An itinerary rich in naturalist and historical hints along the slopes of Mount Pirio
The square in front of the church of San Martino marks both starting and arrival points of this interesting ring tour on the hills above the village of Luvigliano. Hub of this small hamlet of Torreglia, the church faces towards two of the most valuable monuments in the whole area, Villa dei Vescovi to the north and Villa Pollini to the east. In the past a very ancient way ran at this point. It was called “pedecollinare” meaning “foothill road” and, being slightly elevated above the surrounding plain, it ran along the edge of the hill, joining the different locations. Here was the origin of other significant penetration routes and pass roads in the mountain range, part of which will be followed during the itinerary.
From the church square we walk towards the east, alongside the retaining wall of the parish up to take the narrow path leading to the entrance of Villa Pollini. We leave the building on the left, continuing along the trail that begins to climb up the slopes of Mount Pirio. After a few hundred meters, at a hairpin bend to the left, a scenic view opens out over the valley below, allowing to admire Villa dei Vescovi from above. Our hike can resume by walking along the large rows of vines and an ancient rustic building still well preserved. The route climbs until reaching the summit of the thin ridge that runs across the whole mountain. We can recognize, among the very tidy vineyards, some old trees, including a majestic olive tree and an old mulberry (Morus alba L.), a now isolated evidence of the practice of breeding larvae of the silkworm. Just a few meters uphill and we will approach the “Case Milanta”, some very ancient buildings that gave the name to this crossroads. Here, the view opens up on all the surrounding hills, so we can see the little castle and the tower of the church of San Martino on one side and Villa dei Vescovi and Villa Tolomei on the hill Mirabello on the other side. Observing the landscape allows to realize how in the past the strategic location of watchtowers and fortified houses were functional in creating a network of visual connections for defensive purposes.
On the western façade of the building set at the crossroads, a refined sacred capital is nestled: it represents the head of a saint topped by a carved inscription "DEUSM (eus) Adiuto (r)" ("The Lord is my rescue"). It is a tabernacle from the church of the Monastery of the Olivetani on Mount Venda.
The trail continues along the dirt road that points to the north, towards Mount Solone. Further to the vineyards, along the ridge, we will encounter stretches of mixed wood of hornbeam (Ostrya carpinifolia L.) and oaks, with gorse or broom bushes (spartium Junceum L.) and smoke tree (Cotinus cocoggygria L.) along the edges. In turf, however, we can see the orchid greater (Orchis purpurea Huds.), the Pyramidal orchid (Anacamptis pyramidalis L.) and towards the end of the summer the sea holly (Eryngium amethystinum) with its unique inflorescence color amethyst.
The route starts to descend and near a crossroads, of very ancient origins, we’ll find a wooden cross. We take the way that runs down between oaks, hornbeams and maples: in short time we reach the base of the hill that houses a small furnace once used for the production of lime, then recovered and re-adapted for residential purposes. Following the descent, at the small stream that crosses the road, we can get in a clearing on the right: here we may visit close up the small yet very pure source of water, called "Calto delle Fate" for the fairy-tale aspect of the natural environment where it is located.
The last stretch of the trail reunites with Via dei Vescovi: following the surrounding wall we return to the starting point.
Iniziativa finanziata dal Programma di sviluppo rurale per il Veneto 2014-2020
Organismo responsabile dell'informazione: GAL Patavino.
Autorità di gestione: Regione del Veneto
- Direzione AdG FEASR Parchi e Foreste -