A great hike up to Monte Forato with friends – and a surprise encounter!

On Sunday I joined a group of Italians and went on a hiking excursion. This group was organized by my friend, Michele. He has lived in Lucca for many years and had been hiking the surrounding area equally as long.

This particular hike started in a small town called Palagnana. We ascended from here following the sign marked #8 to Monte Forato and #110. The trails, or sentieri, are marked with a red and white stripe and a number. This hike was approximately 8kms in length and 400 meters in height. It took us about 6 hours to do plus an hour each way in the car. We packed a sack lunch and ate in a beautiful shady spot. There is a huge hole in the rock where you can see the sea in the distance. The views are spectacular!

Along the way we met two Italian gentleman ages 86 and 92. It is so remarkable to see such healthy people hiking at these ages! The trail consisted of parts that you needed to use your hands to climb the rocks. The descent was tricky as well due to the loose gravel and stones. Good shoes and poles (bastoni) are essential! When we arrived back to our cars we stopped at the bar in town and enjoyed a coffee or a cold beer or glass of wine! My Italian friends always make me feel welcomed even though I am a straniera!!

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