Discovering the high pastures of Lessinia and the stone stelae placed to mark the border between the Serenissima Republic and the Kingdom of Tyrol in 1700, between the municipalities of Velo Veronese, Roverè Veronese and Bosco Chiesanuova.
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A little history:
The current regional border between the Autonomous Province of Trento and the Province of Verona, which crosses the mountain foothills of Monte Baldo and Lessinia, has been a complex and disputed border for centuries. In order to define this limit precisely, a special congress was held in Rovereto in 1750, attended by representatives of Austria and the Republic of Venice, plus some representatives of the local communities; from this meeting and from numerous subsequent inspections, the Treaty of Rovereto emerged in 1753, which definitively set the boundary between the two countries, following as a principle that of the recognition of private Veronese and Trentino properties. The document also provided for the marking of the border numerous boundary stones fixed into the ground, an operation that began as early as 1754. These stones are still partly visible in the northernmost part of this route. In the same area, it is also possible to see traces of the defensive system made up of military roads, trenches and artillery positions built in the period of the First World War.
Leaving the Camposilvano car park, take the provincial road 13 towards San Francesco, proceed for about one kilometre and then turn right for the Fornider and Funfi contrade. After Funfi, after a short stretch on a grassy surface, turn right onto an asphalted road that goes constantly uphill into a beautiful valley and that passes through the Masetto and Gaspari contrade where there is a house with a series of beautiful stone arches. After passing the contrada, turn left onto a cart track that passes through meadows and climbs up to Malga Marian, from where you can enjoy a wonderful view over the entire Po valley.
Starting off again, in a few minutes you arrive at a barrier that leads to the road going from Conca dei Parpari to the Dosso Alto Refuge, here turn right towards Conca dei Parpari. After this place, take the provincial road 6 to the left towards the north, pass the Malga Parparo Vecchio on the left and, immediately after the parking lot, take the small road that immediately climbs to the right towards Malga Malera and San Giorgio. The road is initially asphalted but then becomes a dirt road, with a good surface and a steady climb for about 3 km, and then it descends towards Malga San Giorgio.
In this stretch you can appreciate, on the right side, a splendid view of the upper Val d'Illasi and the town of Giazza. After the Malga Malera refuge, you arrive at Malga San Giorgio where you stay on a dirt road going towards Monte Tomba and Translessinia. During the ascent you can admire, always on the right side, some military posts dating back to the First World War that were recently recovered, and a splendid view towards Monte Carega and the Little Dolomites.
Arriving at 16.9 km in the locality of Pozza Morta, at 1710 metres above sea level, you can enjoy a splendid view towards the north where you can see, if the sky is clear, the Dolomite groups of Adamello, Presanella and Brenta. At this point we have reached the border between Veneto and Trentino, which also corresponds to the old border between the Serenissima Republic of Venice and the Kingdom of Tyrol, from where it is possible to observe the old border stelae that still there today.
Immediately after Pozza Morta, leave the dirt road of Translessinia and take the path on the right that follows the barbed wire that marks the border. Now continue westwards with a succession of ups and downs and where you can admire the panorama of the high pastures of Lessinia and some of the border stelae. After about 500 metres, leave the border to go down to the left on the Translessinia where, always keeping to the left, the return phase begins, pedalling towards Malga Podesteria and Monte Tomba. After Monte Tomba, continue on the dirt road until you pass the Bocca di Selva Refuge (Km 27), where you leave the asphalt and turn right towards Malga Moscarda.
At this point, following the CAI path 255 and then E5, you can experience the most enjoyable part of the route, 2 km of descent on a path that is sometimes very streamlined with a compact surface and at other times with a stony surface, but always fun, until you come out again on the asphalted provincial road 6 where you turn right for about 200 metres until you reach Maregge. Here take the dirt road on the left towards Contrada Merli and continue up to Km 30.3 where you take the dirt road on the right that passes under a stone bridge, and descends towards Val Marisa. This descent initially has a good compact surface but after passing through an open and flat stretch it becomes a mule track with a steep and particularly loose surface where particular attention is required or where you might want to get off the MTB.
At the end of the descent, you are on the bottom of the Vaio Squaranto, surrounded by beech and fir woods. Turn right in the direction of Scrivazze, a beautiful recently restored alpine hut. From here, take the dirt road that goes down to the provincial road 13 and the Squarantello contrada, keeping left, now on asphalt, start climbing up to the village of San Francesco and always keeping left up to Camposilvano to return to the parking lot.
Length: 38 km.
Positive difference in height: about 1000 metres.
Difficulty: medium, with some challenging sections.
Duration: about 3-4 hours.
Notes on the route and how to get there. Camposilvano can be reached from Verona, exiting the Milan-Venice motorway at S. Martino Buon Albergo (VR East), East ring road - Montorio exit, then for San Rocco di Piegara, Velo Veronese and then Camposilvano following signs for Conca dei Parpari, San Giorgio. The route's departure and arrival points are located at the new and convenient parking that is located in Camposilvano di Velo Veronese, a few metres from the homonymous Geopaleontological Museum and Covolo di Camposilvano. The route follows partly asphalted roads and some cart-tracks and mule tracks and may not be feasible when it has been snowing. Although there are refreshment points along the way, it is advisable to bring a supply of water. On the way you can find various types of gates that mark private properties and where there may be animals grazing, so we recommend the utmost respect and leave the gates as you found them, thank you!
Route and description by Fabrizio Corso, MTB CSEN instructor and cycling guide. Photos by Michele Bendinelli.