July 23

 

I decided to go for a nice trek today. I set my compass for Lucignana (Luc), and departed at 8:45 am in the morning. With water, snacks, phone, map, and camera, I was ready for action. From Ghivizzano Alto, I took the only road going up. According to the map there are footpaths leading from the area, but I was not successful in finding those. The road was cool, shady and not too busy with traffic. Most of the road is quite closed in with a canopy of trees, so there is actually little viewing despite the rising altitude and surrounding scenes. I tried a couple of times to access what I thought was a footpath, as indicated on the map. It seemed to be there, but was overgrown. At one location I found a clear path, but the wild raspberry vines were so thick over the path that it was not passable. I continued on the roadway, enjoying the hike, and stopping where ever there was a view to be had. As I went farther up the mountain, there were more side paths and small roads evident. I came to the intersection for Gromignana an Luc., and I veered right toward Luc. This is a pleasant little road, with even less traffic. I began seeing little residence areas with small vineyards, olive trees, and old buildings.

 

Nearing Luc.  I saw a sign for a Sentiero, a marked footpath which crosses the road. I left the main road and went down the footpath, which drops into a small valley. This was a wonderful diversion, taking me deep into the forest, but it was clear that this path is used regularly. The path joined a small dirt road after about 200 meters, and then diverged from it again as it went toward Luc. I startled a deer that was just inches from me, and it leaped away in a flash. At one junction of the path there was a picnic table, where I sat for a while and contemplated my life. After that hallmark moment, it was back to the path, which now became rocky and steep. It wound back and forth, down to the small stream, and then back up the other side and opened directly into Lucignana. Voila. I only met one other party on the trail, a family from France.

 

Luc is a pretty little town, built on a small ridge, very narrow and elongated. There were a few kids and old people milling about. I took a few pictures and relaxed a bit in the town. It is a nice place to see the old streets and buildings, nicely preserved. By this point I was getting hungry, so I stopped to eat.

 

Heading back to Ghivz I chose to take the other road out of Luc, which goes down to via Nazionale, just near Calavorno, east of Ghivz. This road has more traffic on it, and the land is more developed all the way along. In general, I think the route I took going up was prettier, and more pleasant to walk. However, this road had some interesting old (and new) buildings along it, but with fewer trees lining the roadway. The route up from Ghivz alto is a very nice walk, and with all the trees, would be suitable to walk even in the heat of midday. It is cool and shady, with a little breeze too. Arriving back at Casa La Pace, I walked in the kitchen at 12:30 pm, which made the trek nearly four hours in length. I did not stop too much, but walking time was probably a good three hours, at a steady pace. I recommend returning back down to Ghivz alto from Lucignana, rather than taking the other road. It is a nicer walk, and would cut the overall hike time by 30-45 minutes (the time to walk back from Calavorno).

 

A nice trip would be to drive or bicycle up to Luc, and then hike the local trails there, which are better maintained and much more pleasant to walk on. The map indicates there are trails following the stream side down to Calavorno, but I don’t know if they are passable or maintained.

 

The whole area is very nice for hiking. This was a warm day, but I found the forest to be cool and pleasant. I may go back to explore more of the Lucignana area.

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