La Palazzina Agriturismo - Garfagnana - Toscana
Tours by car in Garfagnana Valley
Orecchiella ParkThe Orecchiella Natural Reserves are the pride of the new Tosco-Emiliano National Park. A territory with a landscape of rare beauty. Here deer, mouflon, wild boar and wolves and many species of birds, some migratory and others who have found their home in an ideal habitat can be seen. The royal eagle who has always been present on the Pania di Corfino, extends his hunting territory up to the summits of Monte Prato and Monte Vecchio. The Orecchiella Park Visitor’s Centre with its Natural History Museum, has a projection room and various stands with local products on sale. This Park can be reached from Castelnuovo by following the directions for Villa Collemandina and Corfino. An "easier" pathway reaches the fauna observation areas where you can see deer, mouflon, bears and roe deer. The mountain flower garden with wonderful summer flowers, the botanic garden "Pania di Corfino" will fascinate wildlife lovers. The itinerary to visit follows the road to S. Romano in Garfagnana, through the villages of Caprignana and Orzaglia, until you arrive at Verrucole, where you can reach the magnificent Fortress, recently restored, by a short walk. Here you can take part in medieval and historical events.
San Pellegrino in Alpe -Tuscan Emilian AppennineFrom Castelnuovo, following the provincial road SP 72 of the Passo delle Radici (Radici Pass) you reach, after a few kilometres, Castiglione Garfagnana a fortified town. You can visit the fortress by booking at the Pro loco, it was defended by an ample circular wall. After a few kilometres you come to Cerageto, Sassorosso and Casone di Profecchia, the winter sport locality along the Passo delle Radici (1529 m above sea level), where the road continues to the Emilian region. Driving to the right you reach S. Pellegrino in Alpe; where the panorama opens onto the valley and the Lucca plain. A must to visit is the historical museum "Don Luigi Pellegrini" and the Sanctuary with the remains of the Saints Pellegrino and Bianco. The itinerary descends in the direction of Chiozza returning to Pieve Fosciana, where you can visit a still functioning water mill and the thermal spring of Prà di Lama, which has hot sulphurous water appreciated by the local people for its therapeutic properties. Taking a short detour from Pieve Fosciana you can reach the Lago di Pontecosi (Pontecosi Lake) where you can relax and enjoy or participate in animated water events.
Grotta del Vento ( cave ) and BargaThe itinerary from Gallicano town that reaches the Grotta del Vento (The Wind Caves), beside the Turrite torrent, offers views of rare beauty, we suggest you visit with short detours the village of Verni and the medieval rock fortress in Trassilico. The Eremo di Calomini (the Calomini Hermitage) is nestled into the bare rock-face. Soon after is the Trombacco lake, narrow between the deep rock gorge. At Fornovolasco, the road ascends into the woods and after a few minutes you find the Grotta del Vento, one of the most well known group of caves open to tourists in the world. The magical underground world of the karst cavities is available in three different guided itineraries. Pathways and staircases permit you to admire stalactites and stalagmites, alabaster drapes and underground streams and rivers. An alternative itinerary is to return to Gallicano by the high road from the Grotta del Vento which reaches Vergemoli, the local council town. From Gallicano you can reach the medieval city of Barga where the narrow stone paved streets of the historical old city quarter, the renaissance palaces and buildings, take you to the high part of the city and the impressive romanesque "Duomo" (Cathedral) where you have one of the most beautiful panoramic views of the Apuan Alps chain. Not far from Barga, is Castelvecchio Pascoli, where it is possible to visit the poet Giovanni Pascoli’s Museum residence.
Vagli lake and the old village of shepherds, CampocatinoThis itinerary leads you into the heart of the Parco delle Alpi Apuane, highlighting its peculiarities. Along the road to Vagli Sotto, you can see the artificial lake of Vagli which hides the submerged village of Fabbriche. When the lake is drained, the ancient village, founded by ironmongers from Brescia, comes hauntingly to life. A must to visit is the San Regolo Parish Church, the Casa Abrami Museum and S. Agostino, a romanesque church (XI century). After going up to Vagli di Sopra, you soon reach Campocatino: an ancient pastoral area located on the sides of fields at the foot of Monte Roccandagia, which now is the LIPU Oasis. A track, easy to walk along, shows you the natural characteristics of this basin formed in the glacial era. About a 30 minute walk takes you to the S. Viano Hermitage. From Campocatino you descend to Gorfigliano and at Gramolazzo the artificial lake’s green waters reflect the profile of the highest mountain in the Apuan chain, Monte Pisanino.
Castelnuovo, Apuan Alps Park and VersiliaCastelnuovo, with its romanesque “Duomo” (Cathedral) and the Ariosto Fortress, is the commercial and administrative centre of the valley, animated every Thursday, since 1430, by an open-air market. From the market-place, the provincial road leading to the Versilia area flanks the Turrite Secca, a typical Apuan Alps torrent, narrow in a gorge. After a few kilometres, you reach the Lago di Isola Santa (Isola Santa Lake), where an uninhabited hamlet, with typical style buildings and stone slated roofs, lies on the banks. Continuing along the road, the scenery changes to the rock-faces of Monte Sumbra, with the "Marmitte dei Giganti", characteristic rock erosions caused by water on the stone. At Tre Fiumi the principal road ascends to the Galleria del Cipollaio (Cipollaio Tunnel) leading to Forte dei Marmi and the Versilian Coast, along this road, at Levigliani it’s possible to visit the wonderful cave Antro del Corchia (for more info about opening time telefono 0584 778405 or; whereas, on the right, the road leads to Arni and the Galleria del Monte Pelato (Mount Pelato Tunnel) and the Passo del Vestito (Vestito Pass) and Pian della Fioba where a worthwhile visit is to botanic garden “Pellegrini”. From this height the view sweeps over the coast, the marble quarries of Carrara to the Golfo di La Spezia (La Spezia bay) and Portovenere. On the return journey, a little before Isola Santa, you can find the road leading up to Capanne di Careggine and the Maestà della Formica then down to the Careggine village situated on a plateau where you can enjoy a splendid panorama. Here in the winter season, you can ski and during the other seasons you can walk along fascinating paths and tracks in century old chestnut woods. When you arrive at Poggio, you must visit the small romanesque church S. Biagio.
Lucca - Pisa - FirenzeLucca (50 Km.) offers an unique unbroken circle of walls and an historical city centre of rare beauty. The many churches, squares and museums will easily fill for a day your thirst for art and culture.Pisa known for the leaning tower can be reached from Lucca in about 20 minutes. You can easily fill your day by visiting the church, the Baptistery , the diocesan Museum and the Camposanto.Florence ( 75 Km. by the Highway from Lucca) is universally known as the cradle of the arts, the Cathedral with Giotto’s Tower, the Uffizi Gallery, Ponte Vecchio… A day well spent.Siena and the Chianti hills (160 Km.) will show you the most typical and well known aspects of the Tuscan countryside.