Lynne’s Italian Adventure – April 2022
In the Province of Pesaro and Urbino, the Marche region of Italy
Walk to Bacciardi
The day began with a visit to the small town of Piobbico where we visited the 13th century Castle Brancaleoni. This castle was built as the home of the local gentry but also as a fortification.
After a picnic lunch sitting in the sunny courtyard of the castle we began our walk along the flowing river up to the tiny hamlet of Bacciardi, our bed for the night. It started gently alongside the river, slowly climbing upwards along a fairly well worn path. Crossing the main road we left civilisation behind us as we walked through the forest alongside the water. Then came our first crossing of the river. It was fairly wide and fast flowing, with potential stepping stones being washed by the rain of yesterday. Dominico, our guide, tested the water first and we all tentatively followed, feeling pleased to have accomplished it with dry feet. On we ambled, past the trees, listening to the water gurgling until now more than 300 metres later we crossed back.
This time it was a little trickier, the stones were certainly wet and the gap between them wide. Again we triumphed and continued on our way. You get the picture, walk, cross the river, walk. The further up the valley we went the narrower the river became but the faster the water flowed. Getting across became more difficult with Dominico putting large stones into the river for us to use. By now our boots were beginning to become wet. Still we continued upwards.
There came a point, on about crossing number 9 or 10, that you had no option but to walk in the water with socks, trousers and boots getting wet. Whenever we thought that it was the last crossing there was another! To be fair, it was fun and a challenge. Walking poles were thrown across the river for each one to use for stability, so that no one actually fell into the water.
Eventually the path came away from the river and went steeply uphill into the mountains. It was difficult to see how we would come out of it, everywhere you looked there were trees and escarpments.
On we walked up the mountains with no end in sight. The pathway became narrow and stony, it continued in upwards into the trees. Eventually the edge of a small hamlet was espied, at which time we all breathed a sigh of relief. As is typical in Italy all the houses were built closely together, hugging the hillside and our accommodation was no different. It was a small B and B, catering for walkers and riders.
We were greeted by two dogs, one of which I have never seen such a mixed colour, and taken into the house once we had removed our sopping wet footwear. Once in, a refreshing shower and change of clothes restored a sense of well being. We were served a fantastic Italian meal, all made and cooked on the premises as we enjoyed the spectacular views from our mountain top venue. A sound night’s sleep and we were ready for the next adventure.
The odd dog and boots drying overnight
Author & Photographer: Lynne Burge