Apuane or the Apennines? The reassuring grass of the Apennine Tosco Emiliano meadows or the "magical" places and landscapes of the Apuan Alps, a mountain with a view of the sea? The first days of January are perfect for an invigorating hike in the mountains, well covered to enjoy the cold winter air with the certainty that at the end you will find ... a good table to eat with local and artisan products.
A few kilometers from the walled city, entering the Serchio valley, you can reach the peaks that are seen in the distance from the walk of the Lucca City Walls that make up the unmistakable profile of the Lucca mountain and in the mountain landscape particularly suggestive in the winter season, hoping maybe in some beautiful snowfall.
Alpi Apuane or Appennino of your choice, for the January walks in two proposals of local environmental guides.
A great classic on the Tosco Emiliano Apennines is the snowshoe walk in San Pellegrino in Alpe, on 12 and 13 January. We start from the village to reach the shelter Burigone, a bulwark of high altitude: excellent wine and traditional food are the well-deserved refreshment of those who have faced the walk, maybe under the snow and for those who want to take the torchlight at night along the path leading to the mountain pasture.
San Pellegrino in Alpe is a small village straddling the Apennines, divided between two municipalities, two provinces, two regions. Few inhabitants who would never renounce to the splendid mountain panoramas and that every summer welcome visitors and shepherds with their flocks to the summer pastures. A small country but full of history. It is here that for years the San Pellegrino lived inside the trunk of a large beech, it is said, in the company of San Bianco with which it still shares the burial, also that straddling the boundaries within the Sanctuary.
(for all the info wildtrails: firstname.lastname@example.org or Stefano 320 2672533)
On the Versilia side of the Apuan Alps, instead, we celebrate the new year with the Men of the Snow and the Epiphany of the pennate, waiting for the dawn of the Sun that appears between Mount Nona and Mount Procinto to the site of the "Pennati di Trogna", where the ancient symbols of the pinnate are engraved on the rock.
The pennato, together with the ronca is a tool already attributed to the Etruscan-Roman God, "Silvano", the lord of the forest, invoked in the wild places to assist in the processing of the earth and trees. The oldest representation of this deity, found in the archaeological area of Scansano (Grosseto) and datable to the IV-III century BC, testifies to the cultural proximity of the Ligurian and Etruscan populations.
A standing male figurine holding in his right hand a pennate as well as a pennate embraces the pesonaggi depicted in the famous Ligurian statues stele that can be admired in several archaeological sites and museums of the Apuan mountain.
These engravings have no other evidence in the European panorama of rock engravings. There are numerous pennies, some isolated, others crossed between them, and then crosses, holes, other mysterious signs. Some are seen very well, others a little less, but wetting the rock will become more visible.
The site is reached by an easy walking path that, from the church of Cardoso di Stazzema, in 35 minutes leads to the rocky hillock of Trogna with its 43 pence where the Sun will appear at 10:00, will illuminate it with new light.
The guides suggest to wear obscured lenses to observe the Sun and, for those who have one, even their own pennate because during the day you can take advantage of the artisan grinder dell'Agricola Fatti col Pennato to sharpen them with the grinding wheel.
At the end of the "show", a short walk of about 15 minutes leads to the small Sanctuary of St. Leonardo of Noblac, the Merovingian saint invoked by the High Middle Ages as protector and liberator of those who are unjustly imprisoned where there will be .. .super Ligure-Apuana breakfast prepared by the Trattoria Peposo di Pietrasanta, with hot dishes of cabbage with cabbage frascone to the cauldron on chestnut wood, peposo in earthenware cooked in ash wood and ciacci flower (focaccette) cooked in the texts of cast iron with salami of the cardoso and cheeses.
(For information Apuantrek Stefano 3381399107. Francesco 3281590730)
foto: Stefano Pucci, Roberto Giomi