The Picchio Muraiolo Group – Our history, who we are, and why!

The Picchio Muraiolo Group named after the Wallcreeper bird, began with a series of mountain hikes among friends. The first member was our dear friend Raffaele Mattonelli, (instructor of the National Biathlon team and ski instructor). He began the first cross-country ski course at the CAI of Foligno. He made a significant contribution to the local group through his technical expertise. He was also a catalyst for the growth of cross-country skiing, a discipline that was already known and appreciated at the regional level. The early “Picchio Muraiolo” group of mountain excursionists also included the tireless member Carletto(known as “Lu Gattu” or, the cat), Ferruccio (known as “La Vorbe”, or the fox, as they say in the local Foligno dialect) e Massimo (known as "Lu Pischello"). During a climb on the Dolomites, Raffaele was given the nickname "Lu Picchio" (the woodpecker) and from that point on this small, intimate group of hikers was known by the name "Picchio Muraiolo". As time went on more friends joined the group, including myself. The various activities of the early group led us up to the peak of Mount Cervino and beyond. Then, on one night in 1990, Raffaele left us suddenly at the age of 53. Without Raffaele, “Lu Picchio”, the soul of the group, the excursions diminished and members of the group went their separate ways. The years went by and I continued going on mountain excursions with CAI of Foligno, where I met young a group of highly enthusiastic young hikers. And this is how the idea to revive the “Picchio Muraiolo” came about. Our goal was to form a group of excursionists/mountain-climbers that are passionate about the mountains. This is how the “Picchio” went back to climbing rough vertical mountain rock. The group gets together almost every weekend. Over time, we have forged some very important, deep-rooted friendships. The most exciting moment for the group came in January 2005 with an expedition that various members took to Africa, to the tops of Mount Kilimanjaro and Mt. Kenya, two summits that were reached by all seven members of the expedition, a highly gratifying experience that required a significant amount of teamwork.

Enrico Bonini

Enrico Bonini - Biography

They call me theAfricano: This nickname was given to me in my youth when I worked in Africa, moving from one construction site to another (Tanzania, ex Tanganyika, Kenya, Zambia,Uganda, Nigeria and North Africa) building oil pipelines, refineries and roads. From the most hostile environments to sources of the most primitive silence and spectacles nature has to offer. After almost ten years in Africa I returned to Italy to be with my wife Adria - who wanted nothing to do with Africa. I dropped everything and changed my life for love. I decided to settle in Foligno, close to my beloved Bevagna, in the verdant region of Umbria where I was born. In 1975 I began working for Knoll International in the foreign sales office. I stayed with the company for 31 years and retired in July 2006. In the meantime, Tiziano and Simona were born and with their arrival I set aside my longing for adventure. But time passes and children grow. In 1982, while walking between one hill and another in the company of dear friends, we decided to reopen the CAI (Italian Alpine Club) of Foligno. This marked the beginning of my love for the mountains: in a place where I found the appropriate dimension for a peaceful life, the climbs and trips to the mountains became increasingly more challenging. Then I met Raffaele (the “Wallcreeper”). It was with Raffaele, along with others, that we went on many other excursions that brought us to Mount Cervino, Mount Rosa and the Gran Sasso Mountain Range and, of course, our own Sibilllini Mountains. Then, on my own, I discovered the Laga Mountains, my great wild passion, since they remind me of Africa. In August of 1990 my adventurous spirit inspired me to organize a trekking expedition in the Canadian Rocky Mountains. I crossed the mountain range for 360 km on foot, just me and my backpack (but there were no lack of bears along the road). After Canada, many other trekking tours, expeditions and climbs would follow: the Pyrenean Mountains, Alaska, the north and south GR20 in Corsica, Peru (Cordillera Blanca & Huayhuash), Patagonia (with my son Tiziano, Torres del Paine and the Fitzroy Park where I plan to return in 2007), Nepal (Mt. Everest base camp), Mt. Bianco, Mt. Rosa, Mt. Cervino, Gran Paradiso, the Stelvio, Dolomites and others. Since 1990 I have been a hiking guide certified by the Region of Umbria. Now I am retired but life goes on. Another page is turned to begin once again, with a newfound awareness: this “second youth”, that I will consume by continuing to walk, travel and dream about new horizons, other summits and other finish lines, until the sun sets for another life in the fields of silence.

Enrico Bonini
Socio CAI sez.Foligno dal 1983
Associato AIGAE - Associazione Italiana Guide Ambientali & Escursionistiche

Historical photos, family albuma

'Il Picchio Muraiolo' - Escursionismo - Trekking - Sci escursionistico - Servizi - []