This is not a cliché.

February 2013

02 February 2013

Giro of the Armentara plateau

Time: about 5 hours 
Difficulty: average
Bici: mountain bike
Food & beverage: recommended are the Range de Andrè and the farmstead of Cians
“The flower filled meadows of Armentara are a rare joy. Cima Nove is a constant presence, seeming like a giant watching over and monitoring the daily life of La Valle. Here it really does seem that Nature dictates to Man. The small church of Santa Barbara, the old chapel with its frescoes and bells of the old church still ringing proud – these the symbols which render the area one of great peace and meditation”
You set off from Hotel La Perla in Corvara and follow the river until you reach the Badia Pub of Pedraces, and then you begin to climb until you reach the village of San Leonardo; you will see the elegant baroque church of San Leonardo on your right and you follow the sign for “Valgiarëi”. Keep on the asphalted road and you will pass close to the farmsteads of Ruac and Fossè until you come to Valgiarëi. Here you turn left and pass by a little church and follow a path for about 500 m until you come to a forest road which you take and follow until you come to Furnacia. At Furnacia you go to the right and climb for 3 km until you reach the smal lplateau of Armentara. On the right you will see a sign with the writing “Range de Andrè”, and in fact you will reach this mountain hut if you go on a further 400 m. Going on for another 400 m you will admire a great panoramic view which takes in the vast spaces of Piz La Ila, the Marmolada and the Sella Group; to your right you see the Sassongher, the Gardenaccia and the Pütia (National Park Puez- Odles), while to the left you have the Santa Croce Group with the peak Cima Dieci.  If you cycle this route in July Nature offers you a real treat: colourful flowers fill the meadows and give a carpet affect. A Ladin legend says that the flowers come from the ashes of the Queen of Fanes: upon death the Queen was cremated and her subjects had to find a place worthy of merit to spread her ashes, and on leaving Val di Medesc they recognised in the meadows of Armentara the ideal place to lay their sovereign to rest. Going back to the mountain hut and after enjoying a little rest you lead off to the right following the signs for Santa Croce. After 1 km you come to the sign for “La Val”, the road begins to snake through meadows and there is a pleasant descent in the woods until you reach Spëscia. You now leave behind Cima Nove which seems to spy on you as you go forward; continue north to Tolpei. Continue and you will pass by the small church of Santa Barbara, it enjoying a splendid position. Proceed to Cians where there is a welcoming agritur serving up simple traditional dishes and where you can sample Ladin specialities such as tutres and cajincì. After a healthy bite to eat you go on left as far as La Valle. Once through La Valle and about 500 m further on you turn first to the left for Lunz and then to the right and follow the old road to Pederoa. Here you turn right and immediately after the bridge to the left. Mind how you go here as it is a little tricky. You follow the river down, it being to your left, and go on for 3 km until you come to an asphalted road. Go up on the road until you reach the farmstead of Curcela and then continue on to Costa and then on to Pedraces. On entering the village turn right and follow the signs for “La Ila”; the road heads up and you go by Ciaminades and Lake Sompunt until you come to La Villa where the small church and castle “Gran Ciasa” have a striking presence – built at the beginning of ‘600 by the noble family Colz. From La Villa you go up to the football pitch and then turn right along the river until you come back to Corvara. The route is distinctive in that it is peaceful and serene: it extends over a Ladin countryside and there are lots of opportunities to admire the antique tradtions, the ways and usages of folk in the countryside.