5° stretch: Zone – San Bartolomeo

After leaving the village northwards and going beyond the cemetery, the Ancient Road turns into an old cobbled paving that goes up to Val Valurbes (h. 0,15). The surroundings change again and, at once, appear conifers such as the norway spruce (Picea abies) and some rare european larches (Larix decidua), even ifby the sides of the road several hazels continue skirting the slope. Along the way, it seems it would be stili possible to run into old wayfarers shepherds and merchants which once used to walk along these paths, engaged in a slow unending crossing. At this point, you are on the slopes of Monte Guglielmo, called Giilem in Brescian dialect, a really popular destination both in summer and in winter From here you will enjoy the sight of its North-Western crest, from Monte Agolo to Punta Caravina and Dosso Pedalta. In the narrow valley, by the cobbled road, stands the Church of Disgiolo, beyond which the path turns to left. Now the road is flat; on the right you can see some fields and the farmstead of Croce towering in the middle of them: this is the sign ofyour imminent arrivai at Passo Croce ofZone, at 903 mt a.s.l., the most elevated height of this leg of the Ancient Road, as well as a crossroads of several trails throughout Valcamonica. Now you could rest a little on the benches of the equipped area (h. 1,00). Once turned into the mule track downhill which, at this point, clashes with the trail nr 205, you go through an odd little wood rich in many species of trees and deserving a careful study. Among them, the chestnut stands out from other trees such as the european beech (Fagus sylvatica), the norway spruce (paghèr in bresciano dialect), the common holly (Ilex aquifolium) and the hazel for the category of shrubbery. Some age-old chestnuts and some fields indicate the arrivai at Piazze. From here you can see the Northern austere mountainside of Corna Trentapassi, the hamlet of Sedergnò and S. Bartolomeo, your next destination. Further on, the Ancient Road penetrates into a wooden scruti made of chestnuts, european white birches (Betula pendula) and norway spruces. The descent, at first made of large steps, is quite steep up to the hairpin of the hamlet “Le Volte”, a piace from where the eye embraces all the upper Sebino, Val Cavallina and Val Borlezza, situated in Bergamo province. A mule track in the chestnut grove drives the hiker to the next hairpin of the Ancient Road from where, behind the old fountain, starts a lane which takes to the Church of S. Bartolomeo in Sedergnò. This hamlet is worthy of a visit and in the vicinity you can find an area equipped with benches and tables, shaded by imposing sweet chestnuts (h. 1,50).

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