Badia Prataglia to Abbey La Verna – a day of superlatives.

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Last view of Badia Prataglia at 0800 this morning…

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View from Frassinetta, at the end of valley my path was to take me through.

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The dramatic rock formation, which is home to the monastery of La Verna, obscured by cloud, but regularly visible.

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View across the Parco Nazionale di Toscana with the Rock of La Verna in the distance…

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Dense vegetation and dramatic mountain formations characterise the national park for as far as the eye can see (which wasn’t very far today, due to constant low cloud cover and rain.

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Sometimes the view looked as if they come straight out of Heart of Darkness in the South America jungle…

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La Verna now obscured by the hill in the foreground, which was the first hurdle to be navigated after traversing the floor of the valley.

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The village of Rimbocchi, approached from the NE after an ankle-breaking descent into the valley.

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The elevation profile of today’s stage…over 1.250 me in all!

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A particularly beautiful climbing rose in Rimbocchi, reminded me of a New Dawn that grew against our home in Pöcking.

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Rimbocchi from the S this time, at the beginning of a long and strenuous pull up the first hill of the afternoon.

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View of the thickly forested hills stretching away to the south from La Verna

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Backbreaking uphill trail for the best part of 5km without relief.

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The La Verna Rock within touching distance.

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La Verna getting closer by degrees, each new vista spurring me on to reach my destination for the day.

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Glorious walking in the early afternoon in a sunny break between two thunderstorms

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Almost at the foot of the La Verna Rock

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View back down the valley to the W.

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Last leg up to the monastery – very excited to see what will be at the end of this walk.

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Stunning scenery with ancient moss-covered stones and gleaming beech trees with an increasingly muddy trail leading between them.

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I have coined a new photo type: the squelchy. Here, about 30 minutes from the summit, my first squelchy and a taste of the sort of terrain I had had to and still had to navigate.

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Massive rocks scattered like so many green cushions around the hillside.

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Scenes from the sacred forest on the approach to La Verna.

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The path narrows and steepens…almost there.

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Suddenly the monastery rises out of the living rock, looking as if it had been hewn out of the cliff itself.

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The entrance almost 300 yds ahead around this rock formation…

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Made it! The long steep path to the gates of the monastery and the last long climb of the day.

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A sight that has soothed the souls of thousands of pilgrims over the centuries. The cross dominating the courtyard within the Refugio – with a blue sky before the onset of the next thunderstorm.

5 thoughts on “Badia Prataglia to Abbey La Verna – a day of superlatives.

    • I’m afraid that I didn’t have time to pen a text during my stay at La Verna. I was caught up in a very interesting conversation with a retired civil servant from the department of the environment from Germany and his pilgimage partner also a retired environmental expert from Hungary and by the time we were all booted out of the refectorium, I was too dog-tired to anything but fall asleep. Next morning I started too early to get anything written (and I don’t function before I have had a tea), so you will have to wait until I settle down in Sanselpulcro this afternoon before I post my journal of the last two days….Sorry! ((PS would you like to join me for a few days?)

    • It was a lot like Glendalough: mystical atmosphere, ancient stones, easily pre-dating the impressive christian structures, breathtaking views, treacherous footpaths both up- and down and a sense of being in one of earth’s special places. You would love it.

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