IN THE TERRITORY OF THE MUNICIPALITY OF FABBRICHE DI VERGEMOLI
We are in the heart of the Apuan Alps Park, the municipal territory is between two valleys plowed by the tributaries of the river Serchio. Lush streams, green meadows and rocky cliffs on which stand out wonderful medieval villages, where time seems to stand still keeping intact the architectural and historical features of the place. Water, the king element here, has shaped the territory, creating deep gorges, majestic caves and amazing waterfalls, some of them easily visitable.
- Medieval Villages: The territory was crossed since ancient times by a road that linked the mountains of the Tosco-Emiliano Apennine to the sea, many of the villagers were born thanks to the flow of this step, other thanks to the affirmation of the extraction and processing of iron . It is likely that some residential units already existed in pre-Roman times, but the first historical documents are dated around the year 1000. The imprint of history has remained indelible in all villages and each one of them has a story to tell. Narrow streets, vaults, characteristical buildings and especially flowering balconies give a touch of joy to the life of the villages, often simple but amazing. Fabbriche di Vallico, Vergemoli, Vallico di Sopra, Vallico di Sotto, San Luigi, Gragliana, Compolemisi, Fornovolosco, Calomini are the largest villages where he lives most of the inhabitants. Gallatoio, Aleva, Vetriceto, Vispereglia, Trimpello, Col di Luco are residential units, some of them semi abandoned.
-Colandi Bridge: It is considered among the most beautiful bridges in the valley of Turrite Secca, it is located in Fabbriche di Vallico. It is also called customs bridge because there historically passed the boundary line between the territory of the Republic of Lucca and the Duchy of Este. The bridge decking is gently sloping and its arch is depressed arch. The bridge, built in sandstone during the fourteenth century, was built by local workers near a mill.
- Calomini Hermitage: It is a religious site of national importance. Located close to a rocky cliff and almost entirely dug into the rock, the sanctuary was built where it ‘s told of the apparition of the Virgin Mary to a Calomini girl around the seventh century. The sacred image, outlined in a willow wooden statue, which still exists, and is the object of devotion, is honored under the name of Madonna della Penna. The month of May is traditionally dedicated to the Virgin Mary and it sees the presence of many people who go up on a pilgrimage to the Hermitage. The living rock can still be seen in the presbytery and the sacristy, while the primitive church has undergone several phases of expansion and enrichment of the structures and vestments as the fame and veneration of the Virgin of the Cave was gradually growing, from the fourteenth century. In the early eighteenth century it was realized the double colonnade of the facade and enlarged the cave to welcome the sacristy. The hermits of Calomini have taken good care of it for five centuries, until 1868. Since then, the pastors of neighboring countries, such as traditional administrators, decided to directly take on the task of promoting the cult of Holy Mary. By decree of the bishop of Massa, dated back to 1941, the charge of the sanctuary was finally entrusted to Capuchins friars of Lucca who, in the person of a brother, provides by more than fifty years to retain what a pure devotion to Mary wanted to arise on this cliff.
Since 2011 the Sanctuary, by express desire of Monsignor Benvenuto Italo Castellani, Archbishop of Lucca, is entrusted to the religious family of the "Disciples of the Annunciation", communities from the Diocese of Prato. In summer time the Hermitage is open every day, while in the other months it’s open only on Sundays, during the times of the Mass. There is no specific time for the visit.
-Mulini: It is located in the valley of Turrite Secca in the locality Mulini. It is a conglomeration of ancient structures used in the past as both customs and for milling business, now being renovated for a future tourist reception center.
-Romiti: The first documented information regarding the Turrite Secca valley were for a convent of Augustinian hermits, the hermitage of San Giorgio and Galgano in Vallebona, founded in 1214 on the lands donated by the community of Trassilico. Today, it is restored and managed by an association.
They were surveyed over 100 caves in the entire municipality, including: concretions galleries, high wells, prehistoric caves and deep mines galleries.
-Grotta del Vento: It is one of the most famous caves in Europe. It presents an exceptional variety of aspects of karst underground ranging from stalactites and stalagmites living and brilliant, to lakes, rivers, forms of erosion, mud formations and even perfectly vertical wells that can be visited with convenient paths. The choice among various itineraries, makes it an ideal destination for excursions for individuals, couples, families, school groups or adults, meetings, etc. It is located in Trimpello, Fornovolasco.
