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Day Tripping: Enjoying Autumn’s Ambiance

Day_tripping_in_TuscanyTo take a breath of fresh autumn air, the best place to go is the Alpi Apuane.

While on the coast it's still warm and the weather is mild, up on the Alpi Apuane's peaks the temperature falls sharply.

In this season the landscape is very beautiful and varied. There's no better way to enjoy it than strolling on a path among yellow, gold, red and orange leaves. Have you ever tried trail number 129? It is a simple path (1.45 hours) on the north- ern slope of Mount Corchia.

To reach this path you first have to go to Pietrasanta, that charming little town in Versilia. You can arrive here by superhighway (exit Versilia) or by the Aurelia. Head for Seravezza, and then Terrinca. Turn right towards Passo Croce.

Leave the car just after the pass where the road splits into two branches.

The right one goes to a mar- ble quarry, while the left one is the trail you are looking for.

Now it’s time to tighten your shoelaces and put on a warm woollen hat.

Let’s start walking! Don’t forget to look up at the "Corchia’s Towers" right above your heads; they’re magnificent.

At first you have to walk on a stony, rough trail, until you reach Fociomboli, a trail crossroads. Here you follow trail number 129; it passes through a forest of beech trees and, because of the seasonal change of leaves, you seem to be walking on an orange carpet. If you are lucky you can meet some wild rams grazing near the path. They are quite big animals, but don't worry.

They are shy and will run away fast when they hear human voices. This trail, after a half hour walk, leads to "Del Freo" Refuge, in Mosceta. What a sunny and delightful valley! From the green meadows around the building you can see mountains all around you, includ- ing the Corchia and the huge rocky mass of the Pania.

After a pleasant restful stop it's time to turn back. You might choose a different trail for the return: trail number 128 as far as Puntato, and number 11 from Puntato to Fociomboli.

This way is a little bit longer (2.30 hours) but it's worth the work because along the paths there are at least three interesting things: the "Wild Man's Burrow", Puntato and a peat bog. Initially the trail runs between the border of a dark forest and a nice stream, but soon it enters the forest. Here you find the "Wild Man's Burrow".

The legend says that a strange man used to live in this place. He was sad when it was sunny and worked when it rained; he wore shoes made from bark and garments made from fur, and he ate wild berries.

One day the shepherds ends and you arrive at Puntato. This was a pasture until World War II. You are in the middle of some sweet little terraced hills covered with grass and dotted with small stone buildings.

In this beautiful place the shepherds used to pasture their sheep in summer and to grow vegetables. There is a nice little church, too. Well, I guess now you are quite tired, but clench your teeth because there are some steep slopes ahead.

A path lined with two rows of trees starts at the little church.

Follow this into the forest again and go on for a rather long, hard stretch.

Then suddenly, again the forest ends and you are at another interesting spot: the peat bog. Another lovely meadow surrounded by dark forests. Enjoy a walk on this unusual grass. Numerous little streams flow across the meadow, creating a wet, elastic terrain where wild mint thrives, spreading its peculiar perfume into the air. After the last steep slope the path ends, so there you are! Do your legs feel tired? Nonetheless, your eyes feel satisfied and will store pictures of those beautiful natural landscapes, for you to remember when bad weather forces you to stay at home.

 

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