Things to do in Garfagnana: the perfect destination in every season
Garfagnana, also known as the Upper Serchio Valley, is the territory between the Apuan Alps and the Tuscan-Emilian Apennines. A border area, both at a naturalistic level, with the mountain ranges, but also with regard to the territorial aspect. Being in the center between different regions and different environments, it manages to be the ideal place to enjoy in all seasons. Here’s what to do in Garfagnana at any time of the year.
What to do in Garfagnana during winter between activities and events
The particular position of the Garfagnana also characterizes its climate. The influence of the Mediterranean winds that exceed the Apuan Alps is attenuated by the Apennines, favoring mild and not too rigid temperatures even in winter. The snow whitens the highest peaks in the period between December and March, without ever letting the temperatures drop too much. This is one of the reasons why you should choose this destination even in the coldest periods.
The activities in Garfagnana are able to satisfy young and old, thanks to the variety of the territory. From family activities, to group sports, to pleasant tastings of local products. Holiday villas in Garfagnana can be one of the most suitable solutions for combining the pleasure of a relaxing stay with adventure and fun.
Snow: the number one ally for winter activities in Garfagnana
Imagine the highest peaks of the Alps and the Apennines covered in snow. In Garfagnana, you have the opportunity to have both just a few steps away from each other. The ski resorts eagerly await tourists from all around the world every year, who come to this area for the beauty and nature of the slopes. Here’s what to do in Garfagnana in the snow!
❄️ What to do in Garfagnana: cross-country skiing, ski mountaineering, and ski lifts
In Garfagnana, you can engage in ski mountaineering, as well as cross-country skiing, and even make use of slopes and ski lifts. It’s a perfect and rare combination to find, but certainly not lacking among the things to do in Garfagnana. The ski areas in Garfagnana include Careggine, Casone di Profecchia, and Passo delle Radici. In these areas, you can practice skiing at every level while staying within the valley. Just a few kilometers away, you’ll find the Pieve Pelago and Abetone ski facilities, offering a sport-filled vacation with 22 ski lifts and various slopes tailored to your personal experience.
Holiday villa in Garfagnana: Villa Raffaelli’s proposals
Among the activities not to be missed in Garfagnana, there are also those related to food and wine. During the winter season, when the outside temperatures become colder, there are only two things that can warm the spirits of visitors: food and wine. Those who wish to enjoy the pleasures of hearty local meals can take advantage of the services provided by the local trattorias. Here’s what to do in Garfagnana: tasting and eating in Garfagnana will be like embarking on a journey through PDO products and traditional delicacies, without ever giving up the flavors of the past. Soups made with spelt and porcini mushrooms will know how to combat the winter cold.
🍳 Activities in Garfagnana: cooking classes
At Villa Raffaelli, you can take part in a local cooking class to learn the techniques that are part of the tradition and get to know the typical products of the area. As a land of chestnuts and mushrooms, Garfagnana is the birthplace of exquisite cured meats from the local pork butchery. There is no shortage of desserts, such as Pasimata, a typical Easter sweet, and Zuccarini, biscuits to be dipped in Vin Santo (a sweet dessert wine).
🍹 Tour of Italy’s first zero-impact gin distillery: Indie Distillery
Garfagnana offers a variety of unique experiences for tourists, and one of the highlights is a tour of the renowned Indie Distillery, the first zero-impact gin distillery in Italy. By booking a tour at this distillery, visitors will have the opportunity to immerse themselves in the gin production process, uncovering the secrets behind the creation of high-quality spirits. During the tour, they will be delighted with exclusive gin-based drinks and accompanied by tasty snacks that enhance the unique flavors of Garfagnana. Additionally, the distillery boasts a charming bar called La Mescita, where visitors can enjoy a wide selection of expertly crafted creative cocktails. For true connoisseurs, there is also a wine shop offering a selection of high-quality local and Italian wines. A tour of Indie Distillery is an experience that combines the art of distillation with the beauty and culture of Garfagnana.
