The first snow of the season has fallen at Abetone.
Let’s hope it will be a great ski season.
Our trusty reporter Belinda has been out and about again, this time skiing at Abetone.
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 hire shop…
Ski school, if you are looking for lessons…
Information centre where you can get your ski pass for $26 per person for the entire day – quite a bargain really.
A tabacchi and bar…if needed.
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.
Take the time to check the ski runs.
We arrived at the top to find pretty bad weather…everything had frostbite.
…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.
If you were looking for somewhere to stay, Hotel Regina looks quaint.
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.
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’.
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.
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.
The lake is small and at quite a high altitude, 1,730 metres elevation. It is in the Provence of Pistoia in northern Tuscany.
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.