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The Giaredo straits, Pontremoli
Photo © We Live we explore
Photo © We Live we explore

The Giaredo straits

Naturalistic attractions

Magical ravines of the Upper Lunigiana where crystal clear water flows undisturbed

The Lunigiana is not only a land of villages and castles, but hides unspoiled and little-known natural places like the Giaredo straits.

From the succession of five canyons, you can closely observe the magic of the stone carved by the swirling waters of the Gordana stream. The Giaredo straits are located on the border between Pontremoli and Zeri, in the province of Massa-Carrara and are one of the natural wonders of the Upper Lunigiana, in the Tuscan-Emilian Apennines.

Entrance to the Giaredo straits
Entrance to the Giaredo straits - Credit: Enrico Bottino

Walls over 20 meters high hide a natural world that is hard to imagine from the outside. To arrive at the straits, there is an easy walk of a few hundred meters before reaching the entrance.  Like the curtain of a theater, the banks of the stream suddenly rise up to show their secret treasure. On the stage, there is a unique show in which water, rock and wild vegetation are the protagonists, illuminated by an amber light. To climb the straits you need to walk in the stream bed and occasionally swim in the deep pools of crystal clear water. What is striking about the landscape, besides the narrowness of the gorges, is the variety of rock colors. They are a natural kaleidoscope going from red to green and from grey to blue, spread in rainbow-like layers throughout the water.

What to know before your visit

Stretti di Giaredo
Stretti di Giaredo - Credit: Sigeric Soc. Coop.

The route is open to the public and is best enjoyed in summer. Respect for the environment is required, leaving the rock formations, flora and fauna untouched; it is forbidden to light fires, pollute and leave traces of your passage. The water is very cold, so it is recommended to wear a wetsuit, a helmet and a pair of hiking shoes. It is necessary to know how to swim, check the weather forecasts and find out about the release of water from the dam.

It is advisable to visit the canyon in small, well-equipped groups. Always consider the times and methods of the excursion in relation to the group that will be taking it. Always leave instructions to someone not taking part in the excursion.

The straits can be visited with the help of expert guides, who will provide you with the necessary equipment.

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