The overall hike including Via Ferrata Tordini-Galligani is long and challenging, but among the most beautiful in the Apuan Alps area: it develops on the Cresta della Capradossa, which is essentially the northern buttress of Pizzo d'Uccello (1781 mt).
This trail is immersed into the Garfagnana, an historical and geographical region of central Italy, today part of the province of Lucca, in Tuscany.
It is the upper valley or basin of the river Serchio, and thus lies between the main ridge of the Northern Apennines to the north-east and the Apuan Alps to the west.
Driving through this region there are a number of villages perched on headlands at the bases of the mountains.
The last town you will see before departing for the hike is Ugliancaldo.
RING HIKE FROM LAGO SANTO TO MONTE GIOVO AND RONDINAIO
STARTING POINT / Entrance Cantonaccio Marble Caves (700 mt)
EQUIPMENT / hiking boots + via ferrata kit + gloves
DISTANCE / 8 km total
HIKE TIME / 6 hours total
OVERALL TIME / all day
ELEVATION / 686 mt
DIFFICULTY / EE
TRAILS / CAI 181
HIKERS / Giulio, Daniele, Francesca and Gabriele
On the 20th of August Daniele, Francesca Gabriele and myself decided to go climb up the via ferrata Tordini-Galligani, with the idea of reaching the summit of Pizzo d'uccello (1781 mt), in a ring hike.
After about two and a half hours driving from Florence we arrived at the parking spot along the gravel street that takes you from the small town of Ugliancaldo to the Cantonaccio marble caves.
Left the car we started walking towards the entrance barrier of the cave, where the trail starts.
From there you have a very wide and clear view of the mountain group that will be surrounding you during the whole hike and the bright white marble caves.
The hike began. It's 12:45 pm.
The trail starts climbing up the marble caves. We were hiking with 37° Celsius of sun hitting on our heads and reflecting on any surface around us.
After the caves, following the red and white CAI signs, we entered a stony ground area to cross.
After an hour hiking we got to the wood, keeping the left, going up towards the starting point of the Via Ferrata, that we reached after 30 minutes.
We were at the bases of the huge mountains, where the Pizzo D'Uccello stands out.
We captured some nice photos, but as you can imagine in those challenging climate conditions climbing up the mountain wasn't the most comfortable thing.
The Via Ferrata Tordini-Galligani isnt itself a techinal climb, its a progressive hike climbing up a rocky ridge, where extremely vertical sections are minimally present.
I must say that the weather difficulties and the absence of shelter and shadow from the sun were the most influential part in the commitment of our energies.
Since the first steps the view around and behind us was breathtaking.
It took us about 2 hours and 15 minutes to get up to Foce Siggioli (1405 mt), at the end of the iron trail, including lunch break and all the stops.
Around 5 pm we were at the top resting and recovering for about an hour.
On our right side we could see the crest going further up to Pizzo D'Uccello (1781 mt), the peak we meant to summit but, unfortunately, due to the lack of time, we had to skip. We will keep it for the next time.
After a good break we were then on the Capradossa crest on the CAI trail 181 that will take us back to the car.
From the crest we could see two groups of mountains, and two valleys.
Slowly, hiking down the ridge the rocky terrain turns into a greener landscape, opening the view to a vast layers of green mountains.
We kept walking down for about 3 more hours before getting to the car.
On our way back to the car we got lost loosing half an hour to find the actual continue of the trail, as the red and white CAI signs weren't so visible at one point.
The CAI trail 181 descends alternating between meadows, stony grounds to finish inside the chestnut wood. The over all descend is steep but easy and definitely knees consuming, but the only way.
The last hour we hiked down the wood, at a good rhythm, in the dark, equipped with torches.