Monte Gennaio

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Toscana (Tuscany) / Emilia Romagna, Italy, Europe
Hiking, Scrambling, Skiing
Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter
5951 ft / 1814 m
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Monte Gennaio
Created On: Jun 10, 2009
Last Edited On: Mar 25, 2013


Monte GennaioMonte Gennaio as seen from Passo del Cancellino

Monte Gennaio is the first (or last depending on the direction) of the higher Appennini Mountains when you start along the main ridge northwards from Firenze. It stands solitary a little apart from the large cirque of Corno alle Scale to its north and stands sentinel across the large basin of the Arno River. Corno alle Scale is a well known ski destination in winter and thanks to the ski traffic in wintertime its neighbour, Monte Gennaio, sees a decent number of ascents. In the other seasons, however, it is visited rarely, mainly because access routes are lengthy. The shortest access is from Madonna dell'Acero in the east across Corno alle Scale and through Passo del Cancellino. The latter pass, however, can be reached from many sides and thus can serve as a general waypoint to reach the mountain.
Monte Gennaio
Monte Gennaio
Monte Gennaio

Monte Gennaio is part of the main ridge itself and thus is located directly on the border between the two regions Toscana (Tuscany) and Emilia Romagna. It is part of the Appennino Tosco-Emiliano, in which it takes a rather central (geographically) position. The hiking trail (marked 00), which crosses the whole main ridge, however, passes the mountain on its eastern side, thus avoiding the two-peakked summit. The summit ridges are exposed for Appennino standards and the col between the two peaks requires some climbing experience. The mountain is made up from layered grey sandstone but most of it is overgrown by meadows. In spring the remaining snowfields together with old hay guarantee a dangerous, slippery and nearly unprotectable ascent. On the upide the slopes are not so steep that falls cannot be arrested (I speak with the authority of own experience here).
Monte Gennaio as seen from Monte Cornaccio

The regular ascents of the mountain either follow east or west ridge but a third interesting alternative is the couloir, which comes down from the saddle between the summits. By snow conditions we were forced into it, which with proper equipment can be an enjoyable experience. Without equipment we had to follow a snow toungue which stretched out to right underneath the main summit and then negotiate the grass and hay ledges towards the top.

Getting There

Appennino main ridgeMonte Cornaccio and Monte Gennaio seen from our trailhead near Spignana

Having climbed the mountain by the "dumbest route possible", crossing Il Cupolino (1853m) and Monte Cornaccio (1881m) before descending to Passo del Cancellino, then climbing Monte Gennaio as an afterthought you can't call me an authority on the best itinerary. However, there are two general trailhead. Assuming you start from Firenze (Florence) you can reach them as follows:

Piano di Pratorsi (Toscana)
  • Take motorway A11 in direction Pisa.
  • At the exit Pistoia switch to SS66, direction San Marcello Pistoiese
  • At Passo dell Oppio swich to a side road to Gavinana. After the village turn onto a narrow mountain road which leads you to the Piano.

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

Gentiana acaulisGentiana acaulis on the north slopes of Monte Gennaio

Monte Gennaio is part 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


It is more likely that you find accommodation on the Emilia Romagnan side of the main ridge since this side of Corno alle Scale is a well-known ski area. 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 10 km to the north-east of Monte Gennaio.

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

Monte GennaioMonte Gennaio underneath towering clouds

Maps and Books


I have not been able to find detailed maps of this area so the following one is a road map, scaled 1:150000
  • Tuscanny - Florence
    Freytag & Berndt
    ISBN: 978-3-7079-0281-5

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)

Additions and CorrectionsPost an Addition or Correction

Viewing: 1-9 of 9


yatsek - Jun 11, 2009 6:09 am - Voted 10/10


How rich/poor is the wildlife - generally, in the higher Appennini Mountains?

Gangolf Haub

Gangolf Haub - Jun 11, 2009 6:16 am - Hasn't voted

Re: Wildlife

Not much when we were there - we saw two marmots over a period of two weeks. But it was a bit early as the snow was just melting. We saw a golden eagle and a mufflon girl in the Alpi Apuane and they say that wolves have been reintroduced in the Appennino.

However, we got invaded by Painted Lady Butterflies and Ladybugs during the last days. And lots of orchids, crocusses, gentians, anemones ...


yatsek - Jun 11, 2009 1:09 pm - Voted 10/10

Re: Wildlife

Not bad! Surely you chose the right time to go. Thanks for the details.




RenatoG - Jun 11, 2009 1:42 pm - Voted 10/10

Re: Wildlife

It's not exact that "wolves have been reintroduced in Appennino".

Wolves, in Italy, in the last 20/30 years had a great increase (from about 100 wolves in the '70s, to the more than 800 today) and spontaneously expanded their presence from central Apenines (from where they never disappeared) to northern Apennines and western alps (as far as France and Switzerland!)

Anyhow, in the northern Apennines, the wildlife is very rich, but at the lower altitudes: in the woods of Toscana, Emilia, Romagna, Liguria live thousands of roedeers, red deers, wild boars, foxes, etc.


Gangolf Haub

Gangolf Haub - Jun 11, 2009 4:02 pm - Hasn't voted

Re: Wildlife

"Anyhow, in the northern Apennines, the wildlife is very rich, but at the lower altitudes: in the woods of Toscana, Emilia, Romagna, Liguria live thousands of roedeers, red deers, wild boars, foxes, etc"

- which did a vanishing trick right before we arrived



RenatoG - Jun 11, 2009 4:48 pm - Voted 10/10

Re: Wildlife

Eh! eh! eh! :-D

You can't see it, it doesn't exist... ;-)

Also I, when climbed Gran Paradiso, didn't see not even an ibex ;-) And Gran Paradiso is the "land of ibex"...

Sure, you was out of luck: it's easy see roedeers and red deers along the mountain and hill roads of Emilia; and unfortunately, they cause several car accidents. Just in the province of Reggio Emilia (my mother was from there), every year they put down about 6000 roedeeers outnumbering the maximum load for the area. And wildboars do great damages to the cultures... And Reggio Emilia has only a little stretch of Northern Apennines.


Gangolf Haub

Gangolf Haub - Jun 12, 2009 1:30 am - Hasn't voted

Re: Wildlife

After all, traces of wild boars were visible :-) But the fact remains that it was too early for all these animals to be were we we hiking. As long as you stay on the ridges as long as the forests are still under a snow cover they will stay below. And we were summit bound ...

As for Ibexes - go to the Julian Alps - On Monte Cimone they nearly ate from our hands :-)

Oh - and since I'll post a number of summits from the Appennino Tosco Emiliano, I'll also create an overview page. I'll need all help I can get so feel free to add comments and such ...


yatsek - Jun 12, 2009 2:43 am - Voted 10/10

Re: Wildlife

OK, guys :) - let's agree it's neither Slovenia nor Slovakia but the wolves are a huge success.


RenatoG - Jun 12, 2009 1:23 pm - Voted 10/10

Re: Wildlife

Ah, ok: in the summit bound you can't see deers neither in summer... I said: "(...)the wildlife is very rich, but at the lower altitudes", that's forest...

I saw many ibexes: in Julian Alps (Slovenia) and Dolomites (Marmolada, Sella), so it seemed to me even more strange I can't see them in Gran Paradiso ;-)


I fear I can't give you any help for the Overview page of App. Tosco-Emiliano, because I saw these mountains only from below, I never hiked there... My comment was only to fix the assertion "the wolves have been reintroduced": they said to you a big lie, often used by hunters and farmers to justify illegal hunting.


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