LOGO Voluntary citizens' group
"I mati dela Sorna" of Brentonico

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Please refer to the author
(logo by Aldo Ripamonti)

Route Description Memories of Exodus 2017


Loop trek from Saccone to the wild Albi valley to Malga Cestarelli


From Saccone ascent to the spring Albi to the foot of Monte Vignola, return along the Sentiero della Pace (Peace Path)

Path description to the spring Albi

Park at the Saccone cemetery and follow the provincial road towards Brentonico for about a kilometre until you reach the locality 'Al Bus'. A capital on the road indicates the start of the route; climb the steep ramp to the left where you can see the start of a path. Continue uphill on a well-trodden path, but one that is neither marked nor even indicated on maps, despite the fact that it has existed since time immemorial. It was the path that the inhabitants of the village Al Bus used to follow to fetch wood and collect mushrooms. After walking for about 15 minutes, you come to an isolated farmstead, which is currently uninhabited, and the forest road that climbs from the village of Prada.

The old farmstead at Volpere locality

Follow the road uphill for a few metres until you see an obvious track on the right, initially almost level and then steeply uphill. Here the track turns into an furrow dug into the ground by the dragging of the strings of firewood that for centuries have been dragged down the valley. It is sometimes possible, instead of walking laboriously in the leaf-covered furrow, walk along the right shoulder of the same where there is a trail. At an altitude of around 1,000 metres (or slightly less), one crosses a path that climbs up from the village of Prada, here you will also skirt a dry stone wall, an obvious sign of the presence of cultivated fields in the past. Following the path, one finally reaches the spring Albi, consisting of an ancient stone fountain in which a perennial vein of water gushes out.

The ancient spring Albi where people and animals have watered for centuries

A forest road from the Bortolasi locality crosses here. At the spring Albi they drank for hundreds of years, people and animals resident in the nearby locality of Al Mont. We now ascend a steep but well-traced path that leads, at an altitude of about 1200 metres on the Strada Montagnola di Mezzo road, which leads to the Malga Montagnola and then to the tourist resort of Polsa di Brentonico. Do not follow the road to the right but, bending sharply to the left, you will reach a ridge where the path has been cleared by the deforestation work. However, climb up the ridge to an altitude of 1330 metres and you will come to the evident 'Cestarelli forest road', which you follow for a long time the plain to the left until reaching a wide meadowland.

The poor remains of Malga Cestarelli, a wonderful panorama of the Adige Valley

Here was the malga Cestarelli, now destroyed, almost at the end of the meadow there are finally some signs and you turn left onto the forest road that descends towards Saccone. After a few hairpin bends, the road flattens out and you come to a crossroads with signs indicating to the right the Sentiero della pace (Peace Path), which descends quite steeply to the locality of Pozza. Continuing straight on, first downhill and then on the level, you reach Case al Mont: this is a small village of holiday homes inhabited in summer by the local population. The nearby spring Albi has been and still is the only source of water for this solitary village. Continuing downhill along the partially cemented road, an unmarked path can be seen on the left, leading directly to the village of Saccone. This is indeed a shortcut to avoid a long round trip through the Val dei Berti, but it was the first path in history used in antiquity to quickly reach the pastures of Mont.

Memories of the 1917 exodus in Saccone

The preparations of the carriages for the exodus to Saccone

(from an article by Delio Zenatti)
On 18 May 1916, the town of Brentonico was evacuated by order of the Italian Army Command. The Strafexpedition initiated by the Germans instilled great fear in the Italian army and also in the population in the countries bordering the fronts. In particular, the border line ran along the Loppio valley, crossed the Adige valley near the village of Marco and then up towards the Zugna and Pasubio. In practice Rovereto and the Val di Gresta were in the hands of the Austro-Hungarians while the Italian army was based on the Altissimo and the entire plateau of Brentonico. The effect of the Strafexpedition was disastrous in Veneto, just think of Caporetto, while a certain calm reigned in our villages. The citizens of Brentonico were sent to the regions of southern Italy and the efforts of some historians, first and foremost Dr. Quinto Canali, are commendable, to reconstruct the destinations of the evacuees and make contact with the populations that hosted them. The populations of the villages, Saccone, Corne', etc. remained in their homes believing they could escape possible assaults in the places that had already hosted them during the French invasion. The situation changed completely with the installation, south of Rovereto, of a weapon never seen before: it was a cannon called 'Big Berta'. In a nutshell, the weapon, manufactured by the Krupp steelworks, had a barrel diameter of 220 mm, fired projectiles with a length of 60 cm and a weight of 106 kg. The supposed range was about 20 km and when the first bullets fell the Val dei Berti in the summer of 1917, even the citizens of Saccone and Corne' decided it was time to leave. In fact, later the village of Saccone was razed to the ground completely. Men, women, children, old men and even goats climbed up the Berti valley at night, then down to Piazzina and again down to Pilcante and on to Avio where they were finally loaded onto a train bound for Piedmont. A personal note: my grandmother Margherita was among the evacuees and she was pregnant so my father Luigi was born in Turin on 12 April 1918. Finally, a note of colour: some of the women in the photo are smiling, as if they were about to go on a picnic. I asked some old people why they were so cheerful: everyone thought the war would soon be over and no one imagined the destruction and misery of the countries they would find on their return.

"'San Mate', descargar la malga' one of the most interesting popular festivals in Saccone

WARNING - The group of volunteer citizens called 'I mati dela Sorna' has worked hard to make the trek as safe as possible. Keep in mind that Monte Baldo is still a mountain and, as with all excursions in an alpine environment, it is not absolute safety cannot be guaranteed.

All our treks on Monte Baldo and in the Torrent Sorna riverbed in printable pdf format




SOURCES - From outdooractive.com, you can also download the gpx file of the route.
Web site https://out.ac/ICHTtK
Alltrails.com maps - Delio Zenatti's gps tracks on outdooractive.com