Saturday, April 3, 2021

Rained Out Monte Filaressa and Corna Bianca Hike

Overview | Notes | Flora | Trail Photos

A View of Canto Basso after the rain.Annotated hike tracks from Bergamo to Monte di NeseTrail 533B with Anemone nemorosa.Christmas rose with drops of water.
Top left: A View of Canto Basso after the rain.
Top right: Annotated hike tracks from Bergamo to Monte di Nese.
Bottom left: Trail 533B with Anemone nemorosa.
Bottom right: Christmas rose with drops of water.


Overview


Length: 26 km (16.1 mi)
Duration: 8.5 hours (lots of stops)
Elevation: (1347 m) 4418 ft
Location: Italy, Lombardy, Parco dei Colli, Alzano Lombardo


Notes


We tried to reach Monte Filaressa from Bergamo today and just shy of 20 minutes from the summit, a storm rolled in and we ran for the cover. It's not the destination but the journey, right? We'll be back!

We've passed by or through Monte di Nese many times, including on these hikes:


Yet, in all these times, we passed under Monte Filaressa (1134 m), which sits just northeast of Monte di Nese. Today was to be our day to pass up over Monte Filaressa and continue on to Corna Bianca (1228 m) – not that we are peak baggers or anything, but we were just looking for something different. However, today wasn't going to be the day to do that.

In an exposed saddle, just below Monte Filaressa, and on the border between Valle Brembana and Valle Seriana, a storm blew in quickly. Feeling vulnerable to hail, rain, wind and lightening, we beat a path to a lower location to wait out the storm under the eaves of a stone structure. (A structure without ample eaves is like an ill-fitting hat.)

We wait for about ½ hour and then decided to head home instead of continuing on. As we approached the trails around Canto Basso the white bark of birch, carpets of anemone laden with dewdrops, and the sounds of far-off thunder created an magical atmosphere that was worth getting completely soaked over. And, on the way back to Bergamo, we discovered some new trails around Ca' Matta near Maresana. So on the whole, not a bad.


Flora


Many of the resources we use for plant indentification are listed in our post Resources for Identifying Plants around Bergamo. We especially rely on the Checklist flora (for the Lombardy region) to see if the altitude we spotted the plant and the season of bloom are correct. Then, we double check in the half dozen guide books we have. In particular, the Gruppo Flora Alpina Bergamasca have a series of really useful books.

We give identifications in this form:

[Family] Genus species – Common name in English {Common name in Italian}

We are adamant about being familiar with families of plants as a base. Once you can start telling families by sight, then identification gets much easier. We were inspired back in 2012 by the book Botany in a Day: The Patterns Method of Plant Identification (1996) by Thomas J Elpel. In this book, Elpel teaches you how to use the patterns method of plant identification to identify families of plants.

For families, we estimate that we are > 99% accurate with identification. For genera and species, 95% and 90%, respectively.


[Adoxaceae] Viburnum lantana – Wayfaring tree {Viburno lantana}
[Boraginaceae] Pulmonaria australis - Lungwort {Polmonaria sudalpina}
[Lamiaceae] Clinopodium sp. likely C. methifolium – Wood calamint {Mentuccia maggiore}
[Lamiaceae] Melittis melissophyllum – Bastard balm {Erba limona}
[Lauraceae] Lauris nobilis – Sweet Bay {Alloro}
[Liliaceae] Erythroninum dens-canis – Dog's-tooth-violet or Dogtooth violet {Dente di cane}
[Plantaginaceae] Globularlia nudicaulis – Leafless stemmed Globularia {Vedovelle alpine}
[Primulaceae] Primula veris – Cowslip primrose {Primula odorosa}
[Primulaceae] Primula vulgaris – Primrose {Primula comune}
[Ranunculaceae] Anemonoides nemorosa – Wood anemone {Anemone dei boschi}
[Ranunculaceae] Helleborus niger – Christmas rose {Rosa di Natale}
[Ranunculaceae] Anenome hepatica – Liverwort {Epatica erba trinità}
[Rosaceae] Crataegus monogyna - Whitethorn {Biancospino comune}
[Thymelaeaceae] Daphne ceneorum – Garland flower {Dafne odorosa}



[Adoxaceae] Viburnum lantana – Wayfaring tree[Adoxaceae] Viburnum lantana – Wayfaring tree
[Adoxaceae] Viburnum lantana – Wayfaring tree

[Boraginaceae] Pulmonaria australis - Lungwort[Boraginaceae] Pulmonaria australis - Lungwort
[Boraginaceae] Pulmonaria australis - Lungwort

[Lamiaceae] Melittis melissophyllum – Bastard balm[Lamiaceae] Melittis melissophyllum – Bastard balm
[Lamiaceae] Melittis melissophyllum – Bastard balm


[Lamiaceae] Melittis melissophyllum – Bastard balm[Lamiaceae] Melittis melissophyllum – Bastard balm
[Lamiaceae] Melittis melissophyllum – Bastard balm

[Primulaceae] Primula veris – Cowslip primrose
[Primulaceae] Primula veris – Cowslip primrose


[Thymelaeaceae] Daphne ceneorum – Garland flower[Thymelaeaceae] Daphne ceneorum – Garland flower
[Thymelaeaceae] Daphne ceneorum – Garland flower


[Primulaceae] Primula vulgaris – Primrose[Ranunculaceae] Anenome hepatica – Liverwort
Left: [Primulaceae] Primula vulgaris – Primrose
Right: [Ranunculaceae] Anenome hepatica – Liverwort


Erythroninum dens-canis – Dog's-tooth-violet or Dogtooth violetErythroninum dens-canis – Dog's-tooth-violet or Dogtooth violet
[Liliaceae] Erythroninum dens-canis – Dog's-tooth-violet or Dogtooth violet


[Ranunculaceae] Anemonoides nemorosa – Wood anemone[Plantaginaceae] Globularlia nudicaulis – Leafless stemmed Globularia[Lamiaceae] Clinopodium sp. likely C. methifolium – Wood calamint
Left: [Ranunculaceae] Anemonoides nemorosa – Wood anemone
Center: [Plantaginaceae] Globularlia nudicaulis – Leafless stemmed Globularia
Left: [Lamiaceae] Clinopodium sp. likely C. methifolium – Wood calamint



Trail Photos


Hike tracks from Bergamo to Monte di Nese.Above Ca' Matta - Maresana.
Left: Hike tracks from Bergamo to Monte di Nese.
Right: Above Ca' Matta - Maresana.

