A full-day itinerary which immerses you in the beauty of the Modena Apennines.
It begins with a visit to the two nearby lakes in the area of Pievepelago - Lake Santo and Lake Baccio - and then continues with the discovery of five waterfalls along a circular trail through the woods of Sant’Annapelago.
The itinerary starts from the village of Pievepelago, in the province of Modena. Not far from the centre of the village, twenty minutes by car in the direction of Sant’Annapelago, you can reach one of the most romantic patches of water in Emilia Romagna, Lake Santo (Blessed Lake).
From springtime flowers, to warm summer days, to the rich, unique colours of autumn and lastly to the magical atmosphere of the winter climate, this is a place which can be visited year-round.
Among the many curiosities linked to this place is a legend of love, which ended in tragedy: it is the story of a young shepherd and shepherdess who fell in love, but were separated by the hatred which divided their families. The two, with the excuse of taking their sheep to pasture, would secretly meet on the shores of the lake.
But one winter day, the two were so eager to embrace again, that they started to run across the ice towards each other. They had just enough time for one last embrace before the ice broke and they were swallowed by the waters of the lake, named after this, their final “blessed” embrace.
Near the lake there are a few refreshment points and refuges.
Proceeding into the woods along CAI (Italian Alpine Club) trail no. 523, after half-an-hour’s walk you then reach Lago Baccio, a little smaller, but just as magical: a perfect picture of completely uncontaminated nature.
After enjoying the tranquillity and beauty of the two lakes, we continue towards Sant’Annapelago, where the Valdarno mountain stream runs through centuries-old beech groves. Our goal is to walk the Waterfalls Trail (Sentiero delle Cascate), a circular trail immersed in the woods, along which you come across no fewer than 5 waterfalls.
The trail takes about 4 hours to complete, including stops, and, not involving any particular difficulties, is also suitable for families. Just one thing to note concerning the Cascadora Waterfall: the stretch of trail to reach the waterfall is very steep, but this can be avoided by simply not going down to the bottom, and just admiring its double cascade from above.
The picturesque trail follows the ancient routes of woodcutters and coalmen, and encompasses, in order, the Rio Waterfall, the Bandita Waterfall, the Sassorso Waterfall, the Terzino Waterfall and, lastly, the Cascadora Waterfall, considered among the most beautiful with its double cascade.
If the day spent immersed in the Modena Apennines has won you over, which is more than likely, you can then consider taking further trips to the other lakes of the area, which are just as beautiful and worthy of a visit, such as Lago della Ninfa (the Nymph’s Lake) in Sestola, and Lake Scaffaiolo and Lake Pratignana in the municipality of Fanano, where the Doccione Waterfalls can also be seen.