Hiking Monte Grappa: The #1 Activity You Can’t Miss in Paderno del Grappa
Written by Mikaela April 5, 2016
I recently I had one of the best experiences of my life hiking Monte Grappa, the mountain towering over campus and the beautiful view from my window. In a heartbeat, I would encourage anybody to take the hike up and down Monte Grappa. The beautiful views and feels brought chills to my arms and elevated my study abroad experience.
A CIMBA professor, Simone, kindly shared his love for nature by guiding us on the Monte Grappa journey. One of my favorite moments was the strong sensation of accomplishment once I rounded the mountain peak to be towering 6000 ft above the miles of dark green valley and campus below. Especially after I put all of my energy and strength to have that bird’s eye view of Italy’s Veneto region. Then when I turned and left that view behind me, I was floating among the multiple other snowy white mountain peaks; the beauty was breathtaking.
We took an hour and half break eating lunch at the restaurant that rests on top of Monte Grappa. I had homemade pasta with mushrooms, sausage, and a light red sauce. Honestly, it was one of the best Italian pastas I have had here. Then we drank lots of water, grabbed our walking sticks, and started our journey down.
The way down was much easier and filled with more laughs than deep breathing. The top of the mountain was covered with snow, so of course we thought sliding down the snow in our leggings and tennis shoes was the best way to get down. It certainly was efficient and a great time. We had the most fun taking turns to get a running start to slide all the way down the steepest parts. (Don’t worry, Mom. We were able to stop ourselves safely.) We were cold but our excitement was elevated to the max; it didn’t even matter.
Once we made it through the snowy hike (slide) down, we only had ⅔ left of the hike. This part was even better because we stopped more often to soak in the sites. At one point I stumbled upon a little secret part of Monte Grappa’s history. There were ruins of an old building that used to be a food storage location during WWII. A rectangular stone room with a small window was still standing among the building’s remains. The drip of water falling through a hole in the roof of it echoed around us. Even the vines of the trees and bushes that wove and curled around the stone room, arch ways, and columns, was rich in green color and beauty.
We continued to a lookout point where a couple other students and I sat in silence. As I sat on the cool rocks, I could feel the power of the massive and towering mountain sides surrounding me. The warmth of the sun beaming through the openings of the mountain sides warmed my face. It was a peaceful and empowering moment.
The hike was a full day commitment of 8 hours and it was worth every step, gulp of water, and drip of sweat. I have climbed the Chimborazo volcano in Ecuador, which was an experience in itself, but my climb to the top of Monte Grappa definitely topped that climb. If you feel you can take the challenge of hiking miles mostly uphill, the physical and mental rewards will move you.