|di Pamela Thomason|
The Giaredo Canyon – Tuscany’s Best Kept Secret
Are you planning a trip to Italy but you are scared about this year’s extreme temperatures? Do you prefer wild nature to a beach full of people showing of their tan? Then the Stretti di Giaredo is the place for you.
Located in the Lunigiana region, in Northern Tuscany, this narrow canyon carved by the Gordana River offers the perfect escape from the heat as well as a fun day activity.
As you walk in the river and into the canyon you will pass by a series of narrow gorges, small waterfalls and beautiful pools. Surrounded by 50 metres-high walls, you can admire rocks of any shape and size, beautiful trees and crystal-clear water, while the sun occasionally filters at the top enhancing the colours of the stone.
Beware! Some of the gorges are quite deep so you need to know how to swim. You should also avoid carrying anything that cannot get wet unless you have a waterproof backpack. But if you really cannot do without your mobile phone and your camera – after all who would not want a selfie in a place like this? – you can simply bring an inflatable with you and place your stuff on top when crossing the deepest bits.
The walk in itself is not overly challenging. All you need is a basic level of fitness and a spirit of adventure. We also advise you to wear shoes that grip well as the river bed is stony and slippery. Oh, and did we mention that the water is freezing? But do not let that put you off, the place is so mind-blowingly beautiful that you will hardly notice it. The combination of light, water and rock will stir your senses and take you through an unforgettable journey. Away from the heat, away from mass tourism, this is a place to enjoy nature at its purest.
The Stretti di Giaredo can only be reached by car. From Pontremoli (motorway exit A15) follow the signs for Zeri and after a few curves turn left in the direction of Cavezzana Gordana. Continue downhill for about one kilometre until you see a left-hand hairpin bend with a rough dirt road on the right. Carry straight down on the dirt road and park your car at the end of it. Then head down to the river, walk for a few hundred meters and the canyon will magically appear in front of you. You will be awe-struck.
Still unconvinced? Have a look at the video below
by Pamela Thomason
(C) ITALIANS OF LONDON 2015