Parallelo 39°56'

This 4-day loop trekking starts from San Lorenzo Bellizzi and returns there, crossing the Pollino National Park along the parallel 39 ° 56 '. His first exploration dates back to May 2018, when a group of carefree Veronese turned to the Official Park Guide Luca D'Alba to see the loricati pines and the Gorge of Raganello, in a single long path that included bivouacs in tents and sack sleeping. The variety of fauna and vegetation and the breathtaking views make this itinerary truly unique, an authentic mountain experience to experience in every season.

The route draws a ring that starts from and returns to San Lorenzo Bellizzi, touching the most characteristic points of the Park. The stages are calibrated so as to favor a gradual approach to the differences in height and allow the achievement of the means of support for the transport of food and heavy backpacks, so that the trekkers can travel with light backpacks. 

Total length: 46.1 km - Duration: 4 days - Total climb: 3.148 m - Total descent: 3.169 m - Maximum height: 2.110 m.asl. (Serra delle Ciavole) - Minimum height: 550 m. asl. (Raganello stream).

Day 1: from San Lorenzo Bellizzi to the Refuge of Lagoforano

From San Lorenzo Bellizzi, near the Casa Parco, take the path of the Montagnella, which through a wood of oaks leads to the locality "Crete Nere", at the foot of Serra di Paola. From here you take the dirt road that runs along the western slopes of Cozzo Sarcone and rises towards Serra di Lagoforano, where the homonymous shelter is located (at 1,550 m altitude). It is a small stone hut with a fireplace, located in a wide plateau where in the spring herds of cows and goats graze. After setting up a base camp for the first bivouac, after a quick visit to the little lake, a few dozen meters away from the shelter, head to the top of Monte Sparviere (1,713 m asl) going up the north-west ridge. Only fifteen minutes walk separate the refuge from the summit, so it is not a bad idea to wait here for a romantic sunset overlooking the Ionian coast, Mount Sellaro and the entire eastern side of the Pollino Massif. This point also offers an overview of the future steps.

Length: 10.9 km - Difference in height: 1,044 m - Downhill gradient: 340 m - Highest point: 1.713 m - Lowest point: 870 m - Duration: 4 hours - Difficulty: T

Day 2: the Refuge of Lagoforano to the Giumenta Plateau

Leaving behind the Refuge, head north towards "Tacca Peppini" (named after a famous brigand - Peppino, in fact - who used to lurk the wayfarers). You enter here in the parallel 39° 56' and you will cross it, moving towards the east, almost to the Grande Porta del Pollino (the Door of the Massif). Circumnavigated the Timpone della Rotondella you reach Serra Scorzillo and then Colle di Conca, a plateau with wide views of the Lucan side and the Calabro of the Pollino Park. At the junction for Sant'Anna, a remote village with a couple of farms and a small stone church at the foot of the Timpa di San Lorenzo, continue straight at the foot of the imposing vertical wall of Timpa di Falconara, the cathedral of the climbers of Southern Italy. A pleasant path in the woods laps the southern slope of Toppo Vuturo, leading to the cool waters of the Fonte Scifi. A few hundred meters and you reach the Piano di Giumenta, point of arrival of the second stage. A welcoming shelter allows you to refresh yourself, having a chat with Giovanni, his manager, always available to give valuable information.

Length: 11.5 km - Difference in height: 617 m - Downhill difference in height: 582 m - Highest point: 1.600 m - Lowest point: 1.240 m - Duration: 4 hours and ½ - Difficulty: E

Day 3: from the Giumenta Plateau to Colle Marcione

Departure at dawn in the hope of meeting the colony of deer that early in the morning hovers between Piano Cardone and the Mola Front. You walk on the crest of the mountain, alternating sections of dense forest and lookout on the Raganello valley and the eastern slope of the Pollino Massif. Once you have taken the CAI 950 path you start the ascent to the Grande Porta del Pollino, the pass between Serra di Crispo and Serra delle Ciavole which allows access to Piani di Pollino. Stage obliged to the Spring of Raganello, a small source that gives rise to one of the most famous torrents in Southern Italy. A few kilometers further downstream, in fact, these waters flow into the Gorge of Raganello, a canyon of particular beauty. After the Great Door, the view opens onto the Garden of the Gods, whose flowers are nothing but the centuries-old pine trees symbol of the Park. A short path climbs up the northwest slope of Serra delle Ciavole, allowing you to touch the lorica-shaped bark from which these giant trees take their name. From the summit we descend along the opposite slope (south), on the ridge line that leads to the Piani di Acquafredda. A very brief detour allows you to admire Italus, a 1.230 year old loricate pine, considered the oldest scientifically dated living tree in Europe. Within a few hundred meters the scenario changes radically. From the rocky side with sweeping views of the Pollino plains, the Cresta dell'Infinito, Monte Pollino and Serra Dolcedorme, you can dive into a dense beech forest called "La Fagosa". Some of these specimens with a twisted trunk, found in Piani di Acquafredda, have been called "Snake Trees" because of their similarity with such reptiles. The path descends straight down, with a gentle slope, crossing large plains like the Piano di Fossa and the Piano di Ratto. You get to Colle Marcione, at an altitude of 1.220, overwhelmed by the magnificent view of the southwest wall of Timpa di San Lorenzo. Bivouac near the Refuge (currently - 2018 - in disuse and not accessible) or in the surrounding woods.

Length: 15.9 km - Difference in height: 911 m - Difference in height: 1.277 m - Highest point: 2.110 m - Lowest point: 1.220 m - Duration: 7 hours - Difficulty: EE

Day 4: from Colle Marcione to San Lorenzo Bellizzi (the Stair of Barile)

From the Rifugio di Colle Marcione take the path that descends towards the Murge dei Cappuccini, along the west side of Timpa di Porace. The track turns to the right towards the Belvedere della Muletta, at the foot of the northern ridge of Timpa di Cassano. With the imposing Timpa di San Lorenzo always in front, we overlook the Raganello Gorges along a winding path through the holm oaks. The most challenging passage is the "Scala di Barile", a staircase carved into the rock on which to climb. It is difficult to imagine how once this path could be crossed on the asses. At the end of the Scala you reach the archaeological site of the Byzantine settlement of Palma Nocera. Thanks to a wooden bridge located a few hundred meters further downstream you can cross the river and walk along the "Via dei Mulini", a path bordered by stone walls that climbs up to the historic center of San Lorenzo Bellizzi, along the ruins of ancient mills. In summer, before embarking on this last climb, you can immerse yourself in the natural pools of the stream for a refreshing bath.

Length: 7.8 km - Difference in height: 576 m - Difference in descent: 970 m - Highest point: 1.220 m - Lowest point: 550 m - Duration: 5 hours - Difficulty: EE

LOGISTICS: Our guides plan this itinerary in every detail, providing for the transportation of field equipment and food (tents, sleeping bags, breakfast, lunch and dinner). In this way the participants travel with light backpacks to fully enjoy the journey.

REQUIRED EQUIPMENT: hiking boots, rucksack, hat and anorak. Depending on the season it is advisable to integrate it with thermal mesh, fleece and quilt. If you do not have trekking poles, a tent and a sleeping bag you have to request it from the guides.

Where to stay ? "La Casa dell'Escursionista", in Cerchiara di Calabria above the club. This is a comfortable accommodation managed by our guides and designed for mountaineers, fitted with a relax-area with a climbing wall, hiking guides and maps of the park.