Northern Tuscany boasts traditional hilltop villages and medieval castles, but here the pace is much slower. This is the perfect region for activity based holiday's.
The scenery throughout Tuscany varies quite considerably depending on where you go. The landscape and terrain in the North is very different from the South. Its unspoiled landscape is mountainous, more rugged and broken up with thick woodland.
Northern Tuscany boasts traditional hilltop villages and medieval castles, but here the pace is much slower. This is the perfect region for activity based holiday's. It is ideal for families with older children, or two-centre holiday's. As well as being by the breath-taking Apuan Alps, you can easily reach the coast within a 30 minute drive.
Northern Tuscany offers the best of both worlds, soak up the sun on the beach, go hiking in the mountains, or visit amazing cities and towns such as Florence, Lucca, Pisa and Pistoia. Northern Tuscany may be less stereotypically Tuscan but it has classic architecture, artistic treasures, striking hilly landscapes and plenty of cultural events to enjoy.
Hotels in this region: Hotel Ca Del Moro
Our Tuscan Secret is the Ca del Moro in Pontremoli. Pontremoli is a medieval town in the Tuscany region of Lunigiana. Lunigiana borders Liguria and Emilia Romagna so it has quite a unique culinary history, it is well known for its wonderful food.
Ca Del Moro is very much a family hotel offering classic rooms, superior rooms, junior suites and family suites. It has a pool and a 4 hole golf course as well as a small Spa.
The restaurant is renowned locally for its wonderful food. The hotel is a short walk from the nearby town of Pontremoli which also has a castle as well as carved stones bating back to pre-Roman times.
This area of Tuscany is virtually untouched by the tourists it has deep forests and fields as well as hills leading to the mountainous background. The mountains are teaming with wildlife such as deer and wild boar as well as rabbit and hare.
Lunigiana is also known as the land of a thousand castles. Some today are total ruins, whilst others can be visited and some have become private homes whilst others have been converted into amazing hotels and wedding venues.
Being quite rural regions there are many farms here which have become agritourismo offering overnight accommodation, usually self-catering but many also serve the local community with a wonderful restaurant. E-Bikes are readily available at the majority of the agritourismo.we also have an Albergo Difuso. This was a deserted village in the mountains, where the houses have been well renovated into self-catering accommodation with a shred pool. Nearby is a shop and a restaurant. Views here are simply spectacular, this is a great area for trekking.
All visitors will receive the warmest of welcomes in these regions of Tuscany and they offer so much, particularly for the more active families, especially those with teenage children. Directly over the Apuan Alps is Versilia here you find the most wonderful beaches in Tuscany. A perfect choice for a 2 centre holiday.
I mentioned that these areas are rugged and mountainous, therefore they lend perfectly for activity holidays. We have wonderful guides here who will lead our customers, trekking, cycling, river trekking, canyoning, canoeing and horse riding.
Travelling south from Lunigiana you enter the Garfagnana, this is split by the Serchio river valley with the Apuan Alps to the west where the marble of Carrara is found to the higher Appenines to the east which lead into Pistoia where the best ski resorts are in Tuscany.
Being mountainous also means there are some spectacular cave complexes open to the public, one of which has an adventure playground for children.
Trekking is very popular here as is canoeing. There are more castles here than anywhere else in Italy. There are also many fortified hilltop villages and towns so many are worth exploring. The City of Parma is only a 40 minute drive away as is the Ligurian coast so visiting Lerici where Byron and Shelley once lived is a little over 30 minutes drive and the Cinque Terre is easily accessed by taking the boat from La Spezia.
By Northern Tuscany, I am really referring to the regions of Garfagnana and Lunigiana as well as the northern area of Pistoia. These are off the regular tourist tracks. Tuscany for the Tuscan people. You will find complete authenticity here.
These regions of Tuscany are very rugged and mountainous, you will not see the traditional green rolling hills and not so many cypress trees either. Olive trees too are fewer as the climate is more rugged too with regular snow in the winter months, in fact both Lunigiana and Pistoia have Tuscany’s ski resorts. However you will find a number of chestnut trees here and from September into October is the season for harvesting and drying the chestnuts as the period leads into the porcini mushroom picking season, leading to chestnut pasta and porcini mushrooms.
Historically the Via Francigenia runs through Lunigiana, this was the ancient pilgrim’s road from Canterbury to Rome.
Got a Passion for Tuscany?
If you’re looking for an excellent Tuscan holiday, why not choose Northern Tuscany in Italy?