Apuan Alps – View from West
- 1 – Monte Sagro – 1749 meters A.S.L.
- 2 – Pizzo d’Uccello – 1781 meters A.S.L.
- 3 – Monte Grondilice – 1809 meters A.S.L.
- 4 – Monte Pisanino – 1946 meters A.S.L.
- 5 – Monte Contrario – 1789 meters A.S.L.
- 6 – Monte Cavallo – 1895 meters A.S.L.
- 7 – Monte Tambura – 1890 meters A.S.L.
- 8 – Alto di Sella – 1723 meters A.S.L.
- 9 – Penna di Sumbra – 1765 meters A.S.L.
- 10 – Monte Corchia – 1677 meters A.S.L.
- 11 – Pania della Croce – 1859 meters A.S.L.
- 12 – Pania Secca – 1711 meters A.S.L.
“Which are those mountains?” I asked, very curious, almost frightened. “They are the Apuan Alps,” they explained to me. For a long time I admired the unusual spectacle that made me think, I do not know why, of the creation of the world: continents still to be formed emerging from an infinite void with the color of fire.” (quote from Fosco Maraini)
(1912-2004) Italian ethnologist, orientalist, mountaineer, photographer, writer and poet.
The Apuan Alps, the Mountains of the Moon as the Greek geographer Strabo (60 BC – c. 20 AD) called them, are a mountain range of rare beauty extending over an area of around 1,000 square kilometers enclosed between the sub-regions of Lunigiana to the north-west, Garfagnana to the north-east and Versilia to the south-west. A magic and enchanted area with the exquisite and age-old heritage of the people living in the modernday Provinces of Lucca and Massa-Carrara, distinguished by gorgeous landscapes and flora and fauna.
There are numerous beautiful peaks that make up the chain, including Monte Pisanino at 1946 meters above sea level which is the highest peak, Monte Cavallo (1895 m), Monte Tambura (1890 m) and Monte Grondilice (1809 m).
5% of the area occupied by these mountains is set aside for marble extraction, the main quarries being in the Municipality of Carrara in the basins of Colonnata, Fantiscritti and Torano, in the Municipality of Massa and in Upper Versilia.
Marble extraction and working, together with tourism and boats, is one of the most important elements of the Apuan-Versilia economy.
In 1985 the Apuan Alps Regional Park was set up, extending for about 20,000 hectares over Garfagnana, the Province of Massa-Carrara and Versilia. The park hosts a wide variety of fauna and flora species including several native species and in 2012 it became part of the UNESCO Global Geoparks network.
Among the attractions in the park are significant caves such as La Grotta del Vento in Garfagnana and L’Antro del Corchia which, located under the Monte Corchia mountain on the Versilia slope, is the largest cave in Italy.
There are numerous hiking trails, via ferrata’s and horse trails that allow you to reach the peaks to explore close-up and admire this remarkable and fascinating landscape of greenery and rock.