A scenic walk via Verrucola, Pognana and the Fiacciano Cascades
Walk length: 6km on easy paths and lanes.
Date walked: 13 May 2017
The first section of this walk follows an old track to Verrucola and, from there, descends to cross the Torrente Mommio over a medieval bridge. After a steepish climb, the section to Pognana crosses the terraces of olive groves, vineyards and meadows of wildflowers. The walk to the cascades starts off down the lane as far as on old mill and then follows a way-marked footpath. The return leg retraces the route as far as Pognana where an ancient lane is followed back to Fivizzano by way of another medieval bridge.
Total climbing: 257 m
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If arriving by car, there is a good car park as you enter Fivizzano from the traffic lights, which is the start and end point for the walk shown.
From the car park, head towards the centre of Fivizzano, continuing ahead at the crossroads. The buildings on your left follow the town wall, which becomes visible at the Porta Nord (also known as the Porta de Lombardia, Porta Modenese or Porta di Sopra) where the road takes a 90º turn to the right. Continue following the road until you reach a narrow lane that forks off at an acute angle on the right. Take the lane, which turns into a grassy track at the top of the hill. On your left are views down to the medieval packhorse bridge that you will cross near the end of the walk. The track continues all the way to the main road to the Cerreto Pass. The next short section is along the main road so keep to the left and in single file until you reach the cottages and pavement of Verrucola. Just after the cottages, take the steps down to a path after admiring the Malaspina castle. Turn right and cross the old bridge into the village. Our route goes straight ahead but it is well worth turning left and following the lane around the village and castle as it will bring you to the same point at the old village gate. A few metres after passing through the gate, take the path on the left, signed Pognana and follow it down to another medieval bridge over the deep canyon of the Torrente Mommio. The path climbs and zigzags up from the other side to reach the olive groves and vineyards of Pognana. When you reach the main road, it is possible to take the footpath from the parking area opposite for a shorter/quicker walk back to Fivizzano. For the full walk, turn right and follow the road bearing left and then right into the main centre of Pognana. Continue straight through the village and down a concrete track to rejoin the road to Cotto and Quarazzana. Continue downhill, over a twisty, narrow bridge and on until you reach an old mill on your left – now a private house with its own medieval bridge. Take the path to the right of the house, signed Fiacciano cascate, and follow it along a ridge before descending to the cascades and natural swimming pool. The route back is reversed as far as Pognana but continue along the road to skirt the village and take the old track on the right for Fivizzano. The track descends to a high fertile plain and, later, descends more steeply to the medieval bridge that you looked down to near the start of the walk. Cross the bridge and make your way up the lane to the town walls. Before returning to the start, make time to enter the historic centre of the town and enjoy a well-earned gelato or coffee in the Piazza!
The images below were taken along the way.