Posted by: debrakolkka | December 19, 2009

Bagni di Lucca Trekking Club

Pegaso, Gruppo Trekking (the Bagni di Lucca Trekking Club) was formed in 2003 by Emanuele Lotti.   The club has more than 100 members, a very impressive achievement for a small village.

Bagni di Lucca is on the edge of the Garfagnana, and with both the Apennine and Apuane mountains running through the area, there are large national parks with well developed and well used trekking facilities.   Emanuele, together with Giorgio and Tommaso, organise monthly group walks between March and October each year.  Additionally, the group has a 3 day trip to walk in the Dolomite mountains in the north east of Italy.  This excursion is always a very popular and well attended one.

There are rest stops dotted throughout the mountains called “rifugio”.  Italians like to take their coffee in comfort at all times.  Some rifugii are staffed and refreshments are available.  Others have facilities for self-catering.

Rifugio di Forte dei Marmi

My husband Jim was introduced to trekking by our friend Claudio, a very experienced and enthusiastic trekker who walks in the mountains virtually every weekend, other than in the depths of winter.  He was happy to show Jim the basics of mountain trekking.  His first piece of advice was “In montagne, non si sa mai il tempo.” (In the mountains, one never knows the weather)  In other words, be prepared.  Jim’s outings with Claudio are also a good way to practice a little Italian.

Jim (left) and Claudio (right) starting a walk in early spring

A very dedicated Giorgio has videoed virtually every group walk sisnce 2003.   Participants gather occasionally to watch themselves.   Emanuele photograps every walk and publishes them at

Emanuele also organises weekly walks for anyone who is interested.  Italians love to walk in the countryside and who can blame them when it is so beautiful.

The variety of scenery in the mountains, with so much packed into a small area makes trekking wonderfully interesting.  In addition to the spectacular fauna and mountain views, at any time you may come across a remote village.  Each has its own individual character and could be several hundred years old.  It is incredible to find that many are still occupied, with people going about their lives as people do everywhere.  Coming from Australia where there are no really old settlements, I am constantly amazed by this.

Three villages-Stazzema, Retignano and Basati

Jim did 2 walks in early 2009.  On May 3 the club walked to Grotta all’Onda, which is a well known (for the locals) destination.  It is situated at a height of 710 metres above sea level on the slopes of Mount Matanna in the hamlet of Casoli.  Neanderthal man lived in the cave, hunting in surrounding areas and remnants of their lives have been found in the area.

Grupo Pegaso at the mouth of Grotta all’Onda

On May 10, a small group consisting of Emanuele, Jim, our friend Agostino (another keen walker) and his brother-in-law Bruno walked to Monte Croce.  This was a much more testing walk than the previous week’s walk.  When they arrived at Monte Croce after a 4 hour walk Emanuele helpfully told Jim that an alternative way to get there is to drive there (on sealed roads).  They were met by several other (so called) trekkers who had taken that option.

(From the left) Jim, Bruno, Agostino and Emanuele on Monte Croce

There is always something interesting to do in Bagni di Lucca.

Click here to see another group walk.


  1. Magnifico lavoro. Un ringraziamento personale per le belle parole anche se devo ammettere che sono stato solo uno dei tanti che ha contribuito a far nascere e prosperare il Gruppo Trekking “Pegaso”.

    Un caro saluto dall’Italia e dal GT “Pegaso”,

    Emanuele Lotti

  2. […] here to see more on the Bagni di Lucca Trekking […]

  3. Fantastico 🙂
    Just what I was looking for. Thank you.

  4. Hello : ) im living in brandeglio and am very interested in your trekking club and how to join?

    • If you google Gruppo Pegaso there should be a contact for Emanuele Lotti.

  5. We are staying in Lucca for 6 weeks (May/June). We want to join a walking group where we can explore the area but also so we can practice our Italian.

    Can we join your group and can you send us any details about walks planned in May or June this year?

    • The group does not take casual participants. I would suggest you contact Paola Moschini at
      She is a tour guide in Lucca with ans excellent knowledge of the area. She may be able to help you.
      You could also try
      Enjoy your time in lovely Lucca.

  6. Great reading your blog posst

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