallagarina, with the goal to arrive at the Hermitage of Santa Cecilia, known for the incredible view it offers. 20 minutes from Trento, this track is recommendable to experts that want to challenge their skills in vertical hiking. When we write “experts” we mean it: the route is steep and challenging, in fact we recommend you enjoy the view but also to keep a vigilant eye.
Starting point: Volano
The excitement of what is to come will make sure no one will be late. A quick check to ensure we have all the equipment needed and functioning and at 9.10 we are ready to start this amazing hike. Leaving the village behind, we walk towards the surrounding woods.
Walking through the first paths we are surrounded by thousands of trees and by the sound of bird choirs. Following the route, we will see many ancient stones that, together with the Cenio Rosso, characterize this first part of the track. The more we move closer to the Falesia, the more we understand that the part which we are walking through is the easiest and most certainly the less tiring. So, we enjoy this bit of wooded area, mentally preparing ourselves for the steep rout which is awaiting us.
The Cengio Rosso and its panorama
We get to the bottom of the mountain, where there are many natural and historic-cultural attractions. The mountain in fact was the host of many battles of WW1, where the Granatieri di Sardegna fought hard to defend Veneto’s plain from the Austro-Hungarian army. The massive mountain’s wall shines, visually contrasting the surrounding green and where many climbers have opened new ways up, from the simplest to the most difficult known as 8a routes. The mountain is fitted so that excursionists can enjoy the overhanging view while hiking. The uphill seems never-ending, but we keep going, knowing that the reward, waiting for us at the top, is worth it. The steepest sectors are facilitated with some steps so that we can enjoy the view each step we take. Just 15km from us we see Caldonazzo’s lake, famous for its clear waters, its beach, and its environmental management certification, recognized by the Bandiera Blu of FEE in 2021. This lake is well known also for the typical water sports which are practiced there, such as waterskiing and canoeing, ideal for outdoor sports lovers that love cool air also in the summer.
The Hermitage of Santa Cecilia
It is almost over, the sweat accumulated during the hot and tiring kilometres of walk is drying off, we are almost there: finally in front of us we see the Hermitage of Santa Cecilia which interlocks perfectly with the Cengio Rosso. The Hermitage is in the territory of the distinctive village of Castel Pietra and is 770mt above sea level. Taking breath is quite difficult, not much for the steep hill but for the breath-taking view. In fact, this landscape covers from Trento (which we talked about last autumn) as far as Stivio, including some areas close to Rovereto. This small and isolated church was erected in 1611 in honour of the 5th of May, a special and important day for the Volanese’s tradition. The structure hosts two rooms, one as storage and the other as the visitor’s kitchen.
We finally sit on the grass to rehydrate and once again enjoy the stunning view. We breath at full lungs, in silence, with nature’s sounds surrounding us, happy to have made it to the top: we really found a route that fulfilled our eyes and hearts, exceeding all expectations.