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From the Fondotoce Natural Reserve to Monte Rosso

Difficulties
Technique
Experience
Landscape
Length (Km): 14,25
Time: 4 hours
Starting altitude (m): 204
Arrival altitude (m): 204
Altitude difference (m): 565
Period: Spring - Autumn

Description

Departure point
The bus stop at Canton Magistris (Fondotoce).

How to get there
There is a bus from Verbania Fondotoce railway station (Omegna/Verbania route).

Significant aspects of the route
The Fondotoce Natural Reserve, with its reed beds and various species of nesting birds, is also famous for the presence of water chestnuts. Here the Toce river flows into Lake Maggiore, which is linked to Lake Mergozzo by a canal.

From the entrance to the reserve, heading towards Canton Magistris, a mule track leads to Cavandone, a village with ancient Roman origins. The old Via Romana leading from the lake at Suna to the alpine meadows passes in front of the church where there is a heritage tree.

The route
From the Canton Magistris bus stop in Fondotoce if you enter the Natural Reserve it is just a short distance to the fauna observation point at the heart of the reed bed. Returning the same way, you cross the road and take the mule track near a B&B that leads to Cavandone.

The mule track initially rises steeply but then more gently, allowing you to observe the naturalistic and historical aspects of the area. After having passed a farm, you reach the track that rises from Suna close to the church in Cavandone dedicated to the Nativity of Maria (45 minutes).

A flight of steps links the church to the heart of the village which, set among the old houses, features a millstone, a well and a ceramics workshop.  A circolo or social club offers an opportunity for refreshment. From the circolo you follow the unsurfaced road that, heading to the right, leads to Monterosso where there is an agriturismo (1 hour and 35 minutes).

The return leg follows the same route (1 hour) before you take the mule track that descends to Suna. You will find chapels and information panels along the track as well as the Oratory of the Madonna del Buon Rimedio (10 minutes), which offers a fabulous view out over the lake.

Five minutes further on down the track you will pass the Torraccia, an old watchtower. Reaching the residential area, the mule track is replaced by a metalled road before you reach the underpass allowing you to safely cross the main road (10 minutes). The underpass leads into the centre of Suna with its old houses, some with painted decoration, and the lakefront road with the bus stop (15 minutes).

Useful information
Cavandone ceramics workshop (Tel. +39 0323 556198)

Food and drink:  Costa Azzurra restaurant and b&b (Tel. +39 0323 496046) – Circolo ARCI, Cavandone (Tel. +39 0323 502487) – Agriturismo Il Monterosso (Tel. +39 0323 556510 - +39 335 6442859).

Notes

Without getting to Monte Rosso, the route is suitable for families with children

Surroundings

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