Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Castello di Montereale Valcellina MTB

A short mountain bike ride this morning to Montereale Valcellina, the next town to our east.  Above the town and slightly north is a wooded hill which I've read has ruins of a 12th century castle.  I rode around awhile looking for a way up, then gave up and went through the short tunnel Magredo toward Lago di Ravedis.  At the exit of the tunnel is a very well made packed gravel road, which unfortunately was barricaded.  There's a gap to walk through so I  went in.  The road is level along the cliffs above the lake.  They are installing wooden handrails/barriers along the road, which appeared almost complete.  Hopefully it will open to the public soon.

This road curves following the contour of the hill at its east end, then begins descending.  There's also a marker for a Sentiero Naturalistico e Storico, so I stopped, locked up the bike and climbed the trail.  At the top is a long stone wall, the north side of the castle.  The inner buildings have fallen to ruin, with only low stone walls delimiting their shape.  There was a round bastion at one corner in pretty good shape, and at the highest point of the hill, the base of the tall square tower.  There was a lovely olive or brownish/yellowish snake basking in the sun at the tower, but she slithered away when I approached.  Tried to get a picture but she was too fast.

I then descended on a single track trail which later joins the previous well-made gravel road, so kind of a waste of time.  But it did have some rock shelves with maybe a one-foot drop where I quickly appreciated the advantage of front suspension- I wasn't catapulted over the handlebars.

This is a great place to visit- and only 15 minutes from home.  Be back soon.        

East end of long north wall

Little shrine with west end of north wall in background

Bastion at northeast corner of castle walls 

Lago di Ravedis from castle

Castle wall with  lago

Close up of lago

Monte Fara 1342 meters

Looking east across Torrente Cellina

View south toward Montereale

Remnant of tower at northwest corner of castle

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