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
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).
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:
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.
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
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.
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
head office, public relation, preservation,
Seravezza 55047 (Lu)
via Corrado del Greco, 11
tel. 0584/75821- fax 0584/758203
Castelnuovo Garfagnana 55032 (Lu)
via Fulvio Testi, 11
tel. 0583/644478- fax 0583/644635
Pianificazione, difesa suolo,
viale Stazione, 82
tel. 0585/79941 - fax 0585/799444
Pontestazzemese 55040 (Lu)
c/o Municipio di Stazzema - piazza Europa, 1
tel. 0584/75821- fax 0584/758203
Surface: 20.598 ha
provvided by parcapuane.toscana.it