Nature and Trekking

Trekking in Garfagnana: trails and paths to discover the bear

8 days walking through history, nature and traditions

The Serchio Valley on both sides, Apuan and Apennine, is crossed by a set 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 reported  by the CAI. For some stages or parts of stages, where the route may present difficulties, suitable variants are indicated, allowing you to use more comfortable and easy paths.

Let us immerse ourselves in the history, nature and traditions of a fantastic land. With excursions to discover the Garfagnana and its most evocative and authentic corners.

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. Today we follow the ancient route of the Via del Volto Santo, which in the Middle Ages united the cities of Pontremoli and Lucca. A succession of paths and mule tracks wind through magnificent views of the Apuan Alps, the Apennines and ancient villages where history and traditions live on. We reach the mighty Verrucole Fortress and the Sambuca rock church. We cross the valley via the vertiginous Villetta railway bridge to reach the end of our excursion. Our means of transport will be the train, starting from the railway station of Piazza al Serchio and arriving at the railway station of Poggio-Careggine-Vagli. A poetic and relaxing itinerary, the best way to start our trip in Garfagnana!

Length: 15km

Height difference: 500m+

Duration: 6h

Difficulty: Excursion suitable for everyone, a minimum preparation for hiking and the habit of walking for 5/6 hours are necessary. The trail is always wide and well marked without technical difficulties or exposed sections.

Dinner. Return to the hotel. Overnight stay.

Free lunch. The Tuscan-Emilian Apennines and the great ridge await us. We climb the mountain slopes to the legendary village of San Pellegrino in Alpe. The hike begins here, from the arches of the medieval hospice, apparently built by Matilda of Canossa almost a thousand years ago. The legend of San Pellegrino and his hermitic life in the Apennines will guide our steps through beech woods and magnificent pastures. We reach the ridge and the view is unique, on one side Tuscany and on the other Emilia Romagna. We follow its sinuous line and then we immerse ourselves again back into the shade of the silvery beeches and from here we reach the Burigone mountain hut to refresh ourselves. We then return to San Pellegrino in Alpe along a comfortable and scenic forest path.

Length: 12km

Height difference: 550m+

Duration: 5h

Difficulty: An excursion suitable for everyone, a minimum of preparation for hiking and the habit of walking for 5/6 hours is necessary. The trail is always wide and well marked without technical difficulties or exposed sections.

Return to the hotel. Dinner. Overnight stay.

Free lunch. Today, after the Tuscan-Emilian Apennines, we discover the other mountain chain that characterises the Garfagnana. The Apuan Alps and their wild profiles await us. The excursion is one that will remain indelible in your memories. Fantastic views, vertical mountain walls and stories of heroism along the spectacular path of Freedom of Monte Rovaio. We will retrace the deeds of the partisans of the Gruppo Valanga, who here, in the summer of 1944, faced the Nazi-Fascist troops, paying with the lifes of many people. The environment is magnificent, we are at the foot of Pania della Croce, the Queen of the Apuan Alps, and the other peaks of the chain surround us.

Length: 8km

Height difference: 550m+

Duration: 5h

Difficulty: Excursion suitable for everyone, a minimum of preparation for hiking and the habit of walking for 5/6 hours is necessary. Well marked path with no technical difficulties, there is a short, slightly exposed section.

Return to the hotel. Dinner. Overnight stay.

In the morning, availability permitting (for safety reasons), we’ll take you to 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 it is not possible to do as described above, an alternative is to visit 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. A journey that will take you to the heart of cheese production (from the arrival of the milk to the maturing 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 hosted 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. 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, typical trees of the Apennine habitat. A magnificent territory rich in unique environments and populated by an incredible biodiversity. Our excursion starts from the Reserve’s Visitor Centre, we will follow ancient paths, built over the centuries by shepherds, among majestic beech woods and magnificent views. We climb up to the Lamarossa peat bog, home to relict botanical species that have come down to us since the last ice ages. We continue on our way to the large alpine pastures where shepherds still lead their herds. From here, we gently walk up the meadows to the surprise. Suddenly the forest ends and we are on the gentle peak of Pania di Corfino. Below us is a vertiginous rocky leap and in front of us the splendid Apuan Alps on the horizon and the whole of Garfagnana. Pania di Corfino is 1603m high and thanks to its position is considered the terrace of the Garfagnana. From here you can see everything and it is the perfect place to end our emotional journey through this green valley and its mountains.

Length: 11km

Height difference: 600m+

Duration: 5.30h

Difficulty: Excursion suitable for everyone, minimum preparation for hiking and habit of walking for 5/6 hours required. The trail is always wide and well marked without technical difficulties or exposed sections.

Return to the hotel. Dinner. Overnight stay.

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 change, on site, respect to the order listed above, at “our” discretion, for the sole purpose to ensure the best success of the tour, but without changing the substance of the visits [ The visits may be reversed depending on the opening times of the museums or for technical reasons, but the programme remains unchanged ].

Special requests

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

These are necessary

For all walking tours, you will need hiking boots, a water bottle of at least one litre, a kway or poncho, a backpack 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 tours

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 01.05.2021 / 15.10.2021

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