Slowly descending about 20 kilometres, across mountains that overlook the plain of Pietrasanta, you find Levigliani, a hamlet in the municipality of Stazzema situated at the foot of the rocky “castle” of Monte Corchia.
We are in the heart of the mountain range that is part of the network of UNESCO geoparks. It is one of the locations that best represents the historic features and landscapes of the network and you would certainly need more than day to go through all the points of interest offered by the territory.
Spoilt for choice, we follow our hiker’s instinct that calls us towards the majestic fortress of Monte Corchia.
The trail starts from Passo della Croce, a few kilometres from the Levigliani mountain, following the ancient marble paths of Fociomboli. From here, in about twenty minutes you can reach the “Padule”, the remains of an old glacial lake fed by meteoric water and underground springs inhabited by rare botanical species - a true pearl of nature. You then follow track 129 to Mosceta and, passing through the Rifugio Del Freo, you are rewarded with the top of the crest. After having been satisfied by the splendid view, you can go back via the Retro-Corchia, passing nearby an ancient quarry.
Even if you are tired after this demanding hike, it would be a shame to leave the area without having seen the spectacular Antro del Corchia, the biggest karstic system in Italy, reachable from Levigliani thanks to an exclusive service of tourist shuttles.
With a bit more time to spare you can visit the other local attractions like the mercury mines, the Museum of Pietra Piegata and the “Lavorare Liberi” Community and Business Museum, which recounts the history of the local quarryman cooperative.