We set off from Rome at 8:30 one brisk Saturday morning in October to tackle the summit of Monte Passeggio, (2064 m, ca. 6500 ft). We relished the fall colors – autumn rust and golden yellows – of the panorama in front of us as we left Prato di Campoli (1143 m). The beech trees had shed many of their leaves, creating a soft carpet for our small group of trekkers as we headed through the forest to the craggy mountain side, following a well-marked albeit rough trail.
The purpose of the trek was to find a ‘cache’ hidden on Monte Passeggio and log it in on the web. Geocaching is a high-tech treasure hunting game played throughout the world by treasure seekers with GPS devices. The ‘cache’ is a usually small waterproof container with some objects and a logbook; you then share your experiences online.
We knew we were late starting up at noon as we met hunters descending with their several rabbit and truffle dogs each and other hikers warning of the cold at the top. Indeed, we did find patches of snow near the ridge, adding slipperiness to the general challenge of the rocky outcroppings and scree. It was NOT easy going up… the website called it la faticosa salita (the exhausting climb), although they were correct in saying that lo spettacolare panorama cancella la fatica (the spectacular panorama wipes out the exhaustion).
Photos courtesy of Eva St.Onge, who made it to the top and writes:The climb to the summit, although exhausting, was well-worth the sweat. Walking on the ridgeline afforded a view “on top of the world”. Getting hit by a snowball from the “leader” was refreshing and motivating. The ‘cache’ included a patch from Georgia, and being a Georgia girl, this was like getting a care package from mom.