If you look at a terrain map of Italy, you will see that crossing vertically down the center of the boot is a chain of mountains that run from Altare, connecting with the Ligurian Alps, all the way to Reggio di Calabria in the south. These are the Apennine mountains.
The shelter of Zeno in Abetone. From here you can access about 50 km of slopes for alpine skiing, and 18 km for cross-country skiing. In the distance, if you look closely, you can see the Tirreno sea.
Slopes in Val di Luce Abetone.
The closest Apennine get-a-way from Florence is about 80 km, going in the direction of Pistoia.
In about 1.5 hrs. by car, you can reach the famous ski-resort mountain town called Abetone.
The Zeno Colo slopes in Abetone.
There are many smaller mountain communities close to Abetone, such as Faidello, where we have a small chalet with a 5min walk to the ski lifts.
View from our chalet in Faidello, on the border between Toscana and Emilia Romagna.
The Apennine mountains where Abetone is located, crosses through the Tuscany and Emilia-Romagna border, so many Italians from both regions love to travel here for the nature.
The little town of Fiumalbo on the Appennini.
Although known for skiing, Abetone and the surrounding areas have amazing hiking and mountain biking trails, as well as cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. It’s a great place to find some fresh air and get away from the Tuscan heat in the summer.
Snowshoeing trail near Abetone.
View from the Val di Luce mountain’s ski lifts.
The Pulicchio slopes in Abetone.
The slopes of Abetone.
Typical mountain cuisine in this area has a lot of cheese, honey, and jams – especially blueberry, which is particularly good from this area. You can also find many people collecting porcini and ovuli mushrooms during late summer.
Dishes of polenta with mushrooms or with various types of meat are very popular.
When we go, we usually make a grill with meat and vegetables, and pair it with a red wine.
Preparing the barbecue in the mountain chalet.
We recommend in the mountain:
Val Cerasa, Etna rosso, Az. Agricola Alice Bonaccorsi – Randazzo (CT), Italy
This wine (14,5%) comes from a very special mountain in Sicily. It comes from Europe’s largest active volcano, Etna.
Val Cerasa Etna Rosso, form the eastern side of the Etna Volcano, made with Nerello (Mascalese and Cappuccio) grapes.
Due to the volcanic location and enviroment, the Nerello grapes, used to produce this wine, are amongst the few that survived phylloxera, the bug that destroyed all the European grapes at the beginning of the 20th century.
This wine is aged in wood barrels for a few months. It’s flavours are fruity and tannic, and also harmonic and pleasant. Its intense ruby colour is both mysterious and magnetic at the same time. It pairs really well with our mountain barbecue, where we grill meat, breads and vegetables, complementing the cuisine of this area.
T-bone steak (bistecca alla fiorentina) on the grill in the chalet.
Grilled meat and bruschetta are a perfect pair for this red wine from a Sicilian volcano.
When you drink it, you can feel that you are drinking something rooted in old traditions.
Wines like this one, from ungrafted vines, are rare.
They’re usually from very particular altitudes and locations that protected them from the elements over the centuries.
People sun bathing at the top of Pulicchio.
Coffee break at the top of Pulicchio.