The ancient mule track to Sommocolonia
Casa Fontana is an ideal base for walking in the beautiful countryside surrounding Barga. There are walking routes to suit all levels of ability and fitness, from gentle walks round the town to walks on the ridges of the Apuane and Appenine ranges.
We have prepared a number of self guided walks ranging from 2 to 5 hours in length starting at Casa Fontana and passing through farmland, vineyards and chestnut forest. Details of our walks can be found at www.casa-fontana.com/News.htm#walking
As in many countries the landscape is crisscrossed with footpaths which are open to the public. Unfortunately some landowners try to close these paths or discourage their use. Frequently we find signs indicating Strada Privata on public footpaths. The Club Alpino Italiano (the national walking and climbing club) mark many of the paths with their distinctive red and white symbol, and maintain many of the paths in good condition. These are often centuries old mule tracks which at one time were the only means of access between towns and were the transport arteries for bringing produce from the mountain areas to the larger towns.
Many more are unmarked and we have been making some progress locally in clearing and marking more of these footpaths. This is often slow and laborious as paths which have been ignored for years have become overgrown, large trees have fallen in storms and minor landslips have eroded the banks above and below the tracks. On the night of the 3rd of March this year a major storm hit the valley resulting in extensive damage both to houses and to the forests, with hundreds of trees uprooted and fallen across ancient tracks. The work of clearing these has begun but may take months to complete.
If you are interested in coming to this area to walk, either as an individual or as part of an organised group do get in touch with us for advice.