- Cave of Castelvenere: Also called Tana di Casteltendine holds many archaeological, speleological, historical and natural interests. Its entrance is easily explored but caving equipment is required to visit the interior. In 1975 there were found female and hermaphrodite bronzes dated back to 2500 years ago, with no doubts this cave can be definitely considered the most important of the valley from an archeological point of view having also provided several of Bronze Age, Etruscan and Roman artifacts. It is located on the path CAI 111 of Mount Penna.
-Mines: The first mining essays are dated to the eleventh century. Villages like Fornovolasco and Fabbriche di Vallico increased their population with the establishment of colonies from Bergamo, which brought the industry of excavation and manifacturing of iron. The mines are now visited only externally because of the extreme instability of the tunnel. Recently it was discovered a mineral compound called endemic Volaschioite.
There are three equipped parks in our district where you can do activities like canyoning, rock climbing and various other outdoor adventure activities.
Battiferro Park: It is developed starting from the village of Fornovolosco going up the Creek Battiferro. It is equipped to entertain the adventurer from children to adult.
Levigliese Park: It is a small green oasis along the creek Levigliese with spaces for activities out-door. It has a special microclimate and it is the habitat of the carnivorous plant Pinguicola Mariae Casper. The entrance is located on the shores of Lake Trombacco.
Rio Selvano Park: is the newest of the three and the only one in the Turrite Secca valley. It is currently equipped only for canyoning activity in the majestic canyon of the Rio Selvano but work are on the way for
other initiatives. It is located at Mulini.
- Monte Croce: a popular destination especially in May during flowering, especially of the daffodils, that whiten the slopes of the mountainn. It is easy to make hikings to the summit which also deserve to be done only for the admiration of the surrounding landscape. You can reach it from San Pellegrinetto through the path CAI 135 and then CAI 108.
-Monte Forato: The huge rock arch recalls the attention of the national audience, with its hole of 30 meters of diameter overhanging the Versilia coast is the scene of climbing activities, such as the bold via ferrata that crosses it or the periodic event of the seesaw . You can reach it by Fornovolasco through the path CAI 12.
-Panias Group : Pania della Croce is the fourth highest mountain among all the Apuan Alps, it is one of the most famous Apuan mountains and because of its elegant lines and its dominant position is often called "The Queen of the Apuan". Panias Group is a set of mountains of great landscape, mountaineering, nature and geological interests. You can reach the peaks from the paths that start at Fornovolasco and Vergemoli.
-The Wolf’s Way : It a path illustrated with informative posters on the wolf's life and marked with the CAI symbols. Realized recently, is a circular route that develops on the paths of Vallico di Sopra, Vallico di Sotto and among the pastures and the woods on Mount Palodina. See the video here!
Boccabugia : extemporaneous poetry contest now in its fiftieth edition. It takes place in Vergemoli, a natural amphitheater, under the fresh leaves of the chestnut trees on the first Sunday of August. Features sharp and irreverent poems that poets make up for the event in memory of Boccabugia, born Jacopo Vanni, nineteenth-century inhabitant of Vergemoli known for its pungent dialectic. Paolo ruffini, a famous Tuscanian comedian, is the official announcer of the event and honorary citizen of the village. See the video of 2016 edition here!
Necciolandia : A 360 degrees event on the chestnut products, from recipes to wood products. It is done in the day of the Immaculate on 8th December. It takes place in the streets of the village of Fabbriche di Vallico. See the video here!
Necci, Migliecci e Pitonca: A culinary and musical event at Vallico di Sopra, usually celebrated in the warm summer evenings. An opportunity to taste the typical recipes and be fascinated by the Moresca dance, an ancient representation of the conflict between Christians and Arabs.
Sky Race: Mountain national Echo footrace, an event that takes place in mid-July. The route starts from the village of Fornovolasco and reach the summit of the mount Pania della Croce, before getting back to the starting point.
Palla elastic game: An ancient game, probably of Roman origins. It is played in the streets of the village of Vallico di Sopra and Vallico di Sotto in summer time. In recent years they have been chosen as a stage of the Italian Championship, gathering teams from all over Italy.