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Apuan Alps Natural Park - Parco Regionale delle Alpi Apuane

Parco Alpi Apuane - Protected Area on the Apuan Alps a natural paradise to discover the nature in tuscany.

The Alpi Apuane are one of the most original mountain areas in Italy, for the variety of their landscape and environments.

The ancient presence of human settlements has left important historical and cultural evidences in the area. The Alpi Apuane are known all over the world for the beauty of their precious marbles and of other decorative and building stones ("cipollino", breccias, Cardoso stone).

The Apuane are an orographic complex of great charm thanks to their massive mountains, the harsh morphology, the deep valleys, and the very steep slopes. Within a few kilometers from the small coastal plain in Versilia, the Apuane rise to reach almost the 2.000 mt. of altitude with Mt. Pisanino (m 1947).

The Alpi Apuane distinguish themselves from the near Apennine chain for their harsh morphology, their deep valleys, and their imposing and very inclined slopes. The Apuane are famous for the beauty of their marbles, their deep abysses, and the great cavities of the subsoil characterized by karst phenomena.

The geographical position of the massif, its exposure, and the different nature of the rocks determine the presence of varied and contrasting environments which favor the floral and faunistic richness of the territory.

Points of Interest of The Alpi Apuane:

Botanical Garden
The Botanical Garden "Pietro Pellegrini" was established in 1966, in loc. "Pian della Fioba", in the Municipality of Massa, thanks to the collaboration of several authorities and associations. It is situated in the heart of Alpi Apuane, at about 900 m of height, and it is equipped with a mountain hut-lab welcoming researchers and botanics interested in the knowledge and the study of the flora and of the vegetation of the Alpi Apuane. The Botanical Garden offers, in a limited but easily accessible space, a complete frame of the floristic heritage of the Alpi Apuane, and can be visited every day, from the half of May to the half of September, from 9.00 a.m. to 10.00 a.m. and from 3.00 p.m. to 6.00 p.m. Guided visits are free of charge. Emblem of the Botanical Garden is the Globularia incanescens Viv.

The "Marmitte dei Giganti"
Another phenomenon which is relevant from a geomorphological point of view is the one originating the so-called "Marmitte dei Giganti", semispherical cavities which are sometimes perfectly smoothed inside calcareous rocks. They can be found inside some canals descending into the Turrite Secca (Mt. Sumbra), in Mt. Tambura and by the Valle degli Alberghi (Mt. Contrario). They have been formed by the slow erosion carried out by siliceous pebbles near whirlpools. Some of them are even bigger than those which can be found in the Alps.

Mt. Forato
The "window" open on Mt. Forato is interesting and spectacular. The wonderful arch delimiting it can be seen from many kilometers away, both from the sea and from the Garfagnana. It was probably originated by the interference between superficial and subterranean karst phenomena, superficial erosion, and atmospherical agents' action.

The Marble Quarries
The traditional mining activity has given the environment particular features, by provoking cuts and fractures of the relief at the highest altitudes, and by covering several slopes with detritus (the "ravaneti") and opening new paths which have nowadays been abandoned and brought back to their original state. The mining landscape which formed is therefore unique and very interesting. The greater concentration of marble quarries is situated near the town of Carrara. There are other sites in Massa, Seravezza, Stazzema, Vagli Sotto, Minucciano, Casola in Lunigiana, Fivizzano. The geomineralogical richness of the Apuane Alps also includes metalliferous veins rich in iron, silver-bearing lead, copper and other metals (whose presence has led to the creation of quarries which are nowadays not active), and locations interesting from a mineralogical point of view, mineral and thermomineral springs.

LIPU Oasis
The "natural reserve" (once called "A3") - ranging from the peak of Mt. Roccandagia and through the Alto di Sella and Mt. Fiocca, reaching Mt. Sumbra - has been transformed into an "oasis" and is nowadays managed by the Lega Italiana Protezione Uccelli. With the aim of promoting the conservation of nature together with the educational promotion through the public use of this center, the OASI-LIPU is equipped with a "visitor center", "sentieri natura", "birdwatching points", etc. Every year, the birds of prey which have been gathered and treated in the LIPU Center of Sala Baganza (PR) are freed.

