MAP

05a_Gazzano-Roncadello

Stage Features

3h 15′

11 km

Difficulty Rating: E

The part of the Matilda Trail of Modena and that of Reggio Emilia are connected by path 690B on the spectacular Fontanaluccia dam. The first part of the SM-598 firstly skirts the reservoir along the asphalted road towards Fontanaluccia.

At Pere Storte the trail is joined from the left by path 595 coming down from Via Bibulca, while the SM slopes down to the right for the village. Once past the last houses the trail continues along a dirt road up to Case Farioli and Fontanaluccia.

After crossing the provincial road and passing the church, path 597 rises rapidly to Mount Roncadello, while the SM-599 branches right and leads through the woods dominated by chestnut groves of Poggi Fontanaluccia.

The route runs along at the same height and parallel to the Dolo River in the picturesque gorge upstream of the Gazzano reservoir. After crossing the Rio Rumale you reach La Teggia, from which a gradual climb through farmland and beech forests leads to Mount Roncadello and the village below. At this point the SM, after crossing the provincial road, joins path 597 and the Roncadello variant that runs along Via Bibulca (599).

THE DAM, RESISTANCE AND CHESTNUT GROVES

The chestnut groves of Fontanaluccia are the best preserved of the high Apennines thanks to the fact that they have been continually cultivated, never suffering neglect. The old buildings for drying the chestnuts can still be seen in the vast chestnut groves, along with other rural structures including a large building that served as a hospital for the partisans between 1943 and 1945. This was, in fact, one of the best protected areas of the so-called Republic of Montefiorino that the rebels freed from the Germans in the summer of 1944 that included seven municipalities (3 in Reggio Emilia and 4 in the province of Modena). The dam itself was a strategic objective controlled by the rebels. From Civago they travelled along paths that enabled them to go south and cross the Gothic Line.