Great Apennine excursion
GREAT APENNINE EXCURSION
Conceived 30 years ago, the Grande Escursione Appenninica (GEA), is a 425-kilometre trekking route that connects the paths that run along the ridge that connects the Bocca Trabaria pass, on the border with Umbria and the Marches, with the Passo dei Due Santi, in Liguria.
In 1982 the CAI, with the help of the Tuscany Region, began a series of inspections and meetings with the various experts of the Apennine sections, planning a route which at the time was divisible into 25 possible stages, intended for as wide an audience as possible , to address all hikers and not just the expert ones.
The various stages were conceived according to the presence of existing accommodation facilities, so that they were never too long or too difficult, always offering trekkers the opportunity to descend from the ridge to visit the towns and villages of the Apennines where the daily life of the local communities takes place.
In fact, the Apennines do not have the characteristics of high mountains - except in some short stretches - and therefore, in order to be attractive to those who want to spend a holiday not only in nature, not only in the peace and silence of the beech woods, chestnut and firs, not the mere tranquility of the hermitages, not for mere geological interest, not only comforted by the landscape value of the many valleys that branch off from the watershed, must necessarily offer its other jewels: the freshness and clarity of its springs, the dishes of traditional cuisine, the typicality of dairy products, quality craftsmanship, the cultural heritage of the villages, socializing and - above all - the sense of community that one breathes in contact with the local populations.
The Great Apennine Excursion, therefore, is the experience of be on the way on the mountains of Central Italy: a journey of discovery that returns to the origins of our country, with a great intangible heritage of stories, legends, myths and fairy tales that will not fail to enrich the journey but also to make us grow in awareness of the privilege of living in this Wonder boot.
The route and stages
425 km of journey on foot through the unspoilt nature of the Apennines, among small villages, ancient hermitages, parks and natural forests. Traveling at 3 km per hour takes about 25 days. But you can also travel in sections, and in any case discover the silence and unique landscapes of this Italy considered "minor" only because it is almost unknown, but which allows you to cross landscapes of overwhelming beauty, with enormous natural and cultural heritages - material and immaterial – which allow you to get to know 4 regions (Umbria, Marche, Tuscany and Emilia-Romagna), 11 provinces and 3 natural parks in depth.
Along the route, you can visit some wonderful places, ancient villages and breathtaking natural scenery. For example, we recommend dedicating some time to visiting Caprese Michelangelo, the town in the province of Arezzo which gave birth to the homonymous artist.
We continue with Chiusi della Verna, Badia Prataglia and Camaldoli, magical and spiritual places (which also cross another path: the Way of San Francesco).
The Great Apennine Excursion then leaves the hermitages and churches behind and becomes more "reckless". The traveler will cross the Muraglione Pass, the Giogo Pass, the Futa Pass. In the Pistoia area, on the other hand, Pracchia and Abetone meet.
The GEA leaves Tuscany at the Cisa Pass (where it crosses the Via Francigena) and continues through the Casentinesi Forest National Park up to Bagno di Romagna, where a whole other world opens up to visitors.
- Bocca Trabaria – Viamaggio Pass
- Viamaggio Pass – Caprese Michelangelo
- Caprese Michelangelo – Chiusi della Verna
- Chiusi della Verna – Badia Prataglia
- Badia Prataglia – Camaldoli (or Passo la Calla)
- Camaldoli (or Passo la Calla) – Passo del Muraglione
- Passo del Muraglione – Casaglia (or Passo della Colla di Casaglia)
- Casaglia (or Passo della Colla di Casaglia) – Passo del Giogo
- Passo del Giogo – Passo della Futa
- Monte di Fo – Montepiano
- Montepiano – Pacini Refuge
- Pacini Refuge – Pracchia
- Pracchia – “Duca degli Abruzzi” refuge at Lake Scaffaiolo
- “Duca degli Abruzzi” refuge at Lake Scaffaiolo – Abetone, Boscolungo district
- Abetone, Boscolungo hamlet – Modenese Lake Santo
- Lake Santo Modenese - Passo delle Radici
- Passo delle Radici – “Battisti” and “Bargetana” refuges
- Battisti/Bargetana refuges – Pradarena pass
- Passo della Pradarena – Passo del Cerreto
- Passo del Cerreto – Sarzana refuge
- Sarzana Hut – Pratospilla (via Passo del Lagastrello or via Ponte sull'Enza)
- Pratospilla – Mariotti Refuge at Parma's Santo Lake
- Mariotti Refuge at Parma's Santo Lake - Cisa Pass
- Passo della Cisa – Passo del Brattello
- Passo del Brattello – Passo dei Due Santi
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