First World War One Day Itineraries through Italy. Suggestion no. 12: the Flower’s Footpath on Adamello

Passerella del Gendarme
di Casamadre (source:
We have already recalled the strategic importance of the Adamello mountain range during the WWI when we described the itinerary to Rifugio Mandrone. Today we’d like to suggest another footpath on it: the Sentiero dei Fiori. Despite the easygoing name, the Flower’s footpath (Sentiero dei Fiori) is an itinerary for high expert hikers, which has to be undertaken during the summer in order to avoid ice and snow and only with excellent weather conditions. Experience and good physical shape is required because the circular itinerary is very exposed and takes about 6-7 hours. Besides the usual high-mountain equipment, you need therefore a via ferrata set, a helmet and a torch; crampons and ice axe are useful during the way back trough the Presena glacier. Above all you should not be afraid of heights: the path is in fact equipped with cables, ladders and hanging footbridges. Yet, if you walk on it you will enjoy the indescribable beauty of the landscape and observe along the road a great variety of alpine flower from which the track takes its name. And for us not to omit, you get the chance to walk an old thrilling and poignant trail of the Great War and to experience so for few steps what really meant the Alpine War of the 1915-1918.

View ascending to Castellaccio pass
Starting point is the Tonale Pass. If you drive with direction Ponte di Legno about 400m, you will find on your left the cable car "Paradiso", where you can park. The cable car takes you in about 15 minutes to Paradiso Pass. Please note that it works only during the summer time; alternatively opposite to the War Memorial at the highest point of the pass, a path winds up the cable car pylons to Passo del Paradiso; already in autumn it would however be probably impossible to continue to the Flower’s footpath due to the weather conditions on the top. From Passo Paradiso (2.590 m) walk along the little Laghetto di Monticelli inferiore (the lower lake of the Monticelli) and turn then right. Take the path n.44 that climbs quickly into a scree, where you'll find a monument to the WWI fallen men; barbed wire used to hinder a possible Austrian attack to the Pass can be seen everywhere. In about 1 hour you reach the Castellaccio Pass (2963 m), where you can have a great view on the Adamello-Presanella group. The Flowers’ footpath starts from here and runs along the crest for about 1.45 hours, till it reaches the Capanna Faustinelli. It is an equipped trail, recently restored, in a spectacular environment which is marked by the signs of the WWI.

The second footbridge today
Put on your climbing harness and the via ferrata kit on the Pass, and then you can start to walk. The first part follows the ledge with the help of metal ropes and boardwalks and leads to the small pass called “Gendarme di Casamadre”, from where the footpath continue along two footbridges, the first one is 75 meters long, the second one 55 meters. In July 2011 they were restored according to the photos taken during the Great War. As soon as the Italian soldiers arrived in this place at the front line, they built these hanging bridges in order to reach the military village of Lagoscuro pass. If you walk hanging in the empty space it is not difficult to taste a little more what the Alpine War was, especially if you try to imagine being in the winter time. In 1918 a tunnel was then dug in order to provide an alternative way to the aerial walkways and assure a better shelter from the Austrian snipers. You can walk in it, the entrance lays short before the starting point of the first footbridge (a torch is useful). The path continues then to Capanna Faustinelli (also called Capanna Lagoscuro), a small hut from the war time, then restored, at the foot of the Corno Lagoscuro (3165 m), where you can sit outside and have a break (the hut is often closed, for information contact the Amici di Capanna Lagoscuro). The landscapes is breathtaking, overlooking the range of the Rhaetian Alps. From here you have two possibility for the way back. Descend in direction of the underlying Lagoscuro Pass and after few rocks, on your left, you will find a signal-path with direction Refuge Capanna Presena, where you can also eat. This alternative enables you to avoid the Presena glaciers and is quicker. Otherwise, walk to Lagoscuro Pass (2070 m), from here you can reach in 1 hour the underlying lake, then climb in about 45 minutes to Maroccaro Pass, reach the Presena glacier and then in half an hour the Refuge Capanna Presena. From here you can reach by chair lift Passo Paradiso, and then by cable car Passo Tonale.

For further information or for support in planning your trekking we suggest to contact the Guide Alpine Adamello.