The Hermitage of San Viano is located at about 1090 meters above sea level on the eastern crags of the Monte Roccandagia, near the path that connects Campocatino to the Valley of Arnetola. It is a suggestive chapel carved into the rock and represents an interesting example of spontaneous architecture.
In this inhospitable place Viviano (or Viano) lived as an ascetic, eating wild cabbages that miraculously grew on the rocky walls. The whole population of Vagli is strongly devoted to the blessed who was the first protector of the shepherds and, subsequently, of the miners, when the prevailing activities of the territory changed. A miracle is also attributed to Viviano.
The start of the short route will take place in Campocatino, a suggestive place among the most beautiful of the Apuan Alps at the foot of Roccandagia mountain. There is a tiny church and dozens of stone houses once used as shelters for shepherds.
Since 1991 this wonderful corner of Garfagnana has become “LIPU natural oasis” in consideration of the numerous species of birds that live there.
Meeting point for the excursion is the Campocatino Refuge, which with its culinary specialties can also be the point of refreshment upon return.
We walk only a few hundred meters and we find ourselves in front of a fountain: in front of us the lawn and the majestic wall of the Roccandagia. From here we take the path CAI 147 and we begin our walk towards the Hermitage of San Viano.
We go on for about 20 minutes crossing chestnut and beech woods up to a sheer terrace on the Arnetola valley: from here a breathtaking view with the view of the mountains Sella, Tambura and Sumbra
Now the most challenging stretch begins, following the trail that begins to fall appreciably, our attention must increase due to the foliage and stones that make the path slippery. After about 20 minutes we will find ourselves in front of a vertical wall and from here we will be able to see the ancient Hermitage embedded in the rock.