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”Vade Francisco et repara domum meam”

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Stage 6° Biforco - La Verna

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The most important stage of the Cammino starts now: the climb of the holy mount of La Verna! “The harsh stone between Tevere and Arno…” is the place where Francis, with His “stigmata”, wanted to share the same sufferings of Christ on the Calvario.
The stage is short, in order to have the time to visit and enjoy the Sanctuary, one of the most important in the Christian world. The way is quite hard because you have to walk up a steep slope (600 m) in a few km; anyway, you have all the time to arrive without becoming breathless. There are two ways up the mountain:

  1. follow path n. 53 of CAI that, in a while, arrives to the ridge: this is the old route of travellers and pilgrims going up to La Verna; the stretch is short but very steep in the first kilometres.
  2. follow the asphalt road from Rimbocchi to Gianpereta (4 km) that climbs slowly up, then take the path n. 55 of CAI (in front of the church) which, after 1 km, enters the asphalt road again; turn right and, after 1,5 km, you meet the path 53 that joins the first route.
Follow the indications and, after about 1 hr, enter an old mule-track next to the old entrance. Leaving Biforco, in the lower part of Rimbocchi, go down the asphalt road to Beccia, the old way to reach La Verna. Take the path 53, well-indicated and nearly in front of the route (50 m) where you are coming from. At the beginning the path is stony with difficult stretches, so take it easy: time is not a problem in this stage. Cross the Corsalone torrent, go up the path, which then enters a carriage road. Go to the right and, after 35 mins from the start, see an inhabited house (“La Croce”, an old refreshment place for wayfarers before the ridge). Turn left, where the path goes up, sometimes with a steep and stony slope, and arrive at Poggio Montopoli (1 hr 50 mins; alt. 1022 m). From

here till the base of the big rock on which the monastic complex of La Verna is situated, the way is on apparently flat ground. After 2 hrs 30 mins from the departure, meet a fork of forest roads: take the one on the left. After 10 mins, cross the asphalt carriage road that goes from Rimbocchi to Chiusi: walk along the asphalt for few metres on the right and then, when you meet the indication for the path 53, turn left: from here till the sanctuary you pass through a wonderful beech wood. After 3 hrs 5 mins from the start, meet another junction of paths with indications: follow the one for La Verna. After 30 mins (3 hrs 25 mins from the beginning) you are at the foot of a perpendicular cliff (look up to admire the impressiveness of the rock!). The path joins the old mule-track which goes up with a steep slope to the sanctuary (3 hrs 45 mins from the departure).

Those pilgrims who choose the second way up, that means the walk along the road, must be careful to take the path 53 on the left of the ridge. There is also the opportunity to continue on the  road till Beccia and then to enter on the old mule-track which, after 700 m, rises from 1024 m to the 1128 m of La Verna. The length of the stage, in this case, increases by about 3 km.
To reach the refuge take the old mule-track and, 200 m after the bird chapel on the left, the path to Chiusi starts. You reach a recreational area with benches and swings; go on the road again and turn left; then, at the crossroad, turn right and, after about 300 m, turn right again to Vezzano. After about 1 km arrive at the refuge.
Walking time: 4 hrs.

Timetable Bus Service: Bibbiena – Chiusi della Verna – Pieve Santo Stefano go

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