Nature and Trekking

Trekking in Garfagnana: paths and trails on the tracks of the wolf

8 days walking through history, nature and traditions

The Serchio Valley on both sides, Apuan and Apennine, is crossed by an ensemble of paths. This makes it possible to reach the most evocative places in the Apuan Alps and to reach the Apennine ridge from the villages at higher altitudes in the valley.

Garfagnana offers splendid and varied opportunities for trekking enthusiasts.

The natural heritage, the enchanting scenery, the villages rich in history and tradition, make the routes varied and interesting. The itineraries generally wind along old mule tracks and easily accessible paths, also signposted by the CAI. For some stages or parts of stages, where the route may present difficulties, suitable variants are indicated, allowing more comfortable and easy paths to be used.

Excursions in Garfagnana to reach some of the most significant peaks of the region along alpine paths and ancient mule tracks.

Programme

In the early afternoon arrival in Garfagnana, by own means. Meeting with the guide in Castelnuovo di Garfagnana where the tour starts. Check-In. Accommodation in the reserved rooms. Presentation of the programme by one of our representatives. Typical “Garfagnana” dinner with a tasting of local cuisine. Return to the hotel. Overnight stay.

Free lunch. The Orecchiella Park is a protected natural area, part of the Parco Nazionale Appennino Tosco Emiliano. The park is organised and divided into three nature reserves managed until 2016 by the State Forestry Corps: Orecchiella, Pania di Corfino and Lama Rossa. The visitor centre houses the Nature Museum and the Museum of Birds of Prey. The park is also home to the mountain garden, which contains many flowers and plants typical of mountain environments. There are, in fact, annual or perennial herbaceous, tree and shrub species typical of the Apennine habitat. A magnificent territory rich in unique environments and populated by an incredible biodiversity. Our excursion begins at the Reserve’s Visitor Centre. We will follow ancient paths, built over the centuries by shepherds, through majestic beech woods and magnificent views tomake the  complete loop of the  most iconic massif of the reserv, the splendid Pania di Corfino. The itinerary is very varied, with a succession of landscapes from beech woods to rock faces, from gentle meadows to the panoramic peak of Pania. The Pania di Corfino is 1603m high and thanks to its position is considered the terrace of the Garfagnana. From here we can admire the entire Garfagnana. below us and the shining Apuan Alps on the horizon.

  • Length: 12km
  • Height difference: 800m+
  • Duration: 6/7h
  • Difficulty: Medium difficulty, hiking experience required to tackle a day’s walk with a significant difference in height. The path is always wide and well marked.

Return to the hotel. Dinner. Overnight stay

Free lunch. We climb towards the great ridge of the Tuscan-Emilian Apennines to reach the summit of Monte Prado, which at 2054 metres is the highest peak in Tuscany. The itinerary is incredible, with a 360° view from Tuscany to Emilia Romagna, and follows the gentle and  sinuous ridge of the mountain chain that is the backbone of Italy. We are in the Parco Nazionale Appennino Tosco Emiliano, since 2015 a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, an area of incredible value for its beauty and biodiversity. A hike along the ridge cannot be described, it must be experienced step by step, cradled by the wind and the hypnotic movement of the grass.

  • Length: 16km
  • Height difference: 1000m+
  • Duration: 7h
  • Difficulty: Medium difficulty, hiking experience required to tackle a day’s walk with a significant difference in altitude. The path is always wide and well marked.

Return to the hotel. Dinner. Overnight stay.

Free lunch. After the Apennines it is time to start exploring the other mountain range that is the symbol of Garfagnana, the rugged Apuan Alps await us. The environment changes completely, we climb up between rocky and steep paths that wind between vertical views and large rocky crags. Our destination is the summit of Pania della Croce, the splendid Queen of the Apuan Alps. The climb is magnificent and at times very steep, but once we reach the summit it will be incredible. We are in the centre of the chain and at our feet we can admire the whole of north-western Tuscany. From the Florentine hills to Pisa, passing through Lucca and the Livorno hills. But the greatest spectacle is the splendid view of the Tyrrhenian Sea and the islands of the Tuscan Archipelago. Now you know the wonder of the Apuan Alps!

  • Length: 8km
  • Height difference: 800m+
  • Duration: 6h
  • Difficulty: Medium difficulty, hiking experience required to tackle a day’s walk with a significant difference in height. The path is always wide and well marked, with some steep climbs and exposed but easy to overcome sections.

Return to the hotel. Dinner and overnight stay.

