At the beginning of January, I found a group of women who go on full-day, genuine hikes every Wednesday. I was so excited to actually make use of my hiking boots again!! They meet early in the morning and bring a packed lunch to eat on the hike.
Two weeks ago I went with this group to Monte Serrata, which is about an hour north of Rome. The group consists of mostly women who are foreigners but living in Italy permanently. I was by far the youngest, but I enjoyed their company very much!
The day started at 8 am, meeting early so as to avoid rush hour traffic in Rome. As we were driving towards the mountain, it was very foggy outside and we were worried that it might be rainy. Being January, what is supposed to be the rainy season, it was a good possibility. The hike started in a city that was positioned on the top of one of three peaks on a the mountain. As we approached the city, the fog was left below us in the valley, creating the illusion of a sea which we were driving through only minutes before. The mountain appeared, not as a mountain, but as three tiny islands. Above the fog the skies were blue and sunny, the air crisp and clear.
The hike started out on a small road that was actually the driveway to a monastery that was on top of the second peak. Then we ventured off the road onto the real trail. It was so refreshing to be climbing over rocks again, rather than pavement! Once we got to the top of the mountain, the trail followed the ridge, providing an amazing view of the valley below. There was still plenty of fog, but it was starting to clear in some areas. We arrived at the main entrance of the monastery and stopped for a water break, since there was a small fountain there. Then we continued on to the last and highest peak, which didn't have anything on it currently, but there appeared to be ruins of a chapel there.
We stopped there for lunch. Oh it was so beautiful! After lunch, we went back towards the town on a different route, that went pretty much straight across to the town where we started. It was such a relaxing and refreshing day, I'm looking forward to many more amazing hikes on the coming Wednesdays!!