The winter season in Lunigiana, is all about a lit fireplace, the sleeping forest, traditional bonfires...and hiking in the snow! Even if the climate is milder at the bottom of the valley, the landscape of the Tuscan-Ligurian Apennines and the National Park of the Tuscan-Emilian Apennines turns white every winter and offers wonderful views, perfect for those who want to experience winter sports alone in the soft and silent blanket of snow. In Lunigiana, you can enjoy the snow and see the sea at the same time! What are you waiting for?
Here are some proposals for itineraries of varying difficulty, starting from the Apennine passes that divide Tuscany from Emilia-Romagna, for more experienced winter walkers or for those attempting snow hiking for the first time:
On the border between Liguria, Emilia and Tuscany, the Zum Zeri ski resort is a perfect starting point for those who, in addition to skis, also want to take advantage of the snow for snowshoeing in the woods. Even for novice snowshoers, it's possible to try simple routes from here and rent snowshoes at the Passo dei Due Santi shelter. Starting from the slopes, snowshoe among the tall beech trees in a fairytale-like atmosphere, until you reach the summit of Monte Spiaggi: a natural terrace from which you can enjoy a view that sweeps from the Apennines, to the Apuane, to the Gulf of Poets.
From the Brattello Pass, the Lunigiana "gateway" that connects the town of Pontremoli with Emilia Romagna and Borgo Val di Taro, it's wonderful to get lost in the magical forest, a state-owned area of the Tuscany Region where numerous routes and small marked ring routes branch out among the conifers and beeches. These are a series of simple routes, interspersed with rest areas, for a half-day excursion. From the Brattello Pass, you can undertake a more demanding snowshoe hike that can also take you to the summit of Monte Molinatico, the watershed between the Valle del Verde and Magra.
In the small town of Comano at the foot of the Apennine peaks, we suggest departing from Passo del Lagastrello towards the summit of Monte Acuto for a challenging all-day route but which allows you to enjoy breathtaking views. Between lakes and Apennine peat bogs, after passing the beech woods, you walk along the ridge until you reach the summit. Downhill, a stop at the Città di Sarzana Shelter is a must for a refreshing hot chocolate and a slice of cake. In the Pass area, it's also possible to reach Lake Verdarolo, Lake Scuro and the ski resort of Prato Spilla, on the Parma side.
From the Cerreto Pass, well-known to skiers who enjoy the slopes of Cerreto Laghi, it's possible to undertake various routes, away from the noise of the lifts. Move towards the Ospedalaccio Pass, an ancient crossroads that connected Fivizzano and the Lunigiana to the Po Valley. You can take a ring route that brings us back to the pass (lasting half a day), or, for the more experienced, reach the sources of the Secchia on the slopes of Alpe di Succiso. Furthermore, from the Pass, we can descend towards the Padule Lake or towards the beautiful Vallone dell'Inferno where you will find the Rosario Bivouac.
We would like to advise you that a digital version of the hiking map of the Tuscan-Emilian Apennine Park is available online where you can find many of the proposed itineraries. For any further information, you can contact the local sections of Pontremoli, Filattiera, Bagnone and Fivizzano of the Italian Alpine Club, while on the MeteoApuane website you will find information on weather forecasts, even in the mountains and some webcams in the area. Snowshoe rentals are available in ZumZeri, Cerreto Laghi and Pratospilla.
The mountains always require great caution and awareness, even more so in winter. It's also possible to participate in excursions organized by guides.