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Page Type: Mountain/Rock

Location: Parma, Italy, Europe

Lat/Lon: 44.36031°N / 10.10279°E

Object Title: Torricella

County: Emilia-Romagna

Activities: Hiking, Mountaineering, Trad Climbing, Ice Climbing, Skiing

Season: Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Elevation: 5669 ft / 1728 m


Page By: AlbertoRampini

Created/Edited: Dec 1, 2013 / Dec 2, 2014

Object ID: 878098

Hits: 1008 

Page Score: 84.82%  - 19 Votes 

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Torricella m. 1728

Monte Torricella is a twice summit on a secondary ridge, starting from the main boundary ridge between Emilia-Romagna and Tuscany, and overlooking towards West the basin of Lago Verde and towards East Pratospilla with rocky and steep sides. It’s a summit entirely located in Parma province and belonging to the Eastern Appennino Parmense, frequently climbed all round year; a visit is particularly recommended in winter time, due to the very interesting ice-gullies lying on the Western side of the peak. This face overlooks the Lago Verde basin m. 1484 with some rocky spurs, giving the origin to some different gullies, rising from the indistinct basal slopes and becoming steeper in their upper part.

Torricella Western gullies
Torricella Western gullies

The most interesting sector of Western face is located on the right and runs between two gullies: a wide slope-gully named Canalone dei Ghiri on the left hand side, rising to a wide saddle, and a direct narrow gully, named Canale dei Merli, on the right hand side. In the middle of the summit ridge the wide obvious saddle separates the true summit, the Southern one, the highest, lying on the right, from the easier conventional summit, the Northern, on the left, where is located the summit cross.

The twin summits of Torricella
The twin summits of Torricella
The Southern summit in wintertime
The Southern summit in wintertime
Parties on Canale Bianco (White Gully)
Parties on Canale Bianco (White Gully)

Getting There

The starting point is Pratospilla m. 1351, a sky station located nearby the great lake named Lagastrello and the village of Rigoso in the Eastern Appennino Parmense.

The nearest town is Parma, a 200.000 inhabitants town, with a small airport offering some domestic flies and only a few international ones. A good choice of international flies is provided by Milano and Bologna International Airports, both situated at a reasonable distance (Milano 110 km., Bologna 90 km.).
Parma is well linked to Milano and Bologna by the A1 motorway (Autostrada del Sole) and to Tuscany by the A15 motorway (Autocisa).

- Access from A1 Motorway (Autostrada del Sole)
If you’re getting there from A1, coming from Bologna or from Milano, take the main Parma exit.

- Access from Parma to Pratospilla: follow the road SP 665 (Massese) towards Langhirano and Pastorello; getting the Pastorello roundabout carry on straightly to Ranzano, Palanzano and Monchio delle Corti, getting to Pratospilla, a sky station nearby the village of Rigoso.

Walking approach to South ridge normal route and West face

From Pratospilla m. 1351 follow the trail n. 707 to Lago Ballano; after 10 minutes leave it and take on the left the variant n. 707a, which skirts the Northern slopes of Monte Torricella, getting the Lago Verde. Don't reach the lake, but stay high over the left shore of the lake (summer mark n. 707), traversing under the West slopes of Torricella (1 hour from Pratospilla)

Torricella, approach track
Approaching from Lago Verde
A winter storm coming on Torricella
Torricella seen from Rocca Pianaccia

Routes overview

Torricella Central Gully
Central Gully

- South ridge (Normal route from Lago Verde)

Alpine PD, 400 m. difference in level from Pratospilla, longer develop

The most interesting amongst the normal routes, but not the easiest. The starting point is from a saddle on the right hand of West face. The ridge, involving some short easy sections of rock climb, reachs the Southern summit.

- North ridge (Normal route from Pratospilla)

Alpine F, 400 m. difference in level from Pratospilla

This route has a shorter approach and shows an easier climb to the Northern summit (the conventional one), but it's much less interesting that the previous route. This route is starting along the trail 707a, without reaching Lago Verde.

West face winter gullies

- Canalone dei Ghiri Alpine PD m. 200 - A wide gully, the easiest amongst the Western gullies

- Central Gully Alpine AD m. 200 - The most difficult of the face

- Canale Bianco Alpine AD- m. 200

- Canale dei Merli Alpine PD+ m. 200

Descent: the South ridge is more difficult, but panoramic and has the advantage to go down to the same starting point
The descent on the North side is shorter and joins the trail n. 707a without returning to the starting point of West face ice-gullies.

Torricella main winter routes
Torricella main routes: A Canalone dei Ghiri - B Central Gully - C Canale Bianco (White Gully) - D Canale dei Merli - E South ridge
A party on Torricella summit crest
The summit ridge to the Southern summit

Red Tape

There are not particular restrictions in hiking, climbing and mountaineering.
Anyhow, since 1995 the areas of Val Cedra and Val Parma are located under the rules of the Regional Park named Parco dei Cento Laghi (One Hundred Lakes Park).
In late years these areas had been included inside a largest national park, named Parco Nazionale dell’Appenino Tosco-Emiliano (Tosco-Emiliano National Park); wood fires are prohibited as well as free camping and other harmful activity. The whole fauna and flora are protected. Don’t disturb fauna and other mountaineering and hikers’ peacefulness.

Please respect the following rules inside Parco Nazionale dell'Appennino Tosco-Emiliano:

When to Climb

On Monte Torricella it’s possible to climb all around the year. Winter ascents require the essential gear as rope, helmet, crampons, ice-axe, ice-anchors.

Climbing Canale Bianco (White Gully)
Climbing Canale Bianco (White Gully)
Approaching South ridge normal route
Approaching South ridge normal route
South ridge
South ridge

Climate and Meteo info

Climate is subcontinental, with cold and snowing winters and pleasant summers, dry but not too hot, because of the mitigating influence of the Tyrrenian Sea and the action of the winds.


Where to stay

Capanna Cagnin (Cagnin Hut)
Capanna Cagnin

- Rifugio Pratospilla m. 1351 +390521890194

Rifugio Pratospilla

Capanna Cagnin is a little emergency shelter always open nearby Lago Verde

Guidebooks and maps

"Arrampicaparma" by Silvia Mazzani - Alberto Rampini, New edition 2011, Pareti e Montagne Edizioni


“Le valli del Cedra e del Parma (The Cedra and Parma Valleys)” Map 1:25.000 (CAI-Regione Emilia-Romagna)

“Alto Appennino Parmense Est” Map 1:50.000 (CAI-Regione Emilia-Romagna)

External Links

Parco Nazionale Appennino Tosco-Emiliano

Club Alpino Italiano Sez. di Parma