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Garfagnana is in the region of north of Lucca which is an area of outstanding natural beauty. The region comprises the Serchio valley which is bounded to the west by the mountain range known as the Apennine Alps (Alpi Apuane) and to the east by the Tuscan-Emilian Apennines (Apennino Modenese) where the local ski resort of Abetone is located. The area is rich in natural parks, caves, castles, Romanesque churches and medieval villages. A trip to the Grotta del Vento accessed through the town of Gallicano is worthwhile to see some impressive limestone caves.
The area offers walking, hiking, mountaineering, mountain biking, rafting, canyoning and adventure parks amongst things to do. There is also a good horseriding stable called Lucca horseriding located near to Lucca. Road and mountain bikes can be rented from Vellutini's shop in Fornaci di Barga. The local town of Bagni di Lucca has tennis facilities, a swimming pool plus a spa with the usual treatments and massages available. Accommodation is plentiful with apartments villa rentals and hotels all homeaway from home.
Ghivizzano is the local town which is accessible by foot, around 25 mins walk or car. There is a train station here with trains up and down the valley which links in with the Italian train network. Lucca is a half hour train ride and Pisa airport is accessible by train from Garfagnana.
The town of Ghivizzano has a bank, post office, butcher, grocer's store (Alimentari), greengrocer's, bar, restaurant - Al Cantuccio serving excellent local food, two hairdressers and a very good computer shop. There are several other good local restaurants on the other side of the river from the villa at Piano di Gioviano, the Quadrifoglio, and the more upmarket Cappuccetto Rosso. There are other restaurants on both sides of the river - Al Barchetto at Localita Turritecava is by a lake and you can sit outside both here and at the local Il Garfagnino restaurant on the west side of the river. All serve good local food. There are other good local restaurants both in local mountain towns and villages and also at the nearby towns of Fornaci di Barga, Barga and Bagni di Lucca.
The coast is around one hour's drive to Viareggio with its beaches, shops and restaurants or go further afield to Forte dei Marmi, Italy's most upmarket beach resort with good seafront restaurants. A 2 1/2 hour drive, or take the train to the Cinque Terre which is a beautiful coastal area comprising several linked local seaside villages is well worth the journey.
It is easy to access the historic and beautiful town of Lucca by train which has a good tourist information office with details of concerts and other events in the area. Florence is just over an hour's drive or can be accessed via train or bus from Ghivizzano - tickets for public transport are available in the Bar Sport in the main square in town.
We advise all holidaymakers to check destination travel advice before making any bookings as COVID-19 control measures vary from country to country.View Italy Travel Advice
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