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Hiking trails, awesome caves and traditional restaurants in Versilia’s Apuan Alps 

Wednesday, 23 March 2022 11:05

The Versilia region in Liguria is framed by the Apuan Alps, which have hiking trails and awesome caves and, in next to no time you can drive from the beach to peaks that rise to nearly 2,000 metres. The Apuan Alps provide spectacular views that are hard to believe, so close are they to the sea. The Versilia is therefore an ideal destination for those who enjoy both the sea and the mountains.

Famous marble quarries and 1,300 caves

Rugged peaks with slopes that have paths, shelters, and railway tracks. The area is also well-known for extracting the famous marble that's sold all over the world. And it was this mining activity that attracted Michelangelo to the area, where he stayed for quite a few years. Then there are the over 1,300 caves; the Antro del Corchia and the Grotta del Vento being particularly notable. These trails throughout the Apuan mountain complex are all well-signposted and well-maintained.

The Apuan Alps' most important trails

The Alta Via, or runs from Castelpoggio (MS) to Casoli (LU). Garfagnana Trekking (GT), which departs from Castelnuovo Garfagnana and crosses part of the Apuan Alps, is reserved for experienced hikers and consists of six stages of six hours each. This is a circular trail for experienced hikers only. The path's official name is GT; Alta Versilia Path (SAV), and it follows old mule tracks. The distance from Seravezza to the starting point can be covered (in part) by mountain bike.

 

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Italy’s largest underground cave 

The Antro del Corchia cave was discovered in 1840 and is now the largest known underground environment in Italy, as well as one of the largest in Europe. It is a karst complex and is still being discovered, with about 70 kilometres of tunnels and halls explored and mapped so far. The maximum height difference is 1,200 metres. 

Quicksilver mines, marble quarries and traditional foods

Up to now some 20 entrances have been discovered, but ongoing research will continue to reveal this complex of tunnels in Monte Corchia's marble heart. In comparison to the nearby Grotta del Vento in Garfagnana, it is a new tourist attraction having opened only in 2001. The caves are also part of a larger complex called Corchia Park, which also includes fascinating quicksilver mines and marble quarries. And to put the cherry on the cake, some of Versilia's best traditional restaurants are to be found in the area.

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