Tuscany has it all – sun, beautiful scenery, history, & friendly locals. But who would have associated Tuscany with some stunning mountains at around 2000M too? The Apuans or Alpi Apuane, as they are known in Italian, are a smaller chain of mountains that form part of the larger Apennine range, situated in Northern Tuscany.
On this 2 week trip, we walk in both areas, staying in the Garfagnana Valley for the first week, then moving on to the magnificently situated Passo di Carpinelli for the second week. We walk in scenic gorges & along striking mountain ridges with far reaching views of the Tuscan mountains, medieval villages & the sea on a clear day.
There are 2 walks every day, one more challenging, the other just as scenic & the only decision to make is which one to choose.
Castelnuovo di Garfagnana
Our first base is near the medieval town of Castelnuovo Di Garfagnana, the gateway to the Garfagnana Valley. We walk up in the mountains, through ancient hamlets & woodlands to the most spectacular ridge walks on long distance footpaths.
La Vetricia to San Pellegrino Ridge Walk
One of the first week highlights for me is the walk up the dramatic Orrido di Botri gorge, a natural canyon carved out of the rock over thousands of years. The steep cliff gorge walls tower high above, & the cool atmosphere in the gorge is very welcome.
Don’t expect to keep your feet dry though! There is an alternative “dry feet walk” for those who prefer to stay dry.
Orrido Di Botri Gorge
Our second Hotel is in a fantastic situation on the Passo di Carpinelli, with wonderful sunsets every evening from the terrace where we have dinner.
Local pasta dishes are a feature on every menu, & local wine is included with dinner.
We have a free day each week, & it is very easy to catch the train to the medieval city of Lucca, with 4km of ancient city walls to walk, or explore the narrow streets & local cafes in abundance.
During our time here we walk in the Orecchiella National Park, & climb the Pania di Corfino, where we are rewarded by more amazing views from the summit. There are mountain Refugio’s on many of our walks, for a welcome refreshment coffee or beer.
Pania di Corfino
Another day we climb 3 peaks on a ridge, including Monte Prado, the highest peak in Tuscany at 2054M.
Monte Prado summit
View from the top of Monte Vecchio
We also spend a day in the world famous Cinque Terre - 5 ancient seaside villages on the rugged Italian Riviera coastline. The villages are a mass of colourful painted houses perched on the seemingly impossible steep cliffs & rocky promontories. We take a cruise up the coast, to take advantage of the best views of the villages from the sea. We also walk through & above some of the villages, seeing them from all directions.
Riomaggiore from the sea
Read more and book your adventure in Italy’s Apuans & Appenines here! https://www.ramblersholidays.co.uk/apuans-and-apennines