Activities in the Lunigiana Region


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 easily accessible.

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) waymarked paths.

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 climbing.

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 adventurous, the 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). Click here for details.

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 friendly.

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 details.

Sightseeing .....
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 seafood restaurants.

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 Parma 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 Lucca, 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 town.

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 Baptistery.

Click images for info


Winter sports


Trekking on horseback

VillaSport Villafranca

Marinella di Sarzana
The Seaside

Torrente Caprio

    Yew Tree House, Scar Street, Grassington, Skipton, North Yorkshire BD23 5AS
    Tel  No: +44 (01756) 753075         email: