Abetone pyramids

Autumn is a great time to take a drive to Abetone, the ski village 40 kilometres from Bagni di Lucca. 

As you get close to Abetone the vegetation changes and autumn is in full swing. The photos were taken from a moving car, so some are a bit blurry.




In the centre of Abetone there are 2 stone pyramids erected to celebrate the opening of the Strada Regia Modenese, Modenese Royal Road.

On the Tuscan side of the road.

On the Modena side.



The road was begun in 1766 and was completed about 10 years later. It secured an important trade route, joining the territories of the Grand Duchy of Tuscany and the Duchy Modena. It was financed jointly by Pietro Leopoldo and Francesco III.

From this position in the village it is possible the see some of the ski runs without snow.



The skiing in Abetone is great and the village comes alive when the snow falls, but it is very pretty right now. Take a drive and enjoy the autumn colour.


Ski at Abetone

Our trusty reporter Belinda has been out and about again, this time skiing at Abetone.

15. DSCN0289

I will hand you over to Belinda.

We decided to go skiing when we heard there had been a dump of snow at Abetone. The weather wasn’t the best but we headed off along the 40 kilometres of narrow and winding road up the mountain from Bagni di Lucca. Those who suffer from car sickness might like to take precautions.

Once you reach the Abetone main village car park you are about 1400 metres above sea level. At this parking spot you get yourself ready for the day.

Obligatory coffee shop…

ski at Abetone

Ski hire shop…

ski Abetone

Ski school, if you are looking for lessons…

3. SKi school Abetone

Information centre where you can get your ski pass for $26 per person for the entire day – quite a bargain really.

4. Ski pass and info  Abetone

A tabacchi and bar…if needed.

5. Tabacchi and bar Abetone

Then pack the car with your equipment and drive a further 2 minites to park close to the main gondola lift that takes you up to Mt Gomita. It is much easier to park right next to the lift so you only have to walk up a few stairs.

Ski lift Abetone

Take the time to check the ski runs.

6. Abetone Ski Map

We arrived at the top to find pretty bad weather…everything had frostbite.

ski Abetone

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7. Antique ski lift AbetoneDespite the weather we managed some good runs.

ski Abetone

ski Abetone

ski Abetone

ski Abetone

…followed by a stop at a Rifugio for a much deserved Bombardino, a very special hot drink to be enjoyed on the slopes. It contains cream, zabaglione, brandy and coffee…highly recommended.

17. Rifugio Abetone

16. bombardino at Abetone

If you were looking for somewhere to stay, Hotel Regina looks quaint.

18. Hotel Regina in Abetone

Thank you Belinda and friends for sharing you day of skiing at Abetone.

I have a tip to add to Belinda’s words. Don’t go to Abetone on weekends. It is very crowded and you probably won’t get anywhere near the carpark. On weekdays it is much better and you get the slopes pretty much to yourself.




Guest post by Belinda

Lovely Belinda, who is currently living at Ponte a Serraglio, has written a post for us about a walk she did in August with guides Franz Della Mea and Francesco Foschi. Francesco took the beautiful photos of the scenery along the way.

A long walk to Lago Nero…by Belinda

Luckily the August day we chose for our long walk to Lago Nero was not too hot. Our destination is quite high in the mountains so we had to be careful to dress appropriately, you can never be sure of the weather in the mountains and it can change suddenly.

Our journey began at the base of Prato Fiorito. I was promised a long walk and my guides certainly gave it to me. Our uphill walk lasted for 5 hours.

Lago Nero is close to Abetone and we passed gorgeous scenery along the way. Sometimes looking over the edge towards Orrido di Botri was a bit ‘hairy’.

Admiring the view

Admiring the view

The upward journey seemed endless at times, but we stopped often to take in the magnificent views and to eat our Mars bars for energy.

A standout tree

A standout tree

More stunning scenery

More stunning scenery

We finally reached Lago Nero. The lake definitely looks black…hence the name. We were very close to Abetone, in fact we could see the cable cars and ski run tracks.

Happily on a downhill bit towards the lake

Happily on a downhill bit towards the lake

The lake is small and at quite a high altitude, 1,730 metres elevation. It is in the Provence of Pistoia in northern Tuscany.

The lake comes into view

The lake comes into view

Beautiful Lago Nero

Beautiful Lago Nero

Guide number 3, Rino, cooling off in the lake

Guide number 3, Rino, cooling off in the lake

We really deserved our lunch at the rifugio where we dined on cheese, bread and red wine. These rifugios are dotted through the area and do a great job for a small donation.

After an hour rest we struggled to get our tired legs moving for the 4.5 hour return walk…the only way home.

On the way back to Prato Fiorito we took in different details of the landscape. For instance,the many variety of mushrooms and colours…and found it fun hunting down a bag full of the small bright yellow ones which are a flavoursome ingredient with the right pasta. We also noticed patches of ‘dug-up ground and rustled leaves, evidence of chingali, but luckily the wild boar were nowere to be seen in the daylight.

The 9.5 hour walk was a bit gruelling at times but fabulously rewarding. A return visit is in order for next summer.

There are lots of amazing walks in the mountains around Bagni di Lucca. I will tell you soon of some others I have done.