The Park and the trench
What you are looking for in a mountain bike excursion you can find it travelling through Salvatore Furia’s Park in Masciago Primo in the Province of Varese.
Not everyone knows that a few kilometres from Varese, between Valcuvia and Valganna, there is a very charming naturalistic park. Its inauguration was in June 2016 and it is dedicated to the scholar and popularizer Salvatore Furia, already founder of Campo dei Fiori astronomical Company.
The Park presents a ring route of about 5 km, which can be done on foot or by mountain bike. Along the itinerary there are some charming naturalistic “attractions”, sometimes also hidden,
My experience in mountain bike starts from MtbVarese in Malgesso and ends, path after path, to the small village of Masciago Primo. It is a fascinating place with few hundreds of inhabitants that has been able to conserve its own “pearls”.
The small village of Masciago Primo
The small village in its central settlement is formed by rural houses having well preserved stone walls. It is a village aware of its discreet charme that does not want to show beauty off, but is the beauty itself. Above all stands out the Church of Sant’Agnese , one of the oldest of Valcuvia.
Once left the small village centre an excellent signage shows us the direction to follow to reach Salvatore Furia’s Park. You will have to pedal along Via Mazzini, a way that recalls the typical mountain roads, to reach in the end a small votive chapel. From here starts the itinerary along Salvatore Furia’s Park.
It is a small Marian building and is the starting point of Salvatore Furia’s path.
Please note that the park ring must be travelled counterclockwise
What to see
The geology of Masciago Primo
Few hundred metres from the starting point,along a steep climb, we meet some karstic rocks.Three stony blocks will give you interesting information about the geology of this place. An excellent signage (included in the Interreg Italy-Switerland project (the European Fund of the regional development) explains accurately the calender of the geologic period. Who will want,with a bit of patience, will be able to deepen interesting subjects about the local rocks.
Dry walls (Buss del Diavolo)
Going on along the path, to be travelled by mountain bike with the utmost attention,we will meet some dry walls. A successful attempt of some ancient rustic activities to control and cultivate the wood.These dry walls permitted to build paths with the material available on location, without using cement or other aggregating materials.
Continuing our itineray we will reach a junction:on the left you will find the indication towards Cadorna line, on the right towards the petrifying sources. While going on the right I immediately realized that the technical difficulties began to increase. A path that does not exist, but must be only designed. A climb along a moraine,at times of grass, that hiddens in its bottom big stones and trees.
After several attempts in the end I found the right way to ascend it. The effort was repaid by fun everytime I found some technical difficulties and above all when I reached the “Buss del Diavolo” This millstone of dark gneiss is a failed attempt of creating a wheel for it and so abandoned by the local farmers. Around this stone there is also a local legend. The old people told that this blackened stone with a central hole was the consequence of the devil’s rage, since he couldn’t lead the local farmers down the wrong path
The Petrifying Sources
The sources are a natural patrimony and as such must be safeguarded. They are in Pisarota. From the mountain rock pours a source and over time along its structure have been formed some groups of plants called Briofite.They are the first vegetal organisms to have conquered the earth. These groups have permitted the formation,the petrifaction and the consolidation of the calcium carbonate, which slowly in millions of years permitted the formation of rocks.For this reason this place is called “ petrifying sources”.
At the foot of the sources it is easy to find, hidden in their habitat, the fire salamander and more unlikely the crayfish.
The erratic rock of Rossera
Left the petrifying sources we are coming back to the path showing Cadorna Line. This path is an “anteroom” rich of biodiversities with a wood full of vegetation and some parts with small technical passages to be travelled carefully, above all for inexperienced mountain bikers.
The path leading to the erratic rock will show us along the way a signage about the types of plants in the wood. Slowly, without even realizing it, we will arrive to take the military road that is gradually climbing up and ride along a clearing on our right, which is actually a pasture of a local farm.
On the left we will find a path that will bring us few hundreds metres from the erratic rock of Rossera. It is a big stone block of gneiss transported thousands of years ago from the glaciers which dominated a great part of the territory.During the melting of the glaciers these big blocks of rock were abandoned in the same place they are now. The most careful observer can notice that the most erratic rocks follow the same orientation line, fast all north/south.
On our mountain bike we will go on along the path following the indications given.We will have to pedal with the utmost attention along a trace that has got sometimes some ravines on the left hidden by vegetation, that in case of fall won’t be able to hold you up.I suggest you doing these short ways with your bike in the portage modality.On my opinion this part of the itinerary is the most technical, where you cannot distract. Few metres that can make the difference between a beautiful excursion and a bad memory.
We are almost arrived to the military line, a few hundreds of metres again and we are there! Once left this part of the wood we reach the main path which links Bedero Valcuvia to Masciago Primo and the valley districts : Cadorna Line.
We will find with all its history the trench with its bunker. A fortification hidden by the mountain rocks for a defensive goal.The trench, visitable inside, headed towards Valcuvia and was defended by a supposed invasion by the enemy coming from Switzerland.Inside the trench the rocky environment seems dry, it doesn’t seem to have over 100 years of history.It has two entries, a lookout stationing towards the valley and an exit chimney towards the upper part of the cave. It is very curious to find a small water source wisely gathered in a tank obtained by the rock.A perfectly functioning source even after 100 years from its creation!
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