Posted by: debrakolkka | May 3, 2010

Walking in the mountains-April 2010

For Pegaso, the trekking group of the Bagni di Lucca area, the 2010 trekking season runs from March to October; and with both the nearby Apuan and Appenine mountains to explore, there are lots of interesting and challenging places to visit.

Even in Italy, the weather in March can be problematic and the first group trek on 21 March to Mount Verruca had to be rescheduled to 9 May, because of poor weather conditions. Apart from the inconvenience of the rain itself, the paths become very slippery and dangerous.

Jim went with the Group on the April outing to Mount Palodina in the Apuan mountains.  The starting point for the walk was Vallico di Sopra, a nearby village on the edge of the national park.

The group set out from Vallico di Sopra with Jim in his blue hat leading the way

The group climbed to a small village (San Luigi) and then to the summit of Mt Palodina.

Looking down on San Luigi from above

Looking down on San Luigi from above

The group on Mt Palodina posing

After a break, feasting on delicacies retrieved from backpacks, they returned to San Luigi and then walked across country to a popular mountain viewing point at the cross on Mt Penna.  They later returned to Vallico di Sopra, stopping at Buca di Casteltendine, a very interesting mountain grotto where evidence has been found of ancient Eutruscan activity.

Fornaci di Barga from the cross on Mt Penna

Inside Tana di Casteltendine

The views from almost every vantage point are quite breathtaking and vividly show the many small villages dotted throughout the mountains, each with its own distinct character.  The people who established them many centuries must have been extremely resilient.

Village of Vergemoli from Mt Palodina

We have land near the village of Vergemoli where we are planning to rebuild the stone cottage that once stood there.  It is 10 minutes walk from the village.  Look for the post called “Grand Designs – the pile of rocks.

 An extra benefit for Jim  is that his Italian has improved a lot on these outings where it is necessary to speak Italian all day. 

As always, the trek was very well organised, with Giorgio recording it on video and Emanuelle recording it with photos.

The national parks of the Apuan and Apennine mountains in the Garfagnana are controlled by the Italian forest service.  Facilities are good and are very well used by many trekkers from spring through to autumn each year.  Even during winter, there are some very hardy and experienced walkers who walk in the mountains.

A compete photo record of the group treks can be found at Emanuelle’s flickr site  at .


  1. Great photos again. Well trekked Jim. I note you have over 7,000 hits on the site now so you and Liz must be generating a lot of interest in Bagni di Lucca – and the rest of Italy.

  2. Debra did you go with them?
    Looks like a wonderful trail!!!
    I love hiking!

    • Hi Mirella, I didn’t go with the group. Jim is a regular and he took the photos and wrote the story – I just posted it for him. I like to walk here but I am a bit slow and I am not too keen on hills. Deb

  3. Ok I see:)

  4. […] here to see another group […]

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