Today we know how walking in the woods can decrease glycated hemoglobin and other factors of chronic inflammation that are the cause of many diseases. It has been found that negative hydrogen ions and phytokines, natural antibiotics that strengthen the immune system, are found in forests, especially near water sources. The woods are therefore an excellent natural gym where trekking and walks on uneven ground tone up ligaments and muscles, remove osteoporosis and also promote calorie consumption. Contact with nature relaxes and removes stress! So if you are in Garfagnana and you are wondering which are the best paths for walking and trekking in Fosciandora, do not wait any longer … let’s discover them together!
Fosciandora is a characteristic municipality of Garfagnana distributed on three slopes. The view in all its hamlets is always breathtaking , facing the panorama of the Apuan Alps. Villa Raffaelli is a holiday home located right in the main town of Fosciandora, from which nature trails depart where you can discover enchanted landscapes, between streams and waterfalls, where you will savor the scents and sounds of nature. The Vie dei Raffaelli are a collection of the 5 Best Trekking routes to do in Fosciandora , in Garfagnana. Even the little ones will love these paths where, with the help of their imagination, they will meet elves, fairies or witches. In fact, the resemblance to the scenarios described by Tolkien in The Lord of the Rings is sometimes very close! You will not find the classic Tuscan hilly landscapes, but beautiful valleys and slopes suitable for all walkers. Get ready to venture into the cool Garfagnini woods. So … shall we leave?
A walking path suitable for everyone, relaxing , where you can enjoy forest therapy among streams, ancient mills and waterfalls. The “Giro del Bufardello” or the “Locus Amoenus” can be covered. We start from Villa Raffaelli on the paved road that runs along the medieval walls and the swimming pool of the Villa itself. At the crossroads we continue to Campi di Lupinaia and continue uphill to a crossroads: on the left the road continues to Lupinaia, but we turn right entering the grassy undergrowth road marked by Rosa and by white signs, keeping the path to the left and following shortly after, the signs for “Locus Amoenus”: we reach an old, now dilapidated mill, a metatino for drying chestnuts and a waterfall immersed in the green of the woods. We go back on the same path, but at the crossroads we take the indication for “Pozzo degli Elfi”, going down a slope; after a few minutes we are at a stream dominated by a rock with drooping ivy and a bench: if we want to reach the Tana dell’Istrice we must continue for 10 minutes, otherwise we complete the Giro del Bufardello passing the rock and climbing a path that leads to an ancient stone basin; here an illustrated sign tells one of the legends of the spiteful Bufardello. We can re-enter, re-encountering the previous path and closing the Ring.
Trekking route in Fosciandora that leads to the panoramic village of Treppignana passing through chestnut groves and over a medieval bridge . We start from the Villa on the paved road that runs along the medieval walls and the swimming pool of the Villa itself. Arrived at the crossroads we continue to Campi di Lupinaia, uphill to the crossroads, marked by a sign and green color where we descend into the meadows admiring the view of the green valley surrounded by the Apuan Alps: next to a small farmhouse we go up the grassy path continuing, up to the wood. We will soon arrive at the Ponte della Penna , a medieval bridge that crosses a stream that is often dry in summer and here we take the signs for Treppignana. We will continue on the road among the chestnut groves until we reach the town cemetery and we will arrive in Treppignana, a village with a splendid panorama , dominated by an ancient building, today a Bed and Breakfast. We go back down from the asphalted road, we meet the village of Riana, famous for its wine, and we continue to the intersection with an unpaved road, in a curve, marked by the sign “Cerreta”: then we turn right and cross the stream that in summer is usually almost dry, reaching the ruins of the Mulin della Cerreta and going up into the woods until you meet the asphalted road that leads, shortly after, to Fosciandora.
