No limits for the adventurous!
A comprehensive list of local sports facilities
may be found on the tourist board's web site (APT Massa Carrara).
Rambling & country walking .....
There are lots of well marked paths which lead
directly from the house through chestnut woods
and unspoilt villages into beautiful upland
meadows. Take a packed lunch and enjoy the
slower pace of life as chestnuts and olives
are harvested and fungi are gathered. We
are happy to suggest walks to you. For the
serious rambler, the Appennine ridge sits two
miles above the house, the Apuan Alps are within
40 minutes drive and the Garfagnana valley is
For the convenience of guests we provide a
comprehensive selection of local reference maps
at 1:25000 scale together with GPS data which
cover the main CAI (Club Alpino Italiano)
Camping, mountain hiking & scrambling
Adrenaline junkies unafraid of heights who would
like to explore the remoter areas of the High
Lunigiana should click here
for more information!
Winter Sports .....
There are two main ski areas nearby: Cerreto
Laghi and Prato
Spilla. These resorts are also open
for summer activities such as hiking and
Mountain Biking .....
There are mountain bike tracks leading directly
from the village. Performance bikes can be hired
in Villafranca (see our Cycle
Information Sheet). For the more
Parco dei Cento Laghi (readily accessible
via the Cirone, Lagostrello & Cerreto
Passes) has 150km+ of challenging cycle paths.
Swimming, tennis, gym facilities ....
Only a short drive away is the VillaSport
complex which is open throughout the summer.
This incorporates various open air pools and is
suitable for all ages and levels of expertise.
There is a gym and the complex also includes two
good quality clay tennis courts (one indoor).
Alternatively you might like to swim near to the
village in delightful
pools created by the River Caprio as it
tumbles down from the mountains - a great spot
for a picnic.
A Day at the Seaside
Why not spend a day at the free beach located
South of the Magra river estuary at Marinella di
Sarzana? The sand is good, lifeguards are on
patrol, beach furniture is available for hire at
modest rates and there are plenty of cafes to
refresh you after a swim. Click
here for details and directions.
Horse Riding (Western Style)
The local horse riding school (Ranch
la Collina) is 10mins drive from the house
and claims to cater for riders of all abilities.
In May 2009 we came across one of their trekking
parties at Passo Coletta - the horses seemed to
be in good condition and the leaders were very
There are a good number of interesting canoe
runs within the Lunigiana area, the most
sedate being a downstream paddle along the River
Magra from Aulla to the sea. Most of the others
are challenging and require substantial skill
and a high level of fitness. See the Canoa
Club Valli del Taro web site for full
Close to home is Pontremoli,
a small mediaeval town with two rivers, a range
of shops and restaurants and the Castello del
Piagnaro which houses the intriguing collection
of Statue Stele.
If you like the coast, visit the Cinque
Terre, the five historic villages clinging
to the Ligurian coast and also the beautiful
resorts of Portovenere and Lerici overlooking
the Gulf of Poets. In season, a ferry runs
between the villages and there are numerous
If sophisticated city life is more to your
taste, try visiting La
Spezia - an easily accessed and much
underrated city blessed with palm lined seafront
gardens, fascinating museums and a fresh
food market hard to beat for variety and low
prices - a must for fish lovers. In the opposite
direction - 75mins by train from Pontremoli - is
with its elegant shops, impressive art galleries
and active classical music/opera scene (it was
the home of Giuseppe Verdi). The city continues
to be proud of its French cultural heritage
which is still very much in evidence.
(Napoleon's second wife, Empress Marie Louise,
was Duchess of the province from 1817 until her
death in 1847). Whilst there, do try the
authentic Parma ham and Parmesan cheese.
Drive down the magnificent Garfagnana
Valley and visit Grotto del Vento (the
Wind Cave) or the Carrara
Museum. Alternatively take the train to to
one of Italy's finest mediaeval treasures. The
centre is relatively unspoilt and is sprinkled
with palazzi, towers and almost countless
splendid churches. Hire a bike to ride round the
3 miles of wall and through the traffic free
Florence is a 'once in a lifetime experience' -
try taking the early train as driving into
Florence is difficult - or take the car
part way and complete your journey by train. Oh,
and you mustn't miss a visit to Pisa
with its Leaning Tower and impressive
Click images for info
Trekking on horseback