Via Vandelli

Via Vandelli, Massa: Address, Via Vandelli Reviews: 4.5/5

Via Vandelli
4.5
Historic Walking Areas
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The "Via Vandelli is an ancient trade and military road of the Duchy of Modena. It was strongly supported by the Duke Francesco III d'Este and originally connected the cities of Modena and Massa, the abbot engineer, geographer and mathematician Domenico Vandelli Court was commissioned to conceive and design a new road course for business and war.
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Brun066
Florence, Italy11,056 contributions
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Despite Resceto is part of the municipality of Massa, only three times a day (and two times on public holidays) the # 78 bus coming from Massa city center reaches this tiny hamlet, built into the deep valley at the foot of Mount Tambura. Obviously those traveling by car will have less trouble reaching it.
Resceto is the current head of one of the most extraordinary (as it remained virtually untouched) examples of 18th century road technology, in Italy and perhaps in Europe: the Via Vandelli. This is due to a lucky combination of circumstances.
The first circumstance is the very thorough construction (starting 1738) of this road, which is named after the mathematician who has designed and directed the work, Domenico Vandelli. The road linked Modena with Massa, then with the Tyrrhenian Sea, when the Duchy of Modena and principality of Massa and Carrara have merged, through a marriage between the two dynasties.
The second circumstance is the sudden decommissioning, after a few decades, of the road (and especially of the daring stretch, that from Resceto reaches the ridge of the Apuan Alps), because replaced by easier routes.
The result is a conservation both of the road geometry and of its size, exactly as it was conceived centuries ago: a series of hairpin bends that in just 6 Kms run through a vertical drop of 1200 mts; and a 2,5 mts width, which smoothly allowed a carriage transit (but obviously not the intersection between two of them).
The original pavement has been recently restored, then the road is easy to walk, up to the ridge.
Follow this route over favorable weather (but be careful in the summer: the side of the valley is quite bare, then there is no shadow) allows a very interesting excursion as for the landscape, but even more for the experience that it allows, about a rare example of road archeology.
If you wish, close to the route summit, at the "Nello Conti" hut (1442 mts, open from June to September, and also on weekends) you can have your lunch.
Written March 10, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
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