After telling you about my experience with winter sports, let’s talk about mountain holidays again. Precisely of Abetone, on the border between Tuscany and Emilia-Romagna.
Abetone, latitude 44°08’46″N, longitude 10°39’55″E, altitude above sea level 1388 m. Located in the province of Pistoia on the Tuscan-Emilian Apennines. With about 600 inhabitants it is one of the most popular destinations in Tuscany especially for winter holidays.
Skiing in Abetone
Abetone has 50 km of ski slopes, 16 of which are blue, 11 red and 1 black, served by 22 lifts (chair lifts, treadmills, ski lifts and cableways) divided into tree areas. The first includes Selletta (blue), Chierroni (blue) and Riva (red). The second on the Emilia side with the three Zeno, two red and one black, designed by the well-known champion Zeno Colò (world and Olympic gold) originally from the area, plus Pulicchio and Stucchi. Finally in the last area there are the slopes of the Val di Luce. For lovers of cross-country skiing in Abetone there are two ring slopes for a surface of 15 km. Finally, for snowboarding enthusiasts there are two snowparks respectively at Val di Luce and the other at Pulicchio.
You do not have the equipment and you can not ski? Obviously Abetone are both excellent ski and snowboard schools as well as many rental points. Personally I always rely on the ski school Abetone (for skis ask for teacher Irene, for snowboarding Fabrizio) and at the Balante Sport shop with an excellent and really always available staff.
What to do at Abetone in winter
Abetone is not only winter sports, it is also sled runs, snowball wars, and you can enjoy its beautiful scenery and pure mountain air in one of the various huts in the area. Selletta, Baita del Pulicchio, Rifugio Ovovia and that of Monte Gomito are obligatory stages to taste typical products and local dishes while admiring the views from above and, why not, getting a tan in total relaxation. Also to admire the surrounding nature with its forests of firs and beech trees at Abetone you can go snowmobiling, trekking on the snow and romantic walks with snowshoes even at night. Finally, always in the winter season, I point out the Full Moon Party. During the full moon nights, you can have dinner in the hut and come back down through the slopes.
What to do at Abetone in summer
Abetone deserves to be visited not only in winter but also in summer. The state-owned forest that extends for 3700 hectares in which the Forest Botanical Garden is located has its own charm together with the Capolino Nature Reserve. From the parking area of the Botanical Garden, along one of the various paths, one arrives at the Black Lake and its refuge. A real oasis of peace surrounded by nature not to be missed for anything in the world. Not far away, for those who do not suffer from vertigo, the Suspension Bridge of San Marcello Pistoiese enchants and offers postcard settings. Another nice walk is the crossing in this area of the Via Francigena variant. For those who do not know it, it is the historic route of the pilgrims that connects Rome to Santiago de Compostela.
The Pistoiese and the Tuscan-Emilian Apennines also offer pretty little villages. At 7 km from Abetone rises Fiumalbo and not far from Pievepelago, famous for the Saint Lake of glacial origin at about 1500 m above sea level. Finally, perhaps worth more than all, 15 km from Abetone the village of Cutigliano considered one of the most characteristic and beautiful in Italy. It is located in the Lima valley very popular for summer holidays.
At this point we just have to pack and leave. Who knows under which fir we will meet!