Passing between the houses in Macra, we walk up towards the provincial road. This itinerary effectively begins on the opposite side of the road, just before the bridge, and runs alongside the Bedale di Langra torrent. It is a cool yet pleasant stretch that crosses and re-crosses the bubbling stream numerous times over wooden or concrete gangways.
A great many panels provide interesting information about the flora in the area: along the route, we will come across countless flowers and plants, from ash to hazel, wild cherry, beech, fir and Scots pine, which vary depending on the season, exposure and type of soil.
After a few hundred metres, near a wooden cross, do not take the path that climbs to the right (this is the return route that closes the circuit). We continue following the torrent passing close by a wayside shrine. Continuing our climb, a little further on we cross asphalt road from Villar di Macra to the hamlets higher up. Continuing uphill along the road, we flank the hamlet of Langra (992 m), with its fine church dedicated to Saints Joseph and Anthony and the starting point for the interesting Sentiero dei camosci (Chamois trail). A little further on, we reach the hamlet of Caricatori (998 m, fountain).
Continuing our trek, we reach a crossroads of paths (signpost). If you prefer to shorten the hike, take the route on the right which saves about twenty minutes of walking. Staying in the mountain valley, we cross a wooden bridge, pass a stone cottage and reach the picnic area dedicated to Franco Bressy (1091 m).
On the sides of this area, we pass by the beautiful and wild loop named Cammino della Montagna (Mountain Trail) that leads into an elongated mountain valley. The Cyclamen Trail, on the other hand, turns right and climbs steeply to the left. A slightly downhill stretch in the dense wood brings us back further on to the short-cut we left previously.
The path has a straight stretch underneath the large and steep limestone rock face of Punta Raveirola (1272 m) and, at the bottom, turns left to follow a recess in the mountainside.
It is a lovely balcony ensuring enchanting views from above of the Caricatori and Langra hamlets we have just passed, and Villar, which we will pass through on the return route.
Continuing slightly downhill in the dense pine tree wood, after another recess we reach a scenic point near a striking wayside shrine dedicated to the Madonna and Saints. This is about halfway through the itinerary. And if the timing is right, it is also an excellent spot for lunch.
The houses in Macra down below can be seen from the rocks overlooking the valley behind the shrine. Turning our gaze up and to south-west, we can see the Tempesta and Piovosa peaks, while Costa Chiggia, Mount Festa and Mount Buch are all clearly visible to the right. To the west, at the bottom of the valley, there is also the imposing Mount Chersogno (3026 m), with its unmistakable tooth-like profile.
Moving on, the trail is initially flat. Further on, as we get closer to the village of Camoglieres, the descent becomes steeper and the views better than ever.
Flanking us to the left, there is the Camoglieres cliff, a landmark for climbers. We enter Camoglieres (fountain) and leave the path on the left leading to the “via ferrata” (equipped trail) of the same name. It is well worth strolling around the houses in this village in search of old ovens, frescoes and evocative angles. We also recommend stopping off stop at the evocative Locanda del Silenzio, a true oasis of peace and serenity.
Resuming the trail descending along the mule track leading to the village of Villar (not the asphalt road that goes down to the provincial road), we reach – through stretches carved into the rock – the splendid Cappella di San Pietro, home to two XV century pictorial cycles saved by a restoration project.
After passing under its porch, we quickly return to the asphalt road.
The circuit is best completed not by going down directly to the left but taking the last, short upwards stretch to the right that terminates at the hamlet of Villar, with its parish church (and fountain).
After the church, we once again take the trail downhill that closes the loop near the wooden cross. Turning left, we quickly return to Macra to conclude an itinerary that, given its excellent exposure to sunlight and relatively low altitude, is ideal for autumn and winter when there is no snow.
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