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Riviera Apuana

The eternity of Art in the whiteness of marble

Riviera Apuana
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The Apuania area in Lunigiana corresponds to the sea side of the Apuan Alps, including the entire sandy coastline stretching from the plain of Luni to Montignoso. The name derives from the ancient and very proud population of the Ligurian Apuans, creators of the Statues menhir (Pontremoli, La Spezia), anthropomorphic megaliths of European importance. A poetic theory, bordering between Neoclassicism and Romanticism, saw the light at the beginning of the 20th century thanks to Ceccardo Roccatagliata Ceccardi, who attributed the origin of the term to the mythical Apua, who some people identify with today’s Pontremoli, our very own capital of the Valley of Magra.

The Apuan Alps range is undoubtedly unique: it rises up to almost 2,000 metres above sea level and even if none of its mountains reach the precise threshold that defines the term “alp”, its mountains have been called in this way since the 19th century in view of their absolute exceptionality.

From a geological point of view, the mountain basin is completely different from that of the Apennines: it has different and much more ancient origins.  The Apuan Alps are mainly made up of limestone rocks which gave us that precious and extremely famous quality of marble.

It is a karstic area and a source of mineral and thermal waters. The entire mountain basin hides enormous underground caves, such as those of Equi Terme, where the Tecchia is a cave that was visited by the Neanderthal subspecies. The entire Lunigiana territory has been uninterruptedly inhabited by humans since those ancient times.

The most popular mountains among hikers are Pisanino (1,946), Pizzo d’Uccello (1,781) and Monte Sagro (1,752). These mountains can be climbed through paths that are well frequented not only by expert hikers but also by amateurs, so much so that, unfortunately, the list of fatal accidents is very long: like our sea, the Apuan Alps must always be treated with utmost respect; you shall never feel too confident when climbing them.

The Apuan Alps were mentioned by classic Latin authors together with the town of Luni (which was certainly founded by the Romans, even though a portus lunae must have existed before their conquest) and Strabo referred to them as the Lunae montes. Dante mentioned them on two occasions and even Ceccardo and D’Annunzio were not immune to their charm.

The undisputed kingdom of the golden eagle, the Apuan Alps are an authentic natural heaven, a zoological and botanical oasis, and an essential destination for mineral seekers. The maps showing the trails are packed with breathtaking routes, which can be more or less challenging, such as the amazing track of Pizzo d’Uccello. Don’t miss the ancient quarry-museum of Fantiscritti, which was visited by Michelangelo and Canova several times.

Last but not least, the historic centre of Carrara, the world capital of marble, and the castle of the Malaspina-Cybo in Massa.

The Apuania area in Lunigiana corresponds to the sea side of the Apuan Alps, including the entire sandy coastline stretching from the plain of Luni to Montignoso. The name derives from the ancient and very proud population of the Ligurian Apuans, creators of the Statues menhir (Pontremoli, La Spezia), anthropomorphic megaliths of European importance. A poetic theory, bordering between Neoclassicism and Romanticism, saw the light at the beginning of the 20th century thanks to Ceccardo Roccatagliata Ceccardi, who attributed the origin of the term to the mythical Apua, who some people identify with today’s Pontremoli, our very own capital of the Valley of Magra.

The Apuan Alps range is undoubtedly unique: it rises up to almost 2,000 metres above sea level and even if none of its mountains reach the precise threshold that defines the term “alp”, its mountains have been called in this way since the 19th century in view of their absolute exceptionality.

From a geological point of view, the mountain basin is completely different from that of the Apennines: it has different and much more ancient origins.  The Apuan Alps are mainly made up of limestone rocks which gave us that precious and extremely famous quality of marble.

It is a karstic area and a source of mineral and thermal waters. The entire mountain basin hides enormous underground caves, such as those of Equi Terme, where the Tecchia is a cave that was visited by the Neanderthal subspecies. The entire Lunigiana territory has been uninterruptedly inhabited by humans since those ancient times.

Riviera Apuana

The most popular mountains among hikers are Pisanino (1,946), Pizzo d’Uccello (1,781) and Monte Sagro (1,752). These mountains can be climbed through paths that are well frequented not only by expert hikers but also by amateurs, so much so that, unfortunately, the list of fatal accidents is very long: like our sea, the Apuan Alps must always be treated with utmost respect; you shall never feel too confident when climbing them.

The Apuan Alps were mentioned by classic Latin authors together with the town of Luni (which was certainly founded by the Romans, even though a portus lunae must have existed before their conquest) and Strabo referred to them as the Lunae montes. Dante mentioned them on two occasions and even Ceccardo and D’Annunzio were not immune to their charm.

The undisputed kingdom of the golden eagle, the Apuan Alps are an authentic natural heaven, a zoological and botanical oasis, and an essential destination for mineral seekers. The maps showing the trails are packed with breathtaking routes, which can be more or less challenging, such as the amazing track of Pizzo d’Uccello. Don’t miss the ancient quarry-museum of Fantiscritti, which was visited by Michelangelo and Canova several times.

Last but not least, the historic centre of Carrara, the world capital of marble, and the castle of the Malaspina-Cybo in Massa.

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