The Casola Museum
In the medieval village of Casola in Lunigiana, in the ancient townhall, there is the seat of an important museum of the Parco delle Apuane. It is the "Museo del territorio dell'Alta Valle Aulella", documenting the human settlement - in relationship with the historical environment - from the origins in the middle Paleolithic, to the present days, through the age of the metals with the statues stele; the Ligurian inhabitants of the Apuane and the romanization; the medieval feudality, with its castles and parish churches. The Pruno Museum
The "Centro museale ed etnografico delle arti e dei mestieri della civiltà agreste ed apuana" in Pruno di Stazzema, a small center of the southern Apuane, will soon be available. Even if it has not been completed yet, the museum can already be visited. It is an ecomuseum whose aim is to document in the surroundings of the village of Pruno moments and structures of the material culture of the mountain territory.

Ente Parco delle Alpi Apuane
head office, public relation, preservation,
Seravezza 55047 (Lu)
via Corrado del Greco, 11
tel. 0584/75821- fax 0584/758203
e-mail: info@parcapuane.toscana.it

Accountancy, Administration
Castelnuovo Garfagnana 55032 (Lu)
via Fulvio Testi, 11
tel. 0583/644478- fax 0583/644635

Pianificazione, difesa suolo, economic activities
Massa 54100
viale Stazione, 82
tel. 0585/79941 - fax 0585/799444

Legal premises
Pontestazzemese 55040 (Lu)
c/o Municipio di Stazzema - piazza Europa, 1
tel. 0584/75821- fax 0584/758203
Surface: 20.598 ha

Provinces: Lucca, Massa

Information provvided by parcapuane.toscana.it
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Natural parks Reserves protected areas Tuscany


Arezzo Parks

Florence Parks

Grosseto Parks

Livorno Parks

Lucca Parks
Apuan Alps Natural Park
Orecchiella park

Massa Parks

Pisa Parks

Pistoia Prato and Siena


Places to visit Apuan Alps area homepage

Malaspina Castle
Equi Thermals spas
San Carlo's spas
The Garfagnana
Riviera della Versilia
Wind's caves
Massa town
Carrara town
Points of Interest in Alta Versilia
The natural park of Apuan Alps
Best Itineraries on Alta Versilia
Best Itineraries on the Apuan Alps
The Corchia mountaign and caves

Places to visit in Massa and Carrara

Massa - Carrara Aulla Fivizzano Podenzana Bagnone Fosdinovo Pontremoli Licciana Nardi Tresana Casola in Lunigiana Villafranca in Lunigiana Comano Montignoso Zeri Filattiera Mulazzo.

wildlife refuges

Garfagnana , Apuan Alps Lucca

Lucca hills Garfagnana area

Bagni di Lucca Barga Borgo a Mozzano Castelnuovo garfagnana Castiglione di Garfagnana Careggine Coreglia Antelminelli Gallicano Giuncugnano Minucciano Molazzana Piazza Al Serchio San Romano Garfagnana Querceta Seravezza Sillano Stazzema Vagli Sotto Vergemoli Villa Collemandina.

Massa town of marble and Lunigiana lodgings

Massa farmhouse vacation rentals
Massa Mulazzo Lunigiana Pontremoli Filattiera Aulla Fivizzano Podenzana Bagnone Fosdinovo Pontremoli Carrara Licciana Nardi Tresana Casola in Lunigiana Villafranca in Lunigiana Comano Montignoso.

Massa apartments
Mulazzo Lunigiana Pontremoli Filattiera Aulla Fivizzano Podenzana Bagnone Fosdinovo Pontremoli Carrara Licciana Nardi Tresana Casola in Lunigiana Villafranca in Lunigiana Comano Montignoso Zeri.

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