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With many thanks to http://visittuscany.com .The images are ours.

Hiking, mountain climbing and swimming in the Apuan Alps

Nature enthusiasts will find the ideal base for a holiday outdoors in the small town of Minucciano. Located just to the north of the Apuan Alps, this village of just over 2,000 people is the best kept secret of this area, boasting a mysterious dialect all its own and surrounded by mountains on all sides. Minucciano is within driving distance of the Apuan Alps Park, a vast nature reserve home to endless hiking trails, stunning climbing opportunities and its fair share of caves. Could you ask for a better place to lose yourself in the peaceful greenery of the Tuscan mountains?

Orto di Donna

Just seven kilometres from Minucciano, you can reach the turn off for the Rifugio Orto di Donna, deep in the Apuan Alps, though you’ll have to leave your car in the small parking lot and trek the rest of the way on foot along CAI trail 180. When you arrive at the rifugio, you can begin a circular route through the mountains, enjoying breath-taking views along the way. Heading out to the left of the rifugio, take trail 179, which will cross the 167 at the Passo della Focolaccia. Continue until you come to trail 168 before hopping on the 186 to your right to head back to the rifugio.

You can also enjoy a hike to the top of Monte Pisanino, where mountain climbing activities are sure to be found. Though long and tiring, the “normal” route is the easiest on the mountain. Beginning in Val Serenaia, you can arrive to Foce di Cardeto pass, along trail 178. Head down a few hundred metres until you reach Buca della Neve, where the trail to the peak begins, marked in blue. You’ll cross the eastern slope of Pizzo Altare and Pizzo Maggiore, before reaching Foce dell’Altare. Here, you’ll follow the Canale delle Rose to get to the summit.

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6 days to discover the Apuan Alps

Minucciano – Credit: Minucciano municipality

For a full-day hike, intrepid hikers can embark on an excursion to Foce di Giovo, a mountain pass with splendid views of the surrounding peaks, including the imposing Pizzo d’Uccello nearby. Beginning at the train station in Pieve San Lorenzo, a hamlet of Minucciano, you can follow trail 181 all the way to the end, through historic villages and the unique landscape of the northern end of the Apuan Alps.

For those who prefer a more relaxing way to enjoy the outdoors, Lake Gramolazzo has you covered. The artificial lake, with its namesake town nestled on the shore, is just outside the Apuan Alps Park, but located only 5 km from Minucciano, the perfect spot for an afternoon out on the water. With views of the mountains to the west, you can enjoy a dip in the water, a beach-side BBQ or a spin around the lake in sail or rowboat.

For more information on this or any other aspect of holidaying in Lunigiana, please navigate to https://www.luniholidays.co.uk/contact/ and tell us what you’d like to know.