As I’m lucky enough to live on one of the mountains behind Salo, I can walk out of my front door and have a fantastic walking experience whenever I want, which is usually four or five times a week. I usually take one of two routes, both only around 90mins duration, one slightly more hard going than the other, both with some fantastic views and interesting nature. As it’s only a 10-15 minute drive from Salo, I think it’s worth sharing them with you….
The first route is to a zone called Cuel, it is a clearing on top of the mountain adjacent to the one I live on, accessible via a pass. For most of the walk up you follow the contour of the mountain under the canopy of the trees, so when you eventually exit into the clearing you are in for a nice surprise. The clearing is on the North slope of the mountain so there are wonderful views across to the mountains behind stretching back to the pre-Alpes. The centre piece of the clearing is an old chestnut tree that is said to be 500 years old, surrounded by grassy slopes and, during the spring, a colourful bloom of mountain flowers, which I will endeavor to find out the names of. It’s a really peaceful spot, so sit under the old Oak, or lay on the grassy slopes and chill out before the walk back down.
To get there you need to find your way to Tormini, which is a couple of km west of Salo. At the roundabout at Tormini take the exit to Milan/Brescia, Gavardo. Careful now, you only need to drive 50m then turn right over the bridge to Ponte Pier. Once over the bridge you follow the road round to the right, then follow it all the way up the mountain, to Peracque/Prandaglio. There is only one junction which is shortly after the Canneto, where you need to turn left.
You will know when you arrive at the top because the road turns into a track and there is a small car park, which is also an observation point with fantastic views of the lake.
View Cuel-Maddona della Neve in a larger map
Park your car and follow the track, after about 100m you need to bear left and then continue up the concreted track. The track very soon turns into made up road which is quite gravelly underfoot in places and fairly steep, I prefer to take a stick but mainly for the walk back down. Depending on what time of the year you go, you can see some pretty mountain flowers and lovely glimpses of the lake. Less so during the summer, when all the leaves are on the trees, but at least then you are provided with much needed shade from the sun.
After about 15 mins the surface turns more muddy, and after a further 10 mins you arrive at a junction where you will see a broken old rustico to the right. Follow the path past the rustico, then almost immediately the path forks. Take the left fork. then after a few minutes when the path forks again follow the right fork. The path becomes quite steep for about 50m then levels out a bit and then steep again for about 100m, but after that most of the hard work is behind you.
Turn left at the top and walk past the old rustico, a lovely old building in a very quiet spot, somewhere I’d love to spend a week just doing nothing. Very occasionally the owner is there with his children….and dogs. They may bark a bit (the dogs not the kids), but don’t worry they are harmless, especially the very old Dalmation, who seems to play protector and walks with you as you pass the house.
Just another ten minutes, on a mud path through some woods and then you exit into the clearing I described earlier.
Besides the spring flowers (which I already promised to find out the names of) it is possible to see various kinds of wild mushrooms in the late summer and autumn, which I am also hoping to become familiar with.
I’ll update these photos as the year progresses