6 - 7
FATMAP difficulty grade
Located in the upper Venacquaro Valley, the Fonte Novello beech forest represents a biotope of particular environmental importance. Here there are specimens of beech trees over a hundred years old (average age 250 years, some specimens even 500 years old) of colossal dimensions (diameters over a meter and heights over 40 m) and the development of a predominantly uneven structure similar to that of ancient forests. The hike is easy but the path is hardly beaten so you need to pay attention to the often faded red-white signs on the tree trunks.
The soft carpet of dry leaves amazes, the moss covering stones and boulders rolled down from the mountain slopes.
After about an hour at an altitude of 1250 meters on path 144, you go down for 2 km until you reach a cart track coming from the village of Intermesoli, closed with an iron bar.
Continue on the cart road and begin to climb gently.
After about six kilometers from the start (2.30 hours) you arrive at the Fosso Venacquaro, where thunderous streams of clear water flow from the highest mountains which, among the gradually larger and older beech branches, look out for a greeting.
Let us now enter the Bosco di Fonte Novello and begin the wood therapy: we listen to the silence before the spring wind rises, then the sounds and smells, we refine our perceptions, we could have interesting encounters.
The particular conditions of the place have favored a rich and diversified fauna including deer, wild boar, badgers, wolves and roe deer; if you strain your ear you will hear the ticking of the woodpecker.
The wood is an ancient beech forest and young and old beeches and dead wood live together in various stages of decomposition. From here we continue towards Mt Corvo and begin a challenging climb that will take us out of the forest up to the valley that houses the splendid refuge of Monte.
The way back is the same.