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Apuan Alps - Alpi Apuane the mountains in Tuscany

Apuan Alps one of the most original relief areas in Italy, for the variety of landscape and environments. The old presence of human settlements has left important historical and cultural witness. The Apuane alps are known all over the world for the precious marbles and other decorative and building stones offer a variegated landscape

Not only Versilia has the longest beach of the finest sand lapped by the Tyrrhenian sea, it also revels in the marble shadow of the majestic Apuan Alps ,which offer a variegated landscape, full of life or silence, lanes in shady woods, valleys, fields, quaint villages, ancients mills and impressive marble quarries. And you can get away from the riviera to the mountains in just a few minutes: from the blue of the sea to the green of the chestnut woods, from the wide beaches to the harsh mountain tops, through gentle hillsides, among thick olive groves and luxuriant vineyards. The history of Versilia is no less colorful than its picturesque landscape.

The Apuane Alps are one of the most original relief areas in Italy, for the variety of landscape and environments. The old presence of human settlements has left important historical and cultural witness. The Apuane alps are known all over the world for the precious marbles and other decorative and building stones (cipollino, brecce, pietra del Cardoso). The Apuane are a orographic complex of great suggestion thanks to its massive mountains, steep morphology and deep valleys. Within a few kilometres, starting from the small coastal plain inVersilia, the Apuane alps rise to reach almost the 2.000 mt. of altitude with the M. Pisanino (m 1947).

The area presents remarkable samples of geomorfological interest: moraines, erratic masses, valleys and cirques dating to the last w?rmian glaciation. On the surface, there are karstic phenomenons like "carreggiati" fields, doline (Carcaraia, M. Altissimo, M. Sagro, ecc.) and many more (Vetricia plateau; M. Forato, etc..) In the underground are found deep abysses and the great apuane cavities, resulting from an incredible labirinth of tunnels and wells: The one in Corchia - for instance - has a total length of over 70 km in a 1210 metri of gap, and it is the major karstic system in Italy and one of the biggest in the world.

The various nature of stones - siliceous by the outside, and carbonatic in the center, results in a dense vegetation together with empty spots. From the mediterranean underscrub covering the piedmontane strip opposite the sea, the landscape changes with oakwoods and mixed woods of hornbeam (often turned in chestnut-tree) to the beechwoods at 1000 m. of altitude The highest peaks do not host many trees. The rare prairies and the limestone cliffs host a rich flora of great interest.

The Apuane fauna has lost big mammals (bear, wolf, linx, deer) but has recently introduced a few herbivores such as mouflons and goats. There are a few remarkable species of chiroptera (living in the deeps of the cave) and among the rodents , the snow-vole (Microtus nivalis). The bird fauna in the mountains features the sea-crow (Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax), emblem of the park , spotted on a few peaks (M. Corchia, M. Sumbra, M. Roccandagia), the royal eagle (Aquila chrysa?tos), nesting in the northern sector of the cordillera (Equi-Pizzo d'Uccello), the partridge (Alectoris rufa), the crag martin (Hirundo rupestris), the accentor (Prunella collaris), etc..Finally, the spectacled salamander (Salamandrina terdigitata), italian cave salamander (Hydromanthes ambrosii) alpine newt (Triturus alpestris apuanus) among the reptiles.

apuan alps  - click to enlarge itHistory: The Apuane alps have a short story as alpine gym: only in 1863 civil engineer Giordano began their exploration. Discovering and loving them was quite easy.
Since then, climbing on Apuane became a more and more common sport, involving and fascinating foreign sportsmen, especially English ones.
The first hut dates back to 1902. Today, on the Apuane alps there are nearly 750 km of paths, marked by a special committee.
There are many and well equipped alpine huts: "Carrara" (1320 m) at Campocecina; "Capanna Garnerone" in the valley of Vinca; "Donegani" (1250 m) at Orto di Donna; "Citta' di Massa" at Pian della Fioba; "Mattei" near Prati di Logarghena; "Pisa" (950 m) in the upper Canal Regolio (Capanne di Navola); "Aronte" the oldest and the highest of the Apuane alps (1642 m), on mount Cavallo southward the Focolaccia pass; "Capanne di Careggine" (840 m) in the valley of Turrite Secca; "Pasquilio" (800 m) at the feet of mount Carchio; "La Quiete" (950 m) in the Canale delle Fredde (northward mount Corchia); "Pietrapiana" (1180 m) eastward mount Corchia; "Pania" (1600 m) in the Gruppo delle Panie; "Alpe della Grotta" (865 m) through mount Procinto; "Albergo Alto Matanna" (1030 m) eastern side of mount Matanna; "Fornovelasco" (480 m) at the bottom of the valley of the Turrite di Gallicano.
While climbers consider as exceptional the possibilities offered by the Apuane alps, speleologists consider them really unique. The "Grotta del Vento" (cave of the Wind), near Fornovelasco, was the first to be explored.