🍷 Wine tastings in local vineyards and wineries
One of the must-do activities in Garfagnana to fully experience the culinary delights is wine tasting. From classic Tuscan wines like Sassicaia and Chianti to the noble local wines, which are the result of heroic mountain viticulture.
- Prices usually range from €20 to €30 per person.
- Typically, a visit includes a tour of the vineyard, winery, wine tastings, and snacks.
- ➡️ Please contact us for more information and recommendations on which wineries to visit.
🧘♀️ Wellness & relax in Villa Raffaelli
Experience a haven of wellness and relaxation at Villa Raffaelli, where you can indulge in moments of pure tranquility. Rejuvenate your mind and body with revitalizing yoga classes, both within the villa and amidst the enchanting surrounding woods. Treat yourself to rejuvenating massages and personalized spa treatments that will pamper you and leave you feeling completely renewed. Unwind and recharge in a picturesque setting where wellness takes center stage.
- Prices starting from 40€ to 60€ per person depending on the experience (group yoga, individual massages …)
- ➡️ Read our article on wellness & relax at Villa Raffaelli for more info
Climbing, mountaineering, snowshoeing, and trekking: the best winter activities in Garfagnana
The territory of the Apuan Alps is often referred to as a paradise for mountaineers and climbers in all seasons. The influence of sea winds, combined with the unique structure of these mountains, makes climbing, ski mountaineering, snowshoeing, and trekking the favorite things to do in Garfagnana among tourists.
What to do in Garfagnana in winter: snowshoeing and trekking in the snow
The winter climate makes the scenery magical and also perfect for a snowshoeing excursion on the opposite side, that of the Apennines. In this portion of the territory, the slopes are less rugged and steep. The forests make the environment almost surreal and create trails naturally sheltered from the elements. In the surroundings of Villa Raffaelli, some of the best trekking trails in the area start, allowing you to discover the landscapes of Garfagnana in a new light.
What to do in Garfagnana in summer: between adventure and fun
The season may change, but the range of activities in Garfagnana remains unchanged and not to be missed. Nature trails, visits to local villages, and the Garfagnana playground for children, everyone will find the activity that suits their spirit. There are many choices available, thanks to the terrain’s configuration, which has allowed caves and canyons to form naturally and unobstructed. To experience the best of this gem nestled between the Alps and the Apennines, a lunch break at a Garfagnana farmhouse is a must. Only then can one truly say they have experienced the local culture.
🗺️ Exploring the valley amidst castles, villages, and nature
Whether it’s a day at the Lucca Rafting Canyon Park or a canoe trip in Garfagnana, this territory will showcase its best. However, if you’re looking for something more relaxing in Garfagnana, you’ll find castles to visit, caves to explore, and trails to hike! These are just a few activity ideas in Garfagnana to inspire you. If you’re looking for more information on what to visit in Garfagnana, we have written an article about the top destinations in Garfagnana!
🏰 Visit the Archaeopark of the Verrucole Fortress
Another unmissable attraction in the beautiful Garfagnana is the Verrucole Fortress, a majestic medieval fortress that has been completely restored and is open to visitors as part of a fascinating Archaeopark. Tourists can reach the fortress with a short walk or by a characteristic rack railway. Once inside the fortress, visitors will be accompanied by knowledgeable and passionate guides who will take them on a journey through time, allowing them to experience the flavors and aromas of a bygone era. It will even be possible to try using an authentic medieval Trebuchet, fully immersing oneself in the atmosphere of the past. The Verrucole Fortress is a captivating place that offers an engaging and educational experience, allowing visitors to discover and better understand the historical and cultural heritage of Garfagnana. It is a unique experience that will leave a lasting impression in the memory of anyone fortunate enough to visit.
