Stage 9 : Sanza / Monte Cervati / Sanza
The 9th stage will ask you to make a choice. You can take it easy and continue the Silent Way towards Morigerati, 35 km far from Sanza, see the next day of the tour. Alternatively, you can climb on the Cervati mountain up to 1898 MASL. This is the highest mountain in the entire region. If you decide to climb, you shall prepare adequately. The Cervati mountain is spectacular, however you will face 24 km of climb (7 km on asphalt road, and 17 km on dirt road). During the last stretch, you will even have to push your bike for a bit, or just leave it and enjoy the walk. For this reason, it is advised to leave the bags in the structure that hosted on the previous evening and just bring a small bag with some food and water with you.
At 1100 MASL, in the village Colle del Pero, you will find a sign pointing you towards Affondatore di Vallivona. Follow that direction even if you will deviate temporarily from the Silent Way. In about 10 minutes you will reach the entrance of a tunnel, it is roughly 400 meters long. Be sure you have proper anti-slip shoes and a flashlight, the tunnel is completely dark. Leave your bike before the tunnel, and secure it with a chain and a lock. At the end of the tunnel you will find something unique, it will seem like you have travelled in time. You will enter into a cave with a unique microclimate that allows prehistoric plants to still leave and prosper, the Farfaracchio. From there, walk back outside of the tunnel and continue your journey towards the top of the Cervati mountain and the Church of the Snow Mary.
Nature here is at its best. Here, only the Broom tree survives. All around you will only have calcareous rock and silence. It is exactly here that you will finally understand the reason that lead you to the Silent Way in the first place.