In the morning, availability permitting (for safety reasons), we’ll take you to visit Vagli di Sotto (GUIDED TOUR TO BE PAID FOR ON THE SITE), one of the most famous white marble quarries in the world (marble also used for the Sala Nervi in the Vatican), located in the beautiful Arnetola Valley. We will experience first hand the reality of the quarrymen, we will understand how work in the quarry has changed over time, (it is advisable to wear comfortable and sporty clothing and shoes with sturdy soles). If the above is not possible, an alternative is a visit to the Lipu Oasis of Campocatino: a primitive bassin overlooking the valley. Free lunch and relaxation on the shores of the lake. In the afternoon we visit the new suspension rope bridge and Lake Vagli which, when it is emptyed for maintenance work, magically brings to the surface the ghostly ruins of a ghost town: Fabbriche di Careggine. On the way back to… cheese school! From the stable to the table. You will discover how milk becomes cheese, explore the senses with local aromatic herbs. The producer will open the doors of the dairy and show you the cheese-making process. Possibility of purchasing products. Return to the hotel. Dinner. Overnight stay.

In the morning visit (only outdoors) of the Rocca Ariostesca of Castelnuovo di Garfagnana, which dominates the centre of the village and which in the sixteenth century housed for three years the poet Ludovico Ariosto, who had been named governor of the province of Garfagnana, then under the rule of the Este family. Walk through the streets of the centre of Castelnuovo di Garfagnana. Possibility to buy local products in the shops. Followed by a visit to the Fortress of Mont’Alfonso. Transfer to Calomini to visit the hermitage of the same name: a mystical monastery set in a vertical rock face. Free lunch. In the afternoon we discover the underground world of the Grotta del Vento, one of the most complete caves in Europe. An exciting excursion in the centre of the Natural Park of the Apuan Alps to discover a hidden and fascinating world with an extraordinary variety of phenomena. Easy paths will allow you to admire a marvellous underground reality: from living and shining stalactites and stalagmites to polychrome flows and crystal-encrusted lakes. Return to Castelnuovo di Garfagnana after a brief stop in Castelvecchio Pascoli to visit the house where the poet Giovanni Pascoli lived and is buried. Return to the hotel. Dinner. Overnight stay.

Free lunch. We are at the end of our tour and close with one of the most famous and iconic hikes in our region. The goal is to reach Monte Forato and its incredible natural arch. We ascend following ancient mule tracks between streams, poetic ruins and beautiful forests.We walk along the steep  crest enjoying wonderful views. The path continues and around a bend the spectacle appears, we arrived. An immense arch of rock more than 30 metres high frames the view of Versilia and the Tyrrhenian Sea, with the Pania della Croce and other splendid Apuan peaks in the background. A mystical and unique place in the world, a challenging hike but of a poignant beauty, to bring the Garfagnana in the heart

  • Length: 8km
  • Height difference: 800m+
  • Duration: 6h
  • Difficulty: Medium difficulty, hiking experience required to tackle a day’s walk with a significant difference in height. The path is always wide and well marked, with some steep climbs and exposed sections  but easy to overcome.

Return to the hotel. Dinner. Overnight stay.

Day 8 Return

Check-out and return by own means.

Details

Travel notes

This programme may be subject to change, both before and during the trip, depending on the weather, the needs of the travellers and the people hosting the group of travellers. All the visits are guaranteed, but they may be subject to changes, on site, with respect to the order listed above, at “our” discretion, for the only purpose of ensuring the best success of the tour, but without changing the substance of the visits [ The visits may be reversed according to the opening times of the museums or for technical reasons, but the program remains unchanged ].

Special requests

When defining and accepting the travel contract, it is necessary to indicate the presence of people requiring special diets and with reduced mobility in order to be able to verify the services and the possibility of assistance.

These are necessary

For all journeys on foot, you will need hiking boots, a water bottle of at least one litre, a kway or poncho, a rucksack of at least 20/30 litres. Spare socks or T-shirt are recommended, as well as food or energy supplements.

Level of difficulty of walking trips

The trip is suitable for people who can walk, not necessarily trained but in good health. It is not suitable for children.

The Price Includes

Not Included

Methods of payment

  • DEPOSIT: € ___, within 7 days of registration
  • BALANCE: no later than 21 days before the date of departure: € ___, by ___________
  •  

Cancellation

CANCELLATION BY THE TRAVELLER:

FOR ANY VOLUNTARY CANCELLATIONS THE FOLLOWING PENALTIES WILL APPLY:

  • CANCELLATIONS UP TO 15 DAYS BEFORE DEPARTURE: 50% PENALTY
  • CANCELLATIONS FROM 14 DAYS PRIOR TO DEPARTURE: 100% CANCELLATION FEE

CANCELLATION WITHOUT PENALTY: within ___________

Price

from

1020 €

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TOUR 8 days/7 nights

DEPARTURES

Period 01.06.2020 / 30.09.2020

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