This walk is partly made up of an ancient mule track that leads to a mountain pasture passing by the Gran Burrone waterfall , a 30-meter jump from the rock. We start from Villa Raffaelli on the paved road that runs along the medieval walls and the swimming pool of the Villa itself. Arrived at the crossroads we continue to Campi di Lupinaia, taking the very steep road on the left that leads to Lupinaia (marked blue). A little step! Arrived at the stone arch of the South Gate we do not enter the town, but we turn right and climb, with a considerable difference in height, up to a crossroads where the yellow path on the left and blue on the right is signposted. Shortly after we reach a panoramic point between the rocks and dominating the valley with a pretty votive mestaina. After 20 min. approximately we arrive at the little bridge of the Ridonda and shortly after there is the detour to the left marked with the waterfall and the mill of Sasso Mutignani. You can get there after about 30 minutes: if you want to reach the pasture of Sasso Mutignani and its centuries-old chestnut, there are still 30 minutes of walking.
Ancient main road perfect for trekking that passes through the village of Riana which descends along the Remonio stream, skirting the Grotta delle Fate and the ruins of a mill. We start from the Villa on the paved road that runs along the medieval walls and the swimming pool of the Villa itself. We arrive at a first crossroads with Campi di Lupinaia on the left and on the right Strada Cerreta marked in purple. We go down to a parking lot and continue on the grassy path marked up to the ruins of a mill, we pass a ford and along the way, on the other side, carved into the rock, La Grotta delle Fate appears which dominates the stream: it is a natural cave which, through a narrow entrance, accessible only by expert guides in geology, it leads to underground paths for speleologists. We continue until we meet the municipal road to Riana on the left: in fact, shortly after, the oriental shape of the bell tower appears and then the pretty village with its characteristic views; Riana is famous for its good wine and is in fact surrounded by well-kept vineyards: we go up on the paved road towards the Treppignana arrow, but near the cemetery the Strada della Cerreta per Fosciandora is indicated with an arrow, which takes us back to the woods and reconnects to the path we took before on the outward journey.
Trekkingroute that climbs from the South Gate of the village of Lupinaiatowards the Oratory of the Madonna delle Grazie in the shade of the centuries-old chestnut trees to reach the ruins of an ancient sighting outpost from which you can admire the view of the valley. We start from the Villa on the paved road that runs along the medieval walls and the swimming pool of the Villa itself. Arriving at the crossroads on the right we see the path of the Enchanted Wood marked in pink, while on the left we continue on the dirt road marked in yellow: there are signs of private property, but the passage for trekking is allowed; in fact the road leads to the South Gate of the town of Lupinaia. But we continue our journey by taking the South Gate to the right and climbing the grassy path we arrive at the eighteenth-century Oratory of the Madonna delle Grazie, also known as della Tosse. We continue to the left crossing the meadows above the village and descend to the indication for Castagneto secolare along the path between gigantic trees to the village of Lupinaia; we cross it admiring its medieval structure and in the church of San Pietro we will be able to observe a precious Lombard stoup. We go down to the lower part of the town until we find the South Gate and from the steep paved road we return to the return path (1 hour 30 minutes). If, on the other hand, we want to take the longer route to La Rocchetta, after the Oratory we turn right and continue on the dirt road to the Rocchetta, an ancient sighting structure of which some ruins remain and from which it is possible to admire an exceptional view of the valley. The return can be made by descending from the path that you immediately take to the right marked 24 white and red which leads back to the fields above Lupinaia, then as mentioned above you pass through the centuries-old Castagneto and continue as described above. Or with a longer but easier path along the carriage road to the village of La Villa and then next to the church take the small road between the houses that leads to the Grotte Alte and Fosciandora (3 hours).
A few minutes drive from the villa, Garfagnana offers wonderful trekking and mountain bike trails both on the Apennines, where Mount Prado is the highest in Tuscany, and on the Apuan Alps. We advise you to take a look at the fantastic tourist portal Garfagnanadream.it where you can find a myriad of useful information for your stay in Garfagnana. This territory has lots of activities to offer you! Don’t miss them.