What to do in Garfagnana for adventure enthusiasts
Garfagnana is the land where you can challenge yourself and push your limits. The outdoor spirit within you can come alive by traversing Tibetan bridges or engaging in sport climbing on one of the many rock walls found in the Apuan Alps.
🧗 Safe climbing in an adventure park
If you want to practice climbing within an adventure park, then Parco Avventura Levigliese is the place for you, offering 9 climbing walls with increasing levels of difficulty.
🛶 Canoeing activities in Garfagnana: Embrace the Nature in Canoe
Renting a canoe in Garfagnana is easier than you might think. The valley, rich in watercourses, offers many spots where you can embark on this activity. Adventure parks where you can enjoy some of the best activities in Garfagnana are scattered throughout the region. For example, the Battiferro Park is located in the heart of the valley. If you’re looking for a less adrenaline-fueled and more relaxing experience, you can rent a canoe at the spectacular lake in Gramolazzo and enjoy a beautiful day in the company of a paddleboat!
Adrenaline suspended among the trees and immersed in the gorges: Adventure Parks in Garfagnana!
Garfagnana is a destination that offers a wide range of adventures for both young and old, thanks to its numerous adventure parks. Here, adrenaline enthusiasts will find a wide selection of thrilling activities, including canyoning, zip-lining, and much more. Garfagnana’s adventure parks are perfect for those seeking a fun and adventurous way to explore the region’s natural beauty. Whether suspended among the trees or immersed in the gorges, visitors will have the opportunity to test their skills and challenge themselves in a breathtaking environment. Regardless of age or level of experience, Garfagnana’s adventure parks offer an unforgettable experience for the whole family. Whether you’re an extreme sports enthusiast or simply looking to embark on a unique adventure, Garfagnana’s adventure parks are a must-visit during your stay in the region. Get ready to leave behind the daily routine and immerse yourself in a world of limitless fun and adventure.
🚣 Canyon Park Lucca Rafting
Lucca Canyon Park, located near the enchanting Garfagnana, is an adventurous and thrilling attraction. This park offers a range of adrenaline-pumping activities immersed in the pristine nature of the area. Rafting is one of the many experiences available to enjoy these crystal-clear waters. It’s an alternative way to discover the Strette canyon, aboard a raft, challenging the currents in the company of an experienced Environmental Guide. The prices for rafting in Tuscany are affordable, without compromising on professionalism. This adventure park manages to combine an adventurous side with a more spiritual one. At Strette di Cocciglia, you can immerse yourself in nature by practicing yoga in the woods or sacred dances that recall the ancient Celtic populations that once lived here. It’s also a Garfagnana playground suitable for children, where they can engage in kids’ forest activities involving the four primordial elements: Earth, Fire, Water, and Air.
🚣 Levigliese Adventure Park
Levigliese Adventure Park, located in the heart of Garfagnana, is a magical place where adventure and nature blend together. Surrounded by the imposing Apuan Alps and crossed by the Levigliese Stream, the park offers a wide range of thrilling outdoor activities such as canyoning, climbing, caving tours, and trekking. With its focus on the environment and its pristine natural beauty, Levigliese Adventure Park is the perfect place to experience excitement, fun, and relaxation for both adults and children. Let yourself be transported to the realm of adventure and discover everything the park has to offer.
🚣 Battiferro Adventure Park
The “Parco del Battiferro,” located in Fornovolasco in the heart of the Apuan Alps, offers a unique experience that combines sports, culture, and well-being in an untouched environment. By visiting ancient historical sites such as lime kilns, iron mines, and terraces, you can discover the lives of people up until the 1950s and 1960s. In addition to sports activities such as climbing, slacklining, and equipped trails, the park also offers thrilling adventures like canyoning in the crystal-clear waters of the Battiferro stream. With options suitable for families and groups of friends, the Parco del Battiferro is a place where culture, fun, and adrenaline come together in an unforgettable experience.
