Skip to main content

Forcella Alta to Pertüs Pass: an ecomuseum


Flashback: Passo di Pertüs. Incredible to think that only two months ago when we were enjoying fall foliage, at this altitude the populated lowland views of Lecco could clearly be seen for miles around. Yet on this afternoon excursion in the snow, all that was plainly visible were clouds. Thick, poofy bunches of it! A cotton candy layer which hovered over the entire province it would seem, shielding inhabitants below from the rays of a bright winter sun.

An ecomuseum in the woods

I was surprised to see the trail updated with particulars in its ecomuseum. Part of this open-air museum includes structures used in the past to trap migrating birds. Rather clever I'll admit, but to get the gist of how it was done, large signboards render detail on the way these strategically positioned snares did the job. With the placement of nets among the trees, birds flying through a path were thereby easily caught without too much fuss.


This horseshoe shape so aptly named ròccolo (trap) employs the use of decoys and the calls of caged birds to lure the unknowing victims. In this illustration, the third image depicts the throwing of a predator-like object that frightens the flock into the surrounding nets. What happens to the lucky few who escape? Who knows, but there's a recipe - uccelli scappati (escaped birds) - which, regardless of the name has nothing to do with birds whatsoever.




la Cesena (Turdus pilaris) Fieldfares
il Tordo Bottaccio (Turdus philomelos) Song Thrush


la Peppola (Fringilla montifringilla) Brambling
il Fringuello (Fringilla coelebs) Chaffinch

Directions for Forcella Alta: See google maps. The road left of the pond is where the trail begins. During spring/fall, about 1½ hours round trip from Forcella Alta to the abandoned convent. Add extra ½ hour if going further to the Pertüs pass. We took just a bit longer due to the 10-inch deep (25cm) snow. This is a popular area on weekends after a particularly big snowfall. Perfect for family outings, sledding and cross country ski practice.

Popular posts from this blog

From Rifugio Martina to Monte San Primo (Bellagio)

Monte San Primo. Agile hikers aren't the only ones to climb up here in summer because the tell-tale aroma of ovine and caprine droppings invaded our nostrils long before reaching the top. Our intent was to go up then return on the mainly forested trail (right side of photo) that commences behind Rifugio Martina, but the ascent is so steep (average 14% grade) that I wasn't too keen on going back down through the bug-infested environment again. The top photo was taken looking back at S. Primo as we descended to connect with sentiero 1 and continue on a loop trail to the starting point. For those who may have ended up here for trails near Bellagio, take a look at this site to see what the fuss is all about and tell me that ain't gorgeous (scroll to bottom). Unfortunately, it was a hazy experience for us this past Sunday and thus the wait continues until a clear weekend comes along. In the meantime I've set our hiking goals to explore more of the area that is just 30…

Hiking in Parre (Bergamo) and its famous Scarpinocc

We're expanding our horizons (and stomachs) to include the province of Bergamo, specifically the mountains and valleys up north where cheese, pasta, polenta and even the language take on a flavor all its own. From what we've experienced, the vast Bergamo Alps is still largely untouched by foreign tourists as most everyone heads directly to Lake Como from Milan. Depending on your view that may be seen as a good or bad thing, but we hope to reveal some of the beauty on these pages. But first, what is this scarpinocc? I can't recall exactly how I first heard of them, but when the MotH and I walked into a pasta shop and asked if they had any to sell, we were told that the best place to go would be in the village in which they were made famous - Parre. Scarpinocc are a filled pasta (grana, bread crumbs, cinnamon, nutmeg) that resemble those medieval, pointed shoes worn long before rubbah slippahs and sneakers were conceived - think elf footwear and you should have an idea.…

Fun in the sun and snow at Alpe Giumello

Why do weekends with perfect weather always have to be so short? This past Saturday and Sunday was the one that anybody with a pulse has been wanting for a long time, the weekend with ZERO rain, no snowfall and nothing but blue skies all around. We had the intention of hiking around the base of Monte Muggio, a 3-hour loop trail that begins from the parking area at località Alpe Giumello, but ice on the trail made it a dangerous gamble. If we had been able to get to the very top of Monte Muggio it would have afforded us a spectacular panorama with Bellagio jutting out in the middle of the lake.Even if a good, long hike was out of the question, there was plenty of wide open space to go for a stroll. We walked the dogs out on the flat plains on the eastern side of Giumello, all of which were covered in a thick layer of packed snow. In less than 30 minutes time we had built up enough of an appetite for a quick lunch at Ristoro Genio, a cozy little bar and restaurant serving hot meals…