Trekking in the Apuan Alps
THE ORIGINS OF THE APUAN ALPS
Defined the “mountains emerged from the sea”, the chain formed approximately 220 million years ago during the Triassic period when, with a deeper sea, limestone reefs grew in height, creating the existentridge reaching its highest peak of 1.947 metres of Mount Pisanino. Trace of the limestone origins can also be confirmed by the number of underground tunnels and wells that have resulted in over 1,300 caves of different sizes. On the other hand, the phenomenon of metamorphism is proven by the transformation of the limestone into marble quarries. Quarries that over the centuries have represented the main income source of the local economy.
The unique microclimates associated to the proximity to the sea, the exposure of the slopes and the sudden changes of altitude have granted the development of an exceptional variety of spontaneous flora that represents two thirds of the whole natural species present in the entire Italian Peninsula. From the small bushes of the Mediterranean scrub to the deciduous woods, from the big chestnut trees to the beech forests, to the pastures on the altitudes to the narcissus, orchids, asphodels, liliums bulbiferum meadows and much more.
During our tour/ hike you will have the chance to admire and learn more about this incredible variety of plants and diverse landscapes.
Concerning the fauna, thanks to the safeguards offered by the Apuan Alps Park Body, over the last few years there has been an increase of species both in terms of types and quantity. The royal eagles have returned and now several other species nest permanently in the area. Within the most popular diurnal predators you can encounter peregrine falcons, kestrels and buzzards; and within the nocturnal ones the owl, the barn owl, the little owls and the tawny owl.
The majestic imperial raven, the alpine chough and the more rare red-billed chough that has become the symbol of the Park are also present in the area.
Within the mammals you can easily observe roe deer’s and wild boars and dears and mouflons that were introduced in the 1980’s for hunting purposes and that has adapted perfectly to the environment to the point it can be spotted frequently. Since 2008, evidence has shown that wolves have returned to the area, due to the favourable habitat they have encountered. But the most curious species are definitely the alpine crested newt and the Italian cave salamander, an ancient cave amphibious that is endemic to the area.
As you can see, there are plenty of good reasons to visit the Apuan Alps, you just need to join us and discover them!