A Fairy Trail in the Apennines – Arquatotrail

Arquatotrail – a magical setting… no seriously. This really is “”once upon a time”” material. So much so, that the dainty hamlet of Castell’Arquato in Val D’Arda, in the Piacenza Apennines, was used as a set location for the 1985 fantasy film Ladyhawke, along with the nearby Castle of Torrechiara in LanghiranoParma.

This alone could be a good reason to don an imaginary crown and dive into a fairy-trail, but there’s even more in the offering.

The Arquatotrail, is hosted by the Lupi d’Appennino Sports Club, who also organise several trail races in the Piacenza Apennines, including the well loved “The Abbots Way Ultra Trail”,– that takes place in the spring along the ancient Pilgrim’s route of the same name – in Italian -– Via degli Abati.

Castell'Arquato - Piacenza
Castell’Arquato – Piacenza

Arquatotrail – Race Detials

When: 15th October 2017
Where: Castell’Arquato, Piacenza – Emilia Romagna, Italy
Distance:  22.5 km per 1000m D+
Other distances: 10km non competitive run or walk
Race website: https://arquatotrail.wordpress.com
Italy on Trail – 2017: event page
Contacts: arquatotrail@gmail.com
Nearest Airport: Milan Linate, Bologna or Bergamo Orio Al Serio

Arquatotrail - photo by Teida Seghedoni for www.modenacorre.it
Arquatotrail – photo by Teida Seghedoni for www.modenacorre.it

Why run the Arquato Trail?

With an early autumn date that perfectly brings out the best in this area, the hills take on a warm amber hue, the musky scent of woodsmoke flirts with early morning mists. Woodland paths are gently muddied, an uneven bed of resting leaves hides shy mushrooms that timidly emerge from the earth, prickly chestnut husks crackle under trail running shoes… as the warm memory of summer fades into the gentle embrace of autumn.

This is what you can expect at the Arquato Trail, together with a princely charge through the medieval centre of Castell’Arquato, a run which will take you back in time to an era of heroic events and magic.

The surrounding countryside is of equal importance to the town’s Castle and historical buildings, but we travel even further back in time, as the area is part of the Prehistoric Park of the Piacenziano. Also known as the “”Gulf of Whales””, as numerous whales and dolphin fossils have been found in the area .

Don’t miss!

  • Whilst you’re there try some tasty local food. Gutturnio and Orturugo Wines, local Salami, and if you’re in luck, local Porcini mushrooms!
  • Visit the Geological Museum in Castell’Arquato.
  • Explore Castell’Arquato.
  • Visit the nearby castle of Vigoleno

Arquato Trail






Maria E. BelliniMaria Elisabetta Bellini is Italyontrail.com’s founder, born in the U.K, she came to running whilst living in Italy, where she still lives and trains. Never ceasing to marvel at what’s at the summit of a hill, or around the bend along the trail, she loves using trail running as a means to explore nature, contemplation and Italy.