The image of the Regional Park of the Apuane Alps is strongly linked to the impressive scenes, on the western side, of the lime veins and marble quarries, while the eastern side has a softer character with narrow valleys and rich forests. The park, founded in 1985, covers 500 square kilometres over three provinces and 10 towns.
From the Castle of Gallicano the noble families of the Corvaia and the Porcaresi governed this area until the 13th century. The town then passed to the Lucchese and Gallicano became known for its firearm and munition production. In July and August are two local festivals in honour of their patron saint, Saint Jacopo, and local history respectively.
Fabbriche di Vallico
Founded by Bergamasque laborers in the 14th century who came here with their families to work in the Apuane mines. At Aiola, in the Gragliana forests, instruments are still made with a 18th century mallet in an historic blacksmiths. The area is full of mills which are still working thanks to the current of the water.
This town is made up of three villages: Piazzanello, Poggio and Villabuona. The first is reached by a road which runs through a thick chestnut forest, and has a number of beautiful houses with walled gardens in the historic centre. The church of Saints Peter and Paul was built in the 12th century with a bell tower which was built later. Poggio still has its city walls and old workshops. The suburb of Monsagrati is known as the town where Santa Zita was born and died. The itinerary ends at San Martino in Freddana.
How to get from Gallicano to San Martino in Freddana:
From Gallicano follow the valley road until you arrive at Turrite Cava. At the intersection for Fabbriche di Vallico take the street that follows the valley to the town. After the town continue along the same street to Gragliana, cross the bridge over the Turrite River, and head toward Pascoso, San Rocco in Turrite and you will reach Pescaglia. At the Trebbio crossing go straight, and head towards Fiano Loppeglia. Continuing along this road you arrive at San Martino in Freddana.