The top 10 of the Second Stretch
The notebook of Monte Adone
Once you have reached the mountain top (the highest one of the Pliocene Natural Reserve) and once you can take a breath, two crosses (black and white) and a metal box will appear in front of you. Opening it and reading comments left by former excursionists while wind blows against your face makes you feel part of a community. Don't forget to write date, time and a comment for future visitors.
The lion's roar and the donkey's bray at Monte Adone
If you hear a lion's roar nearby Monte Adone, don't worry about it. The Monte Adone Exotic and Wild Fauna Centre takes care of several animal species: lions, tigers, monkeys and local fauna of the Apennines with a troubled life. A visit to the centre is a peculiar experience, but don't forget to book it before coming.
The shells of the Pliocene Spur
The Pliocene Spur is a real open-air geological museum where fossils and shells show that these places were covered by the sea during the Pliocene period (between 5 and 2 million years ago). A shallow sea forming large bays where rivers flowed from the mountain chains down to the sea (now replaced by the Padan Plain).
Between sea and mountain plants
Going down from the top of Monte Adone you will discover another peculiarity: in addition to the marvelous panorama on the valley, here are two different types of vegetation. On one side downy oaks, brooms, chestnuts and oaks, typical of our Apennines, on the other oaks and junipers, characteristic of the Mediterranean scrub.
"Zivieri"'s butcher's shop
Travellers are required to stop at this historical butcher's shop in Monzuno, well known in Italy.
Here you can fill your sandwich with any kind of cold cuts. Above all, smoked ham is thought to feed body and mind.
Giacomo Manzù in Monzuno
Lovers of Italian art can stop at Monzuno's cemetery, where Giacomo Manzù, famous Italian sculptor, made a carving for the grave of Nino Bertocchi, his discoverer. Unfortunately, only a photograph appears today as the original carving has been stolen.
The wood of bread trees
Once you have passed the B&B "Il Viandante", you plunge into a chestnut wood with centuries-old trees and red-white CAI signs hidden among trunks.
Chestnut is a typical plant of the Apennines as it sustained mountain inhabitants.
According to tradition, it is known as "bread tree" because with its fruits flour you can prepare desserts like "castagnaccio", a Tuscan-Emilian Apennines chestnut typical cake.
The Legends of Mount of Venus
Monte Venere has always inspired myths and legends: it was supposed to give shelter to demons dismissed from demon-possessed people after exorcism and also to be a temple dedicated to the goddess of love, whose rituals today led old believers to make the sign of the cross.
Hang-gliding at Le Croci
People who don't want to come back walking can choose to climb down... by hang-glider!
A large plain surrounding the ancient village of Le Croci (Monzuno) at nearly 1000 metres above sea level allows the bravest people to take a run-up and leap into the void carried by the wind.
The Cà de' Paiarin (home of Paiarin family)
Along the way sometimes you can meet houses having unusual gardens where owners put statues, wind wheels, small animal shelters, religious images and messages to travellers. This is also a part of mountain inhabitants traditional hospitality .