What to do in Garfagnana in summer surrounded by nature
Garfagnana, with its untouched nature, offers a paradise for trekking and adventure enthusiasts. Explore breathtaking trails, visit enchanting caves, and take on thrilling activities such as canyoning and climbing. Discover what to do in Garfagnana and immerse yourself in an endless variety of activities in this wonderful region.
🏞️ Visit the Orecchiella Natural Park
For those who prefer more relaxed activities in Garfagnana, the region offers many possibilities. Definitely worth a visit is the Orecchiella Park, considered the ideal place for outdoor activities. It is possible to explore the forests of Garfagnana on foot, even with guided excursions, or by bike, getting in touch with the true nature and the open-air museums that characterize the area.
📸 Capture Memories at Villa Raffaelli in Garfagnana with Garfagnanafoto.it
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🏞️ Have fun at the Buffardello Adventure Park
Selva del Buffardello Adventure Park, located in the beautiful Garfagnana, offers a nature-immersed experience dedicated to sports, fun, and adventure. With ten courses suitable for different ages and skill levels, ranging from easy to advanced, the park provides exciting challenges such as tree climbing, zip-lining, and balance games. Both children and adults can enjoy zip lines reaching heights of up to 15 meters and experience the adrenaline of the various activities offered. The experience is made safe by qualified staff and approved equipment. An unforgettable adventure for the whole family in Garfagnana.
🧺 Trekking with Picnic experience at Le Prade’s pasture
Explore the enchanting Prade Garfagnine with an exhilarating trek, followed by a delightful picnic immersed in the untouched nature of Garfagnana. Experience breathtaking views, captivating scents, and authentic flavors as you relax in the greenery and let yourself be mesmerized by the beauty of this unique location. An unforgettable adventure that combines excitement, relaxation, and culinary delights to create cherished memories. Book your trek with picnic today and discover the authentic charm of Garfagnana.
🏇 Experience the Garfagnana on horseback, immersed in nature
Horseback riding, for example, is one of the most popular light activities. The terrain allows you to ride along the mountain ridges and through the dense forests of the Apennines, getting away from the hustle and bustle of the cities. There are many equestrian centers you can rely on for a horseback excursion.
🎣 Garfagnana: the fishing paradise
Lakes and rivers are not only a paradise for adventure enthusiasts but also for those who want to indulge in fishing. “No kill” and “catch and release” activities are becoming increasingly popular to protect the local ecosystem.
Things to do in Garfagnana: the ideal activities for every season
An activity in Garfagnana suitable for all seasons is visiting the area. In this territory between Emilia and Tuscany, you can choose to explore the nature or the history that has contributed to its present-day beauty. From lakes to mountains, you can discover the influences of Celtic and Roman dominations. All of this has also had an impact on the gastronomy, which you can now taste in local trattorias offering traditional products. You can access the Bagni di Lucca activities to relax at the thermal establishments, or indulge in an enogastronomic break at a Garfagnana agriturismo to experience the local cuisine.
Exploring Garfagnana: hiking and mountain biking excursions
There are two ways to explore the area in a slow and sustainable manner: hiking and cycling. Cycling, in particular, is attracting more and more enthusiasts from around the world, thanks to the trails and steep descents. It’s a paradise for bikers who take part in the Garfagnana Epic, a famous non-competitive group cycling event held in this valley. The excursions offer a choice based on their difficulty. While the Apennine trails are accessible to all, the Apuan trails become steeper and more challenging. If you want to discover the best trekking routes in Garfagnana, we have written an article about it. Planning to stay at Villa Raffaelli agriturismo in Garfagnana? No problem! We have compiled a list of the best trekking and mountain biking routes near the villa.
🚵♂️ On a bike:
🥾 On your feet:
Get inspired with photography workshops and wild watching!
