What to do

A stay in Isola Santa helps to find an unknown quietness that is impossible to imagine for those who have not experienced it.
The silence, the uncontaminated nature, the distance from other towns help to find an extraordinary peaceful relax.
Many are the possibilities offered to those who wants to discover the beauties of the Apuan Alps.


Isola Santa is an ideal place for hiking. Through accessible paths you can reach Pania Della Croce (princess of the Apuan Alps), Pania Secca, Pizzo delle Saette, the mountains Corchia, Freddone, Sumbra. In these mountains many free-climbers use to climb some of the most beautiful rock faces of the Apuan Alps.


This area of the Apuan Alps is rich in caves.
Even for persons who are not expert spelaeologists there is the possibility to visit the impressive Grotta del Vento (on the Garfagnana versant), and since 2001 you can visit 2 km of the Antro del Corchia, which is the widest cave of whole Europe, situated on the Versilia versant. The karst phenomena has created also an interesting disappearing of waters in underground hollows, that reappear as wonderful spring waters; one of these can be admired just before Isola Santa: La Pollaccia, one of the main spring waters of Italy. In the Apuan Alps there are also interesting examples of external karst phenomena, particularly those on the highland of Vetricia (Gruppo delle Panie) which is rich in streaked fields and snow wells.

Marmitte dei giganti

At just 3 Km from Isola Santa, along the Valdarni provincial road, you might admire the “giant pothole”. These are a kind of big round hollows in the ground, formed by water erosion. The name comes from the strange shape that make you think of imaginary pots used by giants. You should be well-equipped to find and admire all potholes, but some of them can be easily reached.


Abandoned villages

Not only steep mountains surround Isola Santa…
Hidden in the local woods you will discover the silent presence of abandoned little ghost-villages, empty for more than 50 years but still telling us stories of the past. Some of those (Col di Favilla, Puntato) can be reached by easy paths in one hour walk.

Woods and mushrooms

The wooded area surrounding Isola Santa is made up mostly of chestnut trees. The inhabitants of Garfagnana use to obtain the typical “neccio-meal” from chestnuts, and with it they prepare delicious sweets and cakes). During the period between June and October, when the weather is fair, you will meet many persons walking miles and miles looking after the much sought-after cep mushrooms (Porcini), to connect a nice walk in the wood with the pleasures of the cuisine.

Marble quarries

The marble quarries of the Apuan Alps have been well-known for centuries for the beauty of its white precious marble. Even the famous artist Michelangelo used to come personally in these caves to find out marble stones for his masterpieces. The magnificence and imposing atmosphere of the local marble quarries is certainly worth a visit.