Corno alle Scale

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Toscana (Tuscany) / Emilia Romagna, Italy, Europe
Hiking, Skiing
Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter
6368 ft / 1941 m
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Corno alle Scale
Created On: Mar 16, 2010
Last Edited On: Mar 25, 2013


Corno alle ScaleCorno alle Scale as seen from the south

The Apennino Tosco-Emiliano is a mountain range made up from grey sandstone. Thanks to its age and glacial coverage during the last ice age its mountains are far from impressive though they reach heights above 2000. Most of the times their faces are slopes and the summits rounded hilltops with only few rocky sections in between. This makes the range a wonderful hiking destination as you can follow its ridgeline without any problems. And the ridgeline goes on and on and on ...
Corno alle Scale CirqueThe Apennino Main Ridge seen through the Corno alle Scale Cirque

As usual, there are exceptions from the rule. Libro Aperto near Abetone Pass is one but the most important and best known one is Corno alle Scale, a rocky, flat topped mountain, which drops in giant steps (the Scale) on its eastern side. The popularity of the mountain is caused by the ski resort on its eastern side (or vice versa), one of the largest resorts in the Apennino in this area, Madonna dell'Acero. Here you can find all the excesses of the Alpine ski resorts though the southern location of the place causes the winter season to be short.
Corno alle Scale Cirque from Il Cupolino

Corno alle Scale is the main mountain of a big cirque, dating back to the last ice age. It consists of our mountain, together with La Nuda to the north-east, Monte Cornaccio to the south-west and Il Cupolino to the west. None of the mountains quite reaches 2000m but Corno alle Scale misses by little more than 50m. There are two summit, Punta Giorgina (1941m) in the south and Punta Sofia in the north. They are connected by a sloped summit plateau which ends abruptly in the east. Here the famous steps start with some 50m height each.
Corno alle Scale
The Apennine main ridge
Monte Cornaccio

It is most likely that Corno alle Scale sees most visitors in the short winter season. One of the ski lifts from Madonna dell'Acero ends 20m underneath Punta Giorgina and the whole cirque serves as a downhill slope. After the season, if there is still snow left, the mountain is a popular ski tour destination. From the summits you have excellent views along the long chain of the Apennino towards the north and towards the Adriatic sea in the east. To the south there is only Monte Gennaio left, the last mountain of the high Apennino Tosco-Emiliano.

Getting There

The  CirqueThe Corno alle Scale Cirque

There are three reasonable trailheads, tw in Toscana, one in Emilia Romagna. Assuming you start from Firenze (Florence) you can reach them as follows:

Spignana Trailhead (Sentiero della Pace)
  • Take motorway A11 in direction Pisa.
  • At the exit Pistoia switch to SS66, direction San Marcello Pistoiese
  • In San Marcello follow the signs to Spignana
  • In Spignana, at the village square, take a sharp right turn (sign: Sentiero della Pace
  • Follow the road to its end ignoring all intersections
  • The trailhead id near a small farm building, you'll find a sign and a map about Sentiero della Pace.

Corno alle Scale
Corno alle Scale
Corno alle Scale

Doganaccia Trailhead
  • Take motorway A11 in direction Pisa.
  • At the exit Pistoia switch to SS66, direction San Marcello Pistoiese
  • After San Marcello turn onto SS12 to Abetone
  • Turn off right into Cutigliano and follow the mountain road through Melo to Doganaccia. There's ample parking space near the capble-car station.

Corno alle Scale
The Corno alle Scale Cirque
Corno alle Scale

Madonna del Acero (Emilia Romagna)
  • Take motorway A11 in direction Pisa.lodgings
  • At the exit Pistoia switch to SS64 direction Poretta Terme
  • At Silla switch to SS323 to Gaggio Montano
  • There switch to SS324 (signs "Corno alle Scale"
  • Drive through Lizzano in Belvedere and follow the signs to Madonna dell'Acero

Red Tape

Corno alle ScaleCorno alle Scale seen from Passo Strofinatoio

Corno alle Scale is the central mountain of the Parco Regionale di Corno alle Scale. The usual restrictions apply, especially regarding animals and plants. I'm not sure if camping is tolerated within the park limits but would think not.

Parco Regionale di Corno alle Scale


Two of the trailheads, Doganaccia and Madonna dell'Acero are well known ski areas. You'll be able to find accommodation though most likely only during the ski season. Outside the season you'll find agriturismo (holiday farms) on both side of the ridge and for all times of the year. Regular hotel and apartments might be restricted to the ski season. The nearest town with good accommodation potential is Poretta Terme some 15km to the north-east of Corno alle Scale.

Lodging (from the park's web page

And of course you can always find lodging in Firenze or Prato, about 30 - 40km to the south-east.

Weather Conditions

Corno alle ScaleCorno alle Scale seen from Monte Cornaccio

Maps & Books


Maps Online


  • Tuscany North / Toskana Nord
    Wolfgang Heitzmann / Renate Gabriel (translation: Gill Round)
    Rother Verlag
    ISBN: 978-3-7633-4812-1 (English)
    ISBN: 978-3-7633-4115-3 (German)

Corno alle Scale

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