In these lands, it’s easy to combine multiple activities into one goal. That’s why a trekking in the woods can become a photography workshop. It’s a real playground in Garfagnana for those who want to capture unique and unmistakable shots. It’s something to do in Castelnuovo di Garfagnana to capture the essence of nature through the camera lens. For those staying at Villa Raffaelli, it’s possible to arrange photography workshops upon request. Golden eagles, roe deer, foxes, and wolves. They are the true inhabitants of Garfagnana. Leonardo Papèra, a professional landscape photographer, can teach you the secrets of the trade and help you capture unforgettable memories. That’s why you can meet them during a guided excursion organized by Environmental Guides to get to know the local fauna. In spring, they search for raptors in flight, while in winter, they explore the tracks left on the snow.
Garfagnana on two wheels
Among the many ways to discover a place, there is certainly the option of exploring its roads at a leisurely pace. A more than valid alternative is to enjoy it on two wheels! The roads in Garfagnana are fabulous. We recommend taking a ride towards Isola Santa or visiting the Grotta del Vento: the road to get there seems to be made for riding a motorcycle! You can find more information and interesting routes in our article about what to visit in Garfagnana.
Activities in Garfagnana: Vespa Tours
One way to explore Garfagnana is to hop on a Vespa. It’s possible to organize a journey on two wheels through the charming medieval villages and towns perched on the mountains. It’s a slow-paced tourism where you can stop to savor a platter of local cheeses and cured meats in one town, then continue the journey in search of a good glass of wine in the next. What to do in Garfagnana on a Vespa is simple, just trust your instincts and be inspired by the beauty of the valley.
🏔️ A View from Above: The Swing of Monte Forato
One of the must-see attractions in Garfagnana is the swing of Monte Forato. Located at a breathtaking height, this swing offers a unique perspective of the surrounding landscape. Sitting on the swing, you can admire the majestic mountains, lush forests, and the iconic natural arch of Monte Forato. It’s a thrilling and unforgettable experience that allows you to immerse yourself in the beauty of Garfagnana from a different vantage point.
What to do in Castelnuovo di Garfagnana, the capital of the region
This location is recognized as the capital of Garfagnana. If you’re looking for things to do in Garfagnana, Castelnuovo has some proposals for you. It is a medieval village located in the valley where the Turrite stream flows into the Serchio River. It is a place of great natural and historical importance, which still showcases its architectural and cultural heritage. It can be reached through trails that connect its hamlets, offering paths immersed in nature where you can witness the importance of agricultural tradition in the development of the village. There are also sports facilities, hiking and cycling itineraries.
Activities in Garfagnana: Golf Club
Don’t miss the Garfagnana Golf Club. Golfing is a must-do activity in Castelnuovo di Garfagnana to enjoy the tranquility of beech and chestnut forests while admiring the view of the Apuan Alps. The natural environment creates the ideal undulating course for the 6 holes. Everything you need for a complete experience, from the practice range to the clubhouse where you can enjoy a cocktail after the game.
Events and festivals in Castelnuovo di Garfagnana
During the summer, Castelnuovo di Garfagnana comes alive with festivals and events. If you want to know what to do in Garfagnana, you should know that during the week of Ferragosto (mid-August), events are organized dedicated to the Week of Commerce, a way to stimulate the local economy and promote the local specialties. Other well-known events include the Festival of Magic and Illusionism and the International Academy of Music, which brings artists from around the world to Garfagnana every year.
Participating in numerous festivals and village fairs
Every small village in Garfagnana carries its own traditions and festivals. Villa Raffaelli, an agriturismo in Garfagnana, is located in the village of Fosciandora. Here, two delicious festivals take place in Garfagnana: the Wine Festival in the hamlet of Riana and the Chestnut Festival in the hamlet of Lupinaia. The Wine Festival usually takes place in October, while the Chestnut Festival is held in November. If you stay at Villa Raffaelli during the winter season, don’t miss these two festivals where you can taste typical local products derived from chestnuts and enjoy the good local wine… flowing from a fountain! But the festivities don’t end in the small village of Fosciandora: there are equally as many festivals in winter (and summer) throughout the valley.