Canto Basso with Canto Alto in the distance.Canto Basso on trail 533 heading to Monte di Nese.Above Monte di Nese.
Left: Canto Basso with Canto Alto in the distance.
Center: Canto Basso on trail 533 heading to Monte di Nese.
Right: Above Monte di Nese.


Croce dei morti, Maresana.The trail above Via alla Zarda.The trail leading to Via Col di Lana.
Left: Croce dei morti, Maresana.
Center: The trail above Via alla Zarda.
Right: The trail leading to Via Col di Lana.

A view of Olera.The flanks of Monte Filaressa with white birch.Our shelter during the storm, the eaves that is. Thank you for the ample overhang!
Left: A view of Olera.
Center: The flanks of Monte Filaressa with white birch.
Right: Our shelter during the storm, the eaves that is. Thank you for the ample overhang!

Sunday, March 28, 2021

A Sunday Walk in La Valle d'Astino

Looking over a tilled field and view toward Monastero d'Astino.View toward Madonna del Bosco, a small hamlet northwest of Bergamo.
A scarecrow advertises Ortinsema - a project of shared gardening.Rows of Prunus trees in the Valle d'Astino.
Upper left: Looking over a tilled field and view toward Monastero d'Astino.
Upper right: View toward Madonna del Bosco, a small hamlet northwest of Bergamo.
Lower left: A scarecrow advertises Ortinsema - a project of shared gardening.
Lower right: Rows of Prunus trees in the Valle d'Astino.


Overview


Length: ~ 11 km (6.8 miles)
Duration: ~2.5 hours
Elevation: gain 410 m (1,345 ft), max elevation at 460 m (1,510 ft) San Vigilio
Location: Italy, Lombardy, Bergamo


Notes


The Astino Valley (La Valle d'Astino) is a small valley in the Bergamo hills and a favorite walking spot of the locals. Today, we got a ride to Astino with a friend and explored the Laudato Si trail and then headed back home on foot. You can catch a bus to the start of the valley (10 bus from to Loreto/Longuelo e.g.) and do the same. Or, if you are staying the upper city, just walk to the valley, following via Sudorno to via Astino.

The valley contains the Astino Abbey (founded 1070) and associated church, Chiesa del Santo Sepolcro. In "normal" times, i.e., non-pandemic, the monastery is a place of art exhibitions and summer dining in the open. (And it will be again.) Across the street from the monastery there is the Valle della Biodiversità – Sez. di Astino dell'Orto Botanico di Bergamo, a gardening area and performance venue set into the hill. During late summer you can buy vegetables grown in the garden, see a performance, or just enjoy the view.

The Valle d'Astino recently was announced the winner of the Premio Nazionale del Paesaggio, or the "National Landscape Award" for 2021. What does this mean? Glad you asked. Well, we have to start with the Council of Europe's landscape award. The Council of Europe (distinct from the European Union) landscape award "is intended to raise civil society’s awareness of the value of landscapes, of their role and of changes to them." (ref) Since 2007, the Council of Europe award has been given every two years to parties to the European Landscape Convention, such as Italy. Italy's award (Premio del Nazionale del Paesaggio  that Astino won) is a feeder for candidates for the Council of Europe's award.

Today's objective was to re-explore the Laudato Si trail with our friend. We had passed by this way back in November as describe in our post A Walk from Bergamo to Monte Gussa. In that post, we went "high" and followed trails to Monte Gussa. Today's walk, we stay low and follow the road (more like a country lane) called Via Castello Presati.


[Lamiaceae] Lamium purpureum - Purple Deadnettle in the fields of Astino.[Ranunculaceae] Ficaria verna - Fig Buttercup, Lesser Celandine.Prunus sp. blossom.Sign explaining a project to plant flax (Linum usitatissimum) and cannabis (Cannabis sativa) for textile use.
Left: [Lamiaceae] Lamium purpureum - Purple Deadnettle in the fields of Astino.
Center left: [Ranunculaceae] Ficaria verna - Fig Buttercup, Lesser Celandine.
Center right: Prunus sp. blossom.
Right: Sign explaining a project to plant flax (Linum usitatissimum) and cannabis (Cannabis sativa) for textile use.


An old church - structure and door detail on Via Castello Presati.An old church - structure and door detail on Via Castello Presati.A horse and carriage on Via Castello Presati.Chiesa Madonna del Bosco.
Left and center left: An old church - structure and door detail on Via Castello Presati.
Center right: A horse and carriage on Via Castello Presati.
Right: Chiesa Madonna del Bosco.


Plowed fields in Valle d'Astino.Plowed fields in Valle d'Astino.
Plowed fields in Valle d'Astino.

The trail / stairs named Scalinata Moratelli. This is a fun way to enter or leave the Astino valley.The trail / stairs named Scalinata Moratelli. This is a fun way to enter or leave the Astino valley.The tracks on ViewRanger.

Left and center: The trail / stairs named Scalinata Moratelli. This is a fun way to enter or leave the Astino valley.
Right: The tracks on ViewRanger.