- Hiking in Tuscany 's Queen of mountains-
Hiking to Mount Pania
VIa Normale Pania della Croce
The "Hell Valley" where the standard route to the top of mount pania is set
Hiking in Tuscany’s most mountainous region is constant thrill. The Apuan Alps are a very unknown and of the beaten pat destination even for most of Tuscan people.
These peaks seldom reach above 1500mt but their morphology and environment make them as beautiful as any mountain range. More over, every time you reach a peak you get to see the Mediterranean sea.
Our hike starts from Piglionico, a tiny 4 houses village on the Inland side of the Apuan Alps. From where we leave the car we will take a conformable mountain road that takes us to the beginning of the path. Our path is a secret one, is not marked on any map and is only visible thanks to little stone-man built by the local. This will ensure us total privacy on our climb up.
The path moves up through an amazing mountain setting made of Beech trees forest and rocky plains and quickly takes us to a crossing where the standard path joins in. From there is a gentle hike immersed in full alpine environment where the vegetation stops and turns into a beautiful meadow of alpine grass. This leg of the hike takes us to the lovely mountain hut “Rifugio Rossi” where we can treat ourselves with a hot drink or a snack.
At this point we are half way up our mountain hike and we can clearly see the top of Mount Pania with its huge cross. Once rested, we will continue onward on an easy flat bit of the path that takes us to an amazing saddle where we will be able to look at coastline in front of us. From then onward is the steepest part, the “via normale” the normal route to hike to the top. It doesn’t last long though as we get easily distracted by the immense beauty that surrounds us.
Then, all the energy we spent during the hike up is instantaneously reward once reach the ridge. The view is stunning, on good day we will be able to see from Liguria and 5 terre to the north, the island on the sea and the most south reaches of Tuscany. 5 more minutes of walking on the ridge take us to the comfortable top, where we will have our picnic lunch staring at one of the most amazing view in Tuscany.
Afterward we re trace our steps downhill, reaching first the Rossi hut and then taking a different path, to get back to where we started.
Distance : 8km
Type: Semi ring walk
Elevation Gain: +850
Footwear needed: trekking boots
For kids: above 12 YO
Links: Pania on Wikipedia