The Monte Procinto is a truly unique mountain formation. A square tower of 150 m with straight and overhanging walls on all 4 sides. For almost a century a Via Ferrata has been aided that climbs up the rock formation and allows reaching the summit grove in about 40 minutes.
The starting point for the itinerary is the Alto Mattana hotel which is reached on a narrow, steep but well-maintained road. To reach the bar (it does not offer the possibility to stay overnight), you must reach the Garfagnana from Lucca following the SS 12, then take direction Diecimo first, then Pescaglia. Cross the village of Pascoso and following the signs for "Albergo Alto Mattana" turn left onto a paved road.
Directions for Google Maps available here.
The CAI path 5 begins behind the hut and we will have to follow it to the right uphill to the north. Cross a basin (Collare di Mattana) and start descending along the south face of Monte Nona. From this basin the panettone of Monte Procinto in south west direction. Descend into the woods to a junction where we will leave the CAI 5 which descends towards the Forte dei Marmi Hut and we take a thin trail to the right indicating Monte Procinto. We pass a wooden bridge and we find ourselves in the narrow ledge that runs along the base of the Procinto. Reaching the base we keep to the left and in a few minutes we will have to be careful to notice the deviation that to the right leads without signaling to the gravestones and therefore to the start of the Ferrata Aristide Bruni (1h from parking place).
You climb a metal ladder with either rope and chain. Subsequently we climb a wall in which several steps are artifically carved that come up in greater exposure. Steps after steps we find metal equipment helping the progression. Pay attention to the rope and to the chain not perfectly tensed which could make you loose balance.
At this point we are on a comfortable terrace before a passage where it is not trivial to find holds for the feet. Continue up the hill using also some artificial steps, go along a diagonal ledge and with the last minutes of ascent inside the stepped wood we reach the top (40' from the start - 1h 40' from the parking lot).
The descent takes place on the same route as the outward journey. Care must be taken to hikers who proceed uphill. Once at the base of Monte Procinto, return to meet until you reach the CAI 5 abandoned on the outward journey. Follow it uphill and after crossing the Mattana Collar, go down to the car (1h 20 'from the end of the via ferrata - 3h overall).
The Ferrata del Procinto is a short and short trip that is practicable during most of the year. It has the characteristic of having to be traveled both uphill and downhill and therefore it must be approached with caution as we can be hikers above and below us in both directions. Although not presenting significant technical difficulties, it is characterized by a strong exposure and perhaps for this characteristic not suitable for neophytes.
La ferrata del Monte Procinto è la ferrata più antica d'Italia e risale al 1893, poi ristrutturata più volte in seguito (ultima revisione nel 2020). La via è intitolata ad Aristide Bruni che salì nel 1879 per primo assieme ad altri questo singolare monte. La salita fu la prima salita documentata sebbene si creda che il Procinto fosse già stato salito da boscaioli locali. La via di salita venne convertita in percorso attrezzato col supporto del CAI di Firenze di cui Bruni era membro.
The Ferrata del Procinto is often combined with an trip to the nearby Ferrata Salvatori. In this case the itinerary is extended by at least 3 hours and the follow the route as described here: after the Procinto via ferrata both uphill and downhill, at the time of the graft onto the CAI 5, instead of turning left, keep to the right and up to a junction where the CAI 5 descends to the left and we keep straight to continue on the CAI 121 which goes around the Procinto. Our goal is to reach the Foce di Petrosciana and the overlooking Monte Forato. As soon as possible take the uphill directions to graft onto the CAI 109 at the Foce delle Porchette and from there keep left until the Foce di Petroscina (1h 30' from the end of the Ferrata del Procinto - 3 h from the parking lot). At this point, after a rocky pillar, the slab of the ferrata is found and you begin to climb the ridge of the Ferrata Salvatori. At the end of the ferrata (40' from the start -3h 45' from the parking lot) we take the descent to the right which first takes us back to the start of the via ferrata and then following the CAI 109 to the car (1h 30' from the end of the ferrata - 5h 15' from the beginning).