The Giaredo straits: pools for pixies

Places to visit in the Lunigiana

Helen Farrell
May 5, 2016 - 18:09

Dazzlingly crystalline waters that yearn to be plunged into, the Giaredo straits beckon like a playful pixie as the barometer rises.

 

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Located between Pontremoli and Zeri, these spectacular canyons look like they’ve been raked out of the rocks with the longest of talons in a Brothers Grimm fairytale. Their distinctive forms are actually due to the whirling waters of the Gordana torrent. A world away from Florence (about 180 kilometres and a 2.5-hour drive in fact), these pools are something of a local secret, a welcome reflection of nature with motley pebbles, tree canopy and naturally filtered light.

 

If you’re feeling sporty, do your own take on a biathlon by walking and swimming as far as the Noce di Zeri dam. The challenge varies with the season, but it’s generally very doable in the summer months if you’re fit and a strong swimmer. (It’s ill advised after heavy rainfall and in the winter.) One deep, narrow gorge after another, interspersed with glorious little lakes and waterfalls, the route climbs uphill for about a kilometre.

 

For some culture after your efforts, drive east to the pretty town of Pontremoli. Dive into the shade of the seventeenth-century Duomo, learn something new at the Lunigianesi stone statues museum and soothe your sweet tooth with an amor, a creamy vanilla-filled wafer biscuit.

 

GETTING HERE

Take the A15 autostrada and exit at Pontremoli. Follow the signposts for Zeri, then turn left downhill towards Cavezzana Gordana. You’ll drive past a few houses, but continue down until you reach a bend in the road. Take the dirt track to the right. After a couple of minutes you’ll reach a chain. Park your car and continue for 5 to 10 minutes on foot.

 

TOURS AVAILABLE

Explore the marvelous Stretti di Giaredo with a qualified tour guide in small group tours on Thursdays and Saturdays (all gears provided). Tours available also on request on different dates.

 

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Discover, Taste and Experience more with Sigeric: history, food&wine, e-bike tours and outdoor activities in Northern Tuscany (Lunigiana, the Via Francigena, Apennines National Park, Carrara marble quarries) and the Cinque Terre for individuals, families and small groups.

 

Lunigiana is an off-the-beaten-path area in Northern Tuscany,  where you can still enjoy pristine landscapes, millennial history, traditions and authentic flavors.

 

Shared small group tours:

Wednesdays: Secret Pontremoli / Cycle & Taste Cinque Terre

Thursdays: Stretti di Giaredo Adventure / Iron Way

Fridays: Climbing & Deep Water Solo

Saturdays: Stretti di Giaredo Adventure / Secret Pontremoli

Sundays: Cycle & Taste Lunigiana / Canyoning Experience / Family Day Outs

 

More info www.sigeric.it / info@sigeric.it / +39 331 8866241.

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