- Departure: Fivizzano (Fivizzano)
Zona del Parco: From Bismantova to Garfagnana
Astride two mountain chains, the Apennines and Alpi Apuane, the route touches the territory of the National Park only marginally, but it climbs to an incredible panoramic point: the large meadow ridge between Foce Carpinelli, Colle dell'Argegna, and Tea Pass, watershed between the river Magra and Serchio basin, offering a balcony facing the southernmost section of the Park.
Along Aulella and Serchio valley, the route follows the historical pilgrimage itinerary along a way representing an alternative to Via Francigena.
The route by car mainly develops along the road SR 445, with various detours along SP roads, usually smooth but with a winding development, above all on Garfagnana slope.
From Fivizzano, take the road SS del Cerreto until you find SR 445 of Garfagnana. The first town you will meet is Codiponte, where you can admire the beautiful 12th century country church built on a Ligurian settlement dating back to the Iron Age and dedicated to SS. Cornelio and Cipriano.
Beyond Codiponte, you will get in Casola in Lunigiana, a very ancient town where several Statues menhir have been found.
Immediately beyond Foce Carpinelli, beyond Metra country hamlet, turn left to Colle dell'Argegna, where the road climbs up to the junction with the nearby rests of Ospitale di Passo Tea, dedicated to San Nicolao, brought to the light by some archaeological excavations. From the pass you can enjoy a wonderful panorama over Pania di Corfino and Alpi Apuane; moreover, it represents an ideal departure point for some tours to Mt. Tondo and Alpe Tre Potenze.
Leave now the ridge and go down to Giuncugnano. Upstream the town there is a road leading to the several mountain country hamlets, characterized by narrow paved alleys, houses leaning one against the other, and sandstone portals, like Ponteccio, Gragna and Magliano, the latter boasting Sant'Andrea Apostolo Church.
Going ahead along SR 445, you will enter Valle del Serchio and get in Piazza al Serchio, a town built on a site populated already in the pre-Roman Age by Ligurian people.
The following lap is San Romano in Garfagnana. In the town center, you will find the ancient palace Pelliccioni-Marazzini, which is an example of the widespread building with overlapping logge, housing the Local Archaeology Permanent Exhibit dedicated to the presence of the Ligurian populations in Valle del Serchio.
Upstream San Romano in Garfagnana you can climb to the monumental complex of Fortezza delle Verrucole, with the relative archaeological excavation center.
Going back to the SR road, at the end of the itinerary, you will get in Castelnuovo di Garfagnana, situated at the confluence between the streams Turrite Secca and Serchio. The town was born as a late medieval fortified center and belonged to Countess Matilde from Canossa, although very few rests dating back to this period remain. The historical town center is dominated by Rocca Ariostesca, welcoming in the past the Este commissioners, obtained from a more ancient tower-house. The Rocca houses Garfagnana Archaeological Museum and the permanent exhibit "La Montagna ed il suo Popolo", dedicated to the Ligurian civilization.