Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Valle del Fiastrone, Gola e Lago di Fiastra; the valley, canyon and lake Fiastra


Here is a nice, shaded hike below Lake Fiastra starting at Monastero at the cemetery.  One can visit the canyon dug by the river over millions of year and walk through the water between the tall rock walls and also visit the Grotta dei Frati or cave of the monks where they lived in this hermitage ages ago.  The entire hike took us about 2 and a half hours on a beautiful August day and you will see only few others.  As you see above, you must walk, crawl or climb across the river several times as you make your way upstream.  Waterproof boots or sandals are useful.  I used walking poles and crossed on rocks while Maryse took to the fallen trees to make her way from one side to the other.

After a 30 minutes walk mostly downhill from the cemetery, you reach the river where the path splits; to the left for the canyon and to the right for the Grotta.  Both paths are well marked.

Here one sees the shear walls and they get even taller, although at some point you have to decide whether you want to get wet above your knees to continue or turn around.

Bacco loves the water

Imressive stone walls on both sides dwarf Maryse

Here's where we turned around.

A view back to the canyon from near the Grotta

In the grotto you will find a statue of St. Francis and his prayer on the altar, a huge cistern and sleeping area.

Upstream you find lake Fiastra, beautiful with its turquoise waters

View for an overlook on the north side of the lake

Unfortunately, the lookout has also served as a "lover's leap" and there is no way you would survive this fall.  The dam is to the far left.

This view is from just below the scenic overlook.  You can swim, kayak, picnic at the lake which is really worth a visit.  In Autumn, the trees in the canyon are spectacular.  

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