Departure: Sanctuary of La Verna
Journey time: about 7 hours
Stage length: about 22 Km
Difference in altitude: 1,200 m uphill, 1,400 m downhill
Starting from the Sanctuary of La Verna, we reach the Croce alla Calla (CAI 50 and 55) at 1140 m asl where we leave the National Park of the Casentinesi Forests, Monte Falterona and Campigna.
The trail climbs into the coniferous forest until it reaches the grassy summit of Monte Calvano at 1250 m asl. It then crosses the Passo delle Pratelle (1075 m asl) and arrives at the Passo delle Gualanciole (1040 m asl) that leads to the Regional Nature Reserve of the Upper Tiber Valley - Monte Nero. The path brings us to the accommodation facility, the Le Gualanciole shelter, where the Le Gualanciole Agritourism and the visitor centre of the Regional Nature Reserve are located. The reserve is home to several species considered at risk of extinction in Tuscany such as the alpine daphne (Daphne alpina) and the Alpe della Luna thistle (Cirsium alpis-lunae). Rare plants include the two aesthetically pleasing species: the Himantoglossum orchid hircinum and the Italian spigarola (Melampyrum italicum).
In the fields in the area of the Gualanciole Pass, you can see typical birds such as the woodlark (Lullula arborea), while in the silver fir forests (Abies alba) you can find the elusive alpine treecreeper (Certhia familiaris). From the Gualanciole shelter, we continue the route and descend southwards to the villages of Mogginano (CAI 12), Ville Roti and Valdazze, where it's possible to stay overnight.