Walking the Pizzo d'Uccelo trek, Apuan Alps, Italy:
First day - from Resceto to Bivacco Aronte (Passo Focolaccia) - 4 hours: Resceto (~600 m) on route 35, than route 166, Cave Magnani, until Bivacco Aronte (near Passo Focolaccia) (1642 m)
Second day - side trip from Passo Focolaccia to Monte Tambura (1890 m) - 2 hours
Second day - from Passo Focolaccia to Rifugio Donegani - 3 hours: Passo della Focolaccia (1642 m), on route 179 than on route 178, Foce di Cardeto (1670), down to the Val Serenaia valley, on route 187 to Rifugio Donegani (~1100 m)
Third day - from Rifugio Donegani to Rifigio Carrara - 7 hours: Rifugio Donegani (1100 m) on route 187, Foce Siggioli (1386 m), on route 181 to the junction with route 191 and side climb to Pizzo d'Uccello (1781 m), on route 181 to Foce di Giovo (1500 m), on route 37 down to the valley, route 173, Capanna Garnerone hut, Foce di Navola (1235 m), Foce di Vinca (1333 m), Foce del Fanaletto (1426 m), Foce di Pianza (1300 m), Rifugio Carrara.
Books, maps and additional information:
Lonely Planet "Walking in Italy" book includes a schematic level map and route description of this trek.
You need to buy a map of the Apuan Alps. DO NOT GO WITHOUT A DETAILED MAP. The Lonely Planet scheme, though very useful, is not enough and it is easy to get lost.
For additional information, contact Parco Regionale delle Alpi Apuane at http://www.parks.it/parco.alpi.apuane/Eindex.html in one of its visitors centers at Seravezza, Forno or Garfagnana. There is also an APT information center at marina di Massa (0585-24-0063) and they are very helpful there.
Rofugio Donegani (renovated and re-opened this season) phone# 340-1509327 (25 EU for dorm bad including breakfast, 40 EU including dinner), Rifugio Val Serenaia phone# 335-5763967
Before the trek:
Massa is different from Marina di Massa. Marina di Massa is 10-15 km from Massa, 10 min by bus and this is where information center and cheap accommodation can be found
Hotels: Turimar hostel in Marina di Massa (18 EU for a dorm bad), Hotel Annunzione (or something like that) in Massa - on the main street, ~7 min walking from the train station to the center (60 EU double room).
There is NO possibility to leave excess gear at Massa train station any more. So you better leave it in the hotel you are staying the night before - either in Marina di Massa or in Massa.
Getting there and back:
The trek starts at Resceto. It is around 30 minutes by bus from Massa (10-15 km). The bus leaves at 06:30 AM. The next one is at 13:15. Busses leave from the Massa center, 15 min walk from Massa train station.
It is possible to catch a bus or hitch hike from the end of the trek, at Rifugio Carrara (near Campocecine village), back to Carrara city. Or walk from Rifugio Carrara to Castelpoggio village (2 hours) and catch a bus to Carrara from there.
On the trek:
Since leaving by 6:30 bus to Resceto might be problematic, if you leave by 13:15 bus and start the trek at 14:00, it might be a good option to stay in Bivacco Aronte for the first night. Be aware that there is nothing inside the Bivacco, aside for a stove. You will need sleeping bags and your own food. If you are lucky (we were) you can ask for mattresses and water from the nearby miners hut, at Focolaccia.
Another option is to get all the way to Rifugio Donegani or Rifugio Val Serenaia (which are close to each other) at the first day, but it is a long way to do if stating at 14:00. But if you go by 6:30 bus - there is no problem getting to Donegani or Val Serenaia at this day.
Be careful asking route directions from the marble miners. They are not so familiar with the names of the passes and rifugios. We personally had a very bad experience when a number of different miners at Focolaccia gave us wrong directions. You better only ask other travelers, preferable Italians and WALK WITH A MAP.
There are almost no water sources on the trek (of course there is water in the rifugios and outside Capanna Garnerone hut on the last day, but not in Bivacco Aronte). If you meet marble miners you can try asking them for the water. Anyway, carry enough water with you.
Last updated 09-11-2006