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There are nearly 200 caves in the Apuane alps; the most important are:

"Tecchia di Equi" (mount Sagro), (altitude 300 m, variation 4 m. lenght 31 m), is important from a paleontological and paleoethnological point of view;

"Tanone di Torano" (mount Sagro), (altitude 180 m, variation 30m, few hundred metres of lenght), was one of the first to be explored and is one of the most visited;

"Buca della Miniera Alta" (mount Freddone), (altitude 1055 m, variation 104 m, lenght 60 m);

"Buca del Cane del Canal delle Verghe", near Colle di Favilla, (altitude 997 m, variation 223 m, lenght 100 m); deep wells and sudden drops made its exploration difficult;

"Tana dell'orso selvatico", on the north-eastern slope of mount Corchia, near Foce di Mosceta, (altitude 1150 m, variation 318 m, lenght 1330 m), is one of the largest and most difficult to explore;

"Abisso Enrico Revel - Vetrica", (altitude 1543 m, variation 316 m, lenght 40 m), is the deepest well in the world, hence extremely difficult to be accessed;

"Tana che urla - Turrite di Gallicano", (altitude 625 m, variation 45.5 m, lenght 372), was partially explored in 1726;

"Grotta all'onda" grotto of the wave" on the southern slope of mount Matama, (altitude 708 m, modest variation, lenght 60 m).

apuan alps altissimo mountain - click to enlarge it Situated between the Apennines and the sea, the Apuan Alps, recognised as one of the most distinctive mountainous areas in Italy, create a natural curve protecting the hills and plains below.

The peculiarity of this mountainous range is the variety of the shape and form of its peaks. Here you can find endless veins of marble, spas and mineral water springs (known for their low salt content), streams, woods and numerous caves, including the largest and deepest (1210 m depth) cave in Europe called "Antro" of Mount Corchia.

An infinite number of plants and flowers are protected in the Natural Park of the Apuan Alps, which extends to the Provinces of Massa - Carrara and Lucca.

 

 

 

 

apuan alps altissimo mountain
apuan alps altissimo mountain - click to enlarge it

orchia e Pania mountains from Altissimo view point - click to enlarge it
Corchia e Pania mountains from Altissimo view point - click to enlarge it

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Fiocca mountain from Altissimo view point - click to enlarge it

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Versilia coast and Massa from Apuan Alps- click to enlarge it

route across the Apuan Alps: Vandelli abbot, mathematician and engineer
An interesting route across the Apuan Alps is the Via Vandelli, a historic road designed by the abbot Domenico Vandelli and built from 1738 to 1751 between Modena and Massa. The duke of Modena, Francesco III d'Este, wanted a safe road passing through his lands and those of the Cybo Malaspina, lords of Massa, with whom he had formed a marriage alliance. The Passo delia Tambura (1634 m), blocked by snow for many months of the year, was fatal for the success of the road. But, although it was never viable as a trade route, it has now had a new lease of life as a path for walkers. Recent restoration of the dry-stone structures means that it can be covered, in a hard day's walk, from Resceto (on the Massa side) to Arnetola (on the Garfagnana side).
The Via Vandelli, Unking Modena to Massa.

Other useful links:
www.parcapuane.toscana.it
 http://www.mclink.it/personal/MC4924/apuane/index.htm maps and itineraries
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


accommodation
wildlife refuges

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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.


Alpi Apuane Park
Reception

piazza dell' Erbe, 1 Castelnuovo Garf. 00390583.644242

Reception Seravezza 00390584.757361

Spazio disp.

 
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