My family and I have always wandered around our region in Summer, chasing always the cool air and quiet places where to relax.
Monte Carpegna was very often the perfect combination of both. On the route to the mount itself, we used to stop and have a picnic on the shore of a very small lake that, no wonder!, is not even marked on Google Maps!
Even if I was young, I was however smart enough to take a picture of the sign, and here it is giving you very detailed information like nowhere else (…literally, it seems unfindable on the web!). This small lake is called Pietracandella lake and maybe it’s more fair to call it pond ? It’s located at 1000 meters asl, has an area of 1400 square meters and a maximum depth of 3.5 meters. Since it is already quite up in the mountain, we used to stop here and have a picnic before proceeding towards the Eremo of Madonna del Faggio.
To reach the Eremo, you have to drive along the Conca stream, passing Morciano di Romagna, Santa Maria del Piano and Monte Cerignone. Following the directions to Montecopiolo and then Calvillano, you will soon arrive at the parking lot of the Monte Carpegna ski resort (1232 m).
The parking is very well suited, and from there there is a small slope that you can walk to reach the Rifugio, on the left, and the Eremo on the right.
I’ve never been here in Winter, but it must be very different, since this area is a ski area, with the ski lift operating up and down all the time.
The legend has it that the Madonna appeared to two little shepherds who were on the mountain. Shortly after this apparition, the two children found a sacred image hanging from a beech (faggio, hence the name of the Eremo) tree, and took it downstream to the village to adore it. The day after the image had disappeared from the village: they found it again hanging on the beech where it had been seen the day before. In that place the Sanctuary was erected.
The first historical document concerning the church dates back to 1205: these are some notarial acts, in which the church is named “Santa Maria della Cella in Monteboaggine”, and is indicated as entrusted to the Benedictine monks of the Piandimeleto Monastery, then Santa Maria in Mutino. Over the years the church was the subject of great pilgrimages, and was restored and renovated several times with additions (the last was the portico that connects the church to the rooms for the hermitage, dating back to 1950).
If you feel like hiking, you can go back to the Rifugio and continue on the marked CAI trail 101 which leads to the Trabocchino Pass (1297 m), one of the many ways to reach the summit of Monte Carpegna (1416 mt.).
Don’t worry if you’re not a sporty type, my family’s favourite activities was to sunbathe in the green meadows and taste an ice-cream from the Rifugio! ?