From Lago Santo to Monte Marmagna: The Best Hike in the Apennines
Lago Santo is a great place to relax after a hike. It is also the starting point of other hikes. Basically, it is a relaxing crossing point between tourists, trekkers, and hikers. If you are planning to hike in the area, sleep in the mountain hut, or summit Monte Marmagna, you should read this article to get all the information you need before heading to Lago Santo.
The article is split into 3 different parts. The first one is practical information to get to the hike. The second one is the full story of the ascent from the car park to Lago Santo and Monte Marmagna. The third part gathers questions you should be curious about.
How to get to the hike (Anello del Lago Santo e Monte Marmagna)?
The hike starts right in the middle of the western part of Emilia Romagna. The closest “big town” is Parma and the closest town is Corniglio. Before arriving to the car park, you will also cross some smaller villages.
Note that the road is mountainous and can be sinuous. This means that you should not underestimate the time it takes to get to the car park.
Where is the car park?
The car park you should head to is called Parcheggio Lagdei (Lagdei car park). Check the following screenshot to have an idea of where it is.
How to get to the car park?
Getting to the car park is relatively easy if you have a GPS that has a good database. However, this may not be the case with your GPS. If you cannot find Parcheggio Lagdei on your GPS, I recommend that you use the Waze App. Indeed, Waze does have Parcheggio Lagdei in its database.
If you want a bird’s eye view of the itinerary from Parma and Corniglio to the car park, here are two screenshots of Google Maps using the Directions option.
As mentioned earlier, the road is sinuous, especially at the end, so you should not underestimate the time it takes to drive from Parma to the car park.
Where is the trail (sentiero)?
The sentiero (the trail) starts one hundred meters after the car park. Just cross Rifugio Lagdei and you will find your way.
The Hike from Lago Santo to Monte Marmagna: full guide
Now that you know how to get the trail, you are ready for the funny part: the hike. You can choose different options to get to the summit of Monte Marmagna.
The first option is a chairlift (seggiovia) from the beginning of the trail to Lago Santo. However, the chairlift is not always working, so you should make sure to check the timetable before heading there.
When I was there back in August 2020, I did not use the chairlift to get to Lago Santo. This adds between 60 and 90 minutes of hiking. Then, once you arrive at Lago Santo, you can have a break before summiting Monte Marmagna.
This first section of the hike is in the woods, which means that you won’t suffer from the heat. Also, at the lake, there is a fountain, so you can drink some extremely fresh water.
What I would recommend is the following:
- if you feel ready for a long hike (4-6 hours), do not take the seggiovia (the chairlift)
- if you feel ready for a shorter hike (3 hours), take the seggiovia
The second part of the hike from Lago Santo to Monte Marmagna is not in the woods during the whole time. The first third of the second part is in the woods, but the other thirds are in Alpine landscapes (no trees). This means that you may suffer from the heat.
You should take advantage of the fountain of Lago Santo and fill your bottles before getting to the second part of the trail.
Then, once you reach the top, you will be at 1,852 meters above sea level. Indeed, Monte Marmagna is 1,852 meters high, making it one of the highest summits in the area. There are higher mountains in the Apennines which exceed 2,000 meters, but they are located East of this area.
On the trail, you may see some trekkers among the tourists. This is not surprising because this hike is part of a running track called Anello del Lago Santo e Monte Marmagna. If you want more information about trekking around Lago Santo and Monte Marmagna, I recommend that you check TrekkingItalia, a specialized website of the area.
Frequently Asked Questions you need to see before doing the Anello del Lago Santo e Monte Marmagna
Before heading to the trail without thinking, you may want to know some information to plan the hike. The answers to the following questions will help you to prepare for your trip to the summit of Monte Marmagna.
That will help you to know where to eat at lunch, and even where you can sleep if you plan a several-day hike! So, here are the questions about the Anello del Lago Santo e Monte Marmagna.
- Are there ristorantes (restaurants) on the trail?
- Is there a rifugio (a mountain hut) on the trail?
- Dove si trova il rifugio Mariotti? Where is Mariotti mountain hut?
- What is the meteo (the weather) in Monte Marmagna?
Are there ristorantes (restaurants) on the trail?
There is one restaurant at the beginning of the trail in the Rifugio Lagdei. There is also a restaurant in the Rifugio Mariotti, located at Lago Santo. Elsewhere, there is no place to eat.
Is there a rifugio (a mountain hut) on the trail?
There is a mountain hut on the trail at Lago Santo. It is called Rifugio Marioti (Mariotti mountain hut) and you can eat here.
Dove si trova il rifugio Mariotti? Where is Mariotti mountain hut?
Rifugio Mariotti is located at Lago Santo. It is a mountain hut for hikers.
What is the meteo (the weather) in Monte Marmagna?
During the winter season, snow can fall all the mountain. It is not recommended to summit Monte Marmagna during the winter season. However, during the summer season, there is usually sun in the area.
I did this hike back in August 2020, and it was one of the best hikes of my life. The landscapes which the Appennines offer is incredible. It is something you should enjoy too. Now that you have all the data necessary to plan your hike, don’t wait and go for it.
If you are a hiker looking for inspiration about his next hikes, I recommend that you check two other articles I wrote on my website:
See you somewhere in the world!