Route: Via Vandelli - from Modena to Massa (Italy)

Submitted by offriends on Mon, 11/28/2022 - 01:27pm
Modena, IT
Massa-Carrara, IT
172 km
Vertical Gain
5,360 m

The Via Vandelli connects Modena and Massa. Duke Francesco III d'Este asked Domenico Vandelli for a project for a modern road, easy to maintain, which passes only through the territories of the Este duchy. The first project of 1738 follows the Via Bibulca. The second project of 1739 is the most innovative and legendary one. It is a road born of the Enlightenment, of a ruler and his designer. The first European road designed and equipped with infrastructure for accommodation and refreshment, a gigantic work of human ingenuity. Today, most of it is hidden under modern roads, or fades into paths, or disappears into meadows and woods. 150 kilometers in length : two passes over 1600 meters in height : departure from Modena at 34 meters above sea level, arrival in Massa at 64 meters above sea level : 85 kilometers uphill : 65 kilometers downhill : asphalt, clay, stones, rock , mud, meadows.
There are seven classic stages, each of which can be covered on foot in a single day, with good training given that some stages have challenging gradients.