Do you need a break from the heat of the city? Then come to Lessinia natural park with nearly 2,000 hectares of dense, shady forest. More than enough for any walk! Giazza forest covers a large part of this northern corner of Veneto.
The forest takes its name from the village of Giazza, the capital of the Cimbri, an ancient community originally from Bavaria. In the forest, among the dense vegetation, you can find footpaths used during the first world war and streams with pure, fresh drinking water. Let me highlight two simple routes that are great for exploring the beauty of Lessinia, starting from Giazza.
Hiking in the Val Fraselle
Starting from the square in Giazza, head uphill on the banks of the Fraselle stream until you reach the main road near the Locke spring. The road surface changes to gravel here as we pass some small farms with unusual names like Feceraute or Gisoul before we plunge into the forest. The noise of the stream will be a constant companion on this first section of the route. But it is nothing compared with the roar of traffic in the city!
After a few hundred metres you come to Casa Vaizelù, a typical mountain building, then continue on footpath 248. The path is not particularly steep and gives you the chance to see the mighty linden trees, which once acted as an outdoor stable for shepherds. You have reached a place called Prusti di Sopra. Continue along the gravel road ahead of you and go downhill to Selle where you can get a good view of the summits which form the edge of Lessinia. From here, take a forest footpath, which is well signed, to Contrada di Telderi.
In recent years, this farm has been used to rear llamas and alpacas, those funny, cuddly-looking animals that you don’t expect to find here. This walk will fly by in a couple of hours! To complete the loop, take the path downhill to the square in Giazza.
This time, we set off in the opposite direction. Park your car at the Albergo Belvedere hotel and set off uphill along the road to Revolto, until you find a sign for footpath 279 on the right. It is about fifty metres before the holiday camp. It goes without saying that if you get to the holiday camp you have gone too far and you will need to retrace your steps to find the footpath.
Head into Giazza forest, a mixture of beech, cornilian cherry and juniper trees. Why not hug a tree, if that is your thing, it is unlikely that anyone will see you!
Before you know it, you will be at Baito della Làite, a little tumbledown cottage. Continue north towards Campostrin, where you can take a little detour to see a shepherd’s cave. This cave was formed as a result of underground activity and has offered shelter to a great many people during thunderstorms.
Returning to the footpath, after a few hairpins you come to a large clearing with the ruins of a white stone house, typical of local cottages. If I were you, I would stop here for a break and maybe even a picnic.
One final effort! The path flattens out and passes through a silver fir forest. When you come to the far side of this wood, you have reached Malga Terrazzo, a traditional Alpine dairy now run as a rustic restaurant. All you have to do now is enjoy the views. Return to the start by the same route.