Hiking Bologna: Parco del Corno alle Scale (Day One)

This past weekend we made a last minute attempt to plan a trip to the famous Dolomites using a 2-3 day hiking itinerary that we had tucked away for a free weekend. Alas, last minute planning doesn’t really fly when you are planning a trip to one of the most popular attractions in Italy during prime hiking season. Once my inbox was filled with e-mails from completely booked rifugi (the mountain shelters we were hoping to sleep in), we quickly started formulating our plan B. With the help of a 9-year-old guidebook I checked out from the library, we landed on a weekend trip to Parco Regionale del Corno alle Scale.

Corno alle Scale (1945m/6381ft) is the highest peak in the Bolognese Apennines and is distinctive with its sandstone layers that make it look like steps (hence the name “Corno alle Scale” which means “Horn of the Stairs”). In Winter, the park surrounding Corno alle Scale is a ski resort. In the summer, it is a popular destination for hiking, mountain biking, and horseback riding.

On day 1, we hiked up Monte La Nuda and spent the night at the refugio Sega Vecchia. Yes, Monte La Nuda means what you think it does. The Naked Mountain. And it’s easy to see why it has that name when you view it from afar. Its bald top sticks out among its tree-covered neighbors.

View of Mt. La Nuda from our hike on Day 2

The Hike

Description: The trail starts from the refugio Sega Vecchia. Go past the refugio and through the parking lot where you will find the trailhead. Take CAI 117 all the way to the summit (2- 2.5h). While most of the hike up is wooded, you are awarded great views of Corno Alle Scale and the surrounding Apennines at the top. To descend, follow CAI 129. The initial descent on 129 is a bit nerve wracking. We employed some backwards scrambling to get down. Follow 129 down until you descend to a gravel road. Turn right and take CAI 323. Then take CAI 123 to return to Sega Vecchia.

Time: 5-6 hours depending on how long you enjoy the view at the top.

Elevation gain: 920m/3018ft

Distance from Bologna: 1.5 – 2h

Take CAI 117 all the way to the summit of Mt. La Nuda

The final trail leading to the summit of Mt. Nuda

Resting at the summit and enjoying the view of Corno alle Scale

Monte La Nuda (1828m/5997ft) is a jagged ridge north of the Corno alle Scale. It is so named because its highest part is completely devoid of trees and shrubs.

When finished enjoying the views at the summit, take CAI 129 to CAI 333 to CAI 123 to return to Sega Vecchia

All in all, we enjoyed hiking to the nude top of Monte La Nuda. Compared to the hike we did on Day 2, which offered good views from start to finish, this hike wasn’t as glamorous. But, it also was not as popular, which meant we got to enjoy all of the goodness that comes with having a trail to yourself.

Next up: Rifugio Sega Vecchia – our first night in an Italian mountain hut


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