Discover Trassilico and the Garfagnana area
Hiking, Climbing and Ski-Touring
Trassilico is set in a panoramic position at an altitude of about 700 metres above sea level, dominating the Serchio valley and offering stunning views in all directions. It is the ideal basecamp to explore the Southern part of the Apuan mountains. While not connected to the Alps, they are often dubbed “the Alps of Tuscany” on account of their craggy, towering peaks.
You can enjoy the stupendous 360 degree panorama from the top of Monte Palodina (1.170 m) after less than two hours walking from the village. More ambitious hikes lead to Monte Croce (1.314 m) or Monte Forato (1.230 m) – the latter is considered a major landmark and one of the main attractions of the region, featuring a hole in the mountain more than 30 meters wide, resulting in the famous “double sunset” twice a year (the sun first sets on the mountain and then reemerges through the hole). The nearby Pania della Croce (1.858 m) is rightly called “the Queen of the Apuan Alps”, with her little sister Pania Secca (1.711 m) standing right next to her. All of the peaks mentioned above offer incomparable views of the coastline and the Mediterrean Sea. But even those staying far from the peaks will enjoy beautiful natural landscapes. On demand, we offer guided hikes for groups with a trained nature-guide and biologist.
More advanced and independent mountaineers will find delight in the wide range of mountain sport possibilities that the area offers. Numerous climbing and fixed-rope routes (spring to autumn), ski-touring (including sea-view!) and ice-climbing possibilities (winter) are waiting to be discovered by those who are constantly on the lookout for the next insiders’ tip.
The ancient walls of Trassilico
Throughout the middle age and beyond, Trassilico used to be one of the most important centres of administration in the Garfagnana territory. In modern times, the village experienced partial abandonment, but the historic importance and past glory of the place is clear at first sight. The entire village feels like an open-air museum, but the historical experience peaks on the highest point of the settlement where we find the newly-restored Rocca Estense, a more-than-thousand-year-old fortress. In the past, it provided an essential lookout for strategic and military purposes. Today, it allows us to peacefully enjoy a unique view over the village, the Appennines, the Serchio valley and the dramatic mountain peaks of the Apuan Alps.
The Garfagnana region offers innumerable possibilities for historical sightseeing. From a multitude of hilltop stone-built villages to the medieval towns of Barga (judged one of Italy’s most beautiful towns!) and Castelnuovo di Garfagnana, from the huge Verrucole fortress to the elegant “Devil’s Bridge” – the interested visitor could easily spend several weeks exploring the variety of sights in the near surroundings. Even the world-famous and art-loaded cities of Lucca, Pisa and Florence are all easily reachable in a day trip, as is the Tyrrhenian Sea with the renowned Cinque Terre coastal villages.
Mountainbiking and Downhill trails
Being prominently built on a mountain crest, Trassilico lies at the heart of a vast mountainbiking network. For those who like riding technically-challenging trails, there are three downhill options starting right at the village: “Zappello”, “Capre” and “Piastreto” offer an old-school trail experience, providing a little-known alternative to the busy trails in the Alps. Trailriders, this is as ‘off the beaten track’ as it gets! Less technically-skilled bikers also find their fair share of trails around the village – some of which even reach the neighbouring valley of Fabbriche di Vallico.
Nature at its best
The Apuan Alps with their unique geology, topography and climate are one of the most biodiverse mountain areas of Italy and even Europe, and the Parco Apuane protected area aims to preserve its natural treasures for future generations. A significant number of plant and animal species are endemic, meaning that they cannot be found anywhere else in the world – making the area a paradise for field observation, birdwatching or other naturalistic activities and enquiries.
Among the larger animals, the presence of the golden eagle and the wolf stand out. An encounter with the latter, an extremely shy and alert animal, is almost impossible – but enthusiasts can track these and many other animals through their droppings, footprints and tracks, supported by the information displayed on the newly opened “trail of the wolf” on the ridge above the village.
Not only does the richness of plant and animal species in the area impress nature lovers, the diversity of landscape features is equally striking. Two of the Apuan Alps’ caves – the Grotta del Vento and Antro del Corchia – are major attractions offering guided visits and known far beyond the borders of the region. Hundreds of undeveloped caves attract speleologists from all over the world. Among the geological features the Orrido di Botri, Tuscany’s deepest gorge boasts crystal-clear pools and vertical rock walls. It’s beauty inspired Dante Alighieri, probably Italy’s most famous writer. To cool off on a hot summer day, you can also go for a swim in one of the Apuan Alps’ lakes – the nearest one, Lago di Trombacco, is within walking distance of the village.
Children of all ages, including the full-grown ones, will love the three adventure parks near Trassilico, offering numerous enthralling activities on land and in the water.