The Province of Lucca is an area that offers enchanting landscapes and allows you to discover the high peaks of the mountains, the hills with their vineyards and olive groves or the sweet tranquillity of the sea.
IN THE MOUNTAINS
For mountain lovers, Garfagnana offers numerous routes of the Italian Alpine Club to reach the high peaks and admire the wonderful views.
It is possible to climb to the top of the Pania della Croce, or to reach the fascinating natural arch of Monte Forato.
To get to know these beautiful mountains, enjoy fresh air and see suggestive sunsets, a circular route has also been created which begins and ends in San Pellegrino in Alpe, home to the Don Luigi Pellegrini Provincial Ethnographic Museum. It is a path that allows you to spend pleasant moments with family or friends. After a beautiful and regenerating walk, you can rest at the Burigone refuge, an old farmhouse of shepherds and woodcutters immersed in a magical beech forest.
To learn more about the nature trails on foot and by bicycle, you can also visit the website www.garfagnanadream.it
Another splendid place to get in touch with nature is the Orecchiella State Nature Reserve. In addition to the botanical garden where you can discover the native plants of the mountain area, there are many animal species in the reserve such as wolves, bears and roe deer. The green and accessible areas of the park are an ideal destination to spend a nice day outdoors, perhaps even stopping for a nice picnic at the park restaurant.
For cave lovers, we recommend a visit to the Grotta del vento and the cave of Corchia. For the more adventurous lovers of adventure, the Buffardello park, the Orrido di Botri rafting route and the flight of the angel in Vagli are worthy of note.
In the territory of the province of Lucca there is a millenary tradition of both spiritual and naturalistic paths, these paths deserve to be discovered.
The Via Matildica del Volto Santo begins in the Tuscan territory from San Pellegrino in Alpe, home to the Don Luigi Pellegrini Provincial Ethnographic Museum and the Sanctuary of Saints Pellegrino and Bianco; where pilgrims could find food and a bed in which to rest, before resuming their walk. The Via Matildica del Volto Santo continues down towards Castiglione di Garfagnana and crosses Castelnuovo di Garfagnana, seat of the Archaeological Museum of the Garfagnana Territory (currently closed for renovation) and then continues towards Barga with the Antonio Mordini Civic Museum of the Territory, the Multimedia Museum and Virtual tour of the Fortresses and Fortifications and the Giovanni Pascoli House Museum.
The route reaches Lucca where the ancient wooden crucifix of the Holy Face is preserved in the Monumental and Archaeological Complex of the Cathedral of Lucca.
The Via Francigena
The territory of the province of Lucca is also crossed by another well-known path, the Via Francigena which leads from Canterbury to Rome. The local route can be travelled either on foot or by bicycle. At the Archaeological Exhibition of the History of the ancient Hospital of Altopascio on the Via Francigena it is possible to visit the places that pilgrims have followed for centuries in search of their own spirituality.
In addition to the Via Francigena route, the Garfagnana area is ideal for mountain bike lovers, to discover the area one ride after another. There are many possible itineraries and the choice is really extensive.
THE COAST OF VERSILIA
The opportunities continue with Versilia which offers the opportunity to take walks along the coast between visiting one museum and another. The Massaciuccoli Romana Museum and Archaeological Area offers a magnificent panorama and is part of a fascinating nature trail. In addition to the Museum, the municipality of Massarosa also hosts the Natural Reserve of Lake Massaciuccoli where it is possible to discover the many animal and plant species that live there. In the spring months you can also admire the largest cultivation of lotus flowers in Italy, a unique spectacle not to be missed!
Visiting the territory of the Province of Lucca, it is suggested to reach the vineyards or olive groves of Montecarlo to take a walk accompanied by excellent tastings; in autumn and winter it is also possible to participate in the grape or olive harvest!
The plain of Lucca also offers the opportunity to walk the Marcia delle ville, an event organized in spring that allows you to get to know the beautiful villas of Capannori and its surroundings with their magnificent gardens. In these parks, the Lucca area offers an incredible variety of plant species imported from the 1800s also by Princess Elisa Bonaparte and then by Maria Luisa of Borboni.
In 1820, the botanical garden, which is still open to the public, was completed within the walls of Lucca. After a nice walk in the shade of large trees and a visit to the botanical garden, it is advisable to follow the olfactory itinerary within the city of Lucca.