A visit to Tuscany’s Alpi Apuane is an unusual choice. Far away from the tourist crowds that flood Italy, a visit here is sampling an authentic slice of Tuscan living.
The Location of Alpi Apuane
Just between Carrara and Viareggio / Pisa there is a fantastic walking - hiking-climbing area that is off the beaten tracks. There are lots of good walks and scenic places with superb sea views. You can walk all day long without seeing any other people. The place to go to is Casoli which is to the east of Camaiore.
If you stay in the mountain area, places to visit are Lucca, Pisa, Carrara and Viareggio. Camaiore is the nearest (more quiet) town. Pietrasanta, just north of Camaiore, is more touristic with lots of interesting shops and places to see.
For walking there, you should get a map of the area. But be warned the tracks are not well sign posted and the maps are not accurate. But with a little bit of sense of direction you will manage.
Maps to get include:
Kompass (2451): Alpi Apuane Garfagnana, Carrara, Viareggio: 1:50 000
You should also try to get a local map: 1:15 000 Carta Escrsionistica Dei Sentieri Camaioresi (Camaiore Trails Hike Map). The front of the map shows the entire area and is good enough for deriving a sense of orientation but it is not exact. But on the back it shows lots of little walking suggestions for day walks of different length and difficulties (with small maps and descriptions in English). In connection with the KOMPASS map it works well.
Walks in the Alpi Apuane
We did the following walks and can recommend them:
(C7) Casoli – Metato – Casoli (3 hours walk) easy;
Casoli – Force del Pallone and Grotta all`Onda (a prehistoric cave) 4 hours medium difficulty;
Casoli – Setriana – Casoli (3 hours) easy;
Casoli – Mont Gabberi – Torricella – Luciana – Casoli (6 hours) medium;
Casoli – Mont Di Groce – Bollogno – Casoli (4 hours) medium;
There are many more routes and longer ones to choose from.
Just south of Casoli (better to reach from Camaiore / Lombrici) at the Mill and near the Osteria Candalla there is a fantastic place for rock climbing visited by local rock climbers.
The village itself is worth a visit because it is full of graffiti art. It has a little bar with a super view onto the valley. Here you can get refreshments and snacks.
If you are hungry then you must drive further up to the restaurant Osteria Il Chiosco Nel Bosco. From here you have a fantastic view from the terrace down onto the village. They serve snacks but you can also have fantastic three or four course meals for a reasonable price. At the weekend you must reserve a table in advance because it is quite a popular place for people having a beach holiday on the coast.