Don’t Even Go There…!

 This will be the last of the Tuscany posts…for this trip, anyway…other than a few that I keep finding that I evidently overlooked in the initial edit…


After a week in Tuscany, we made our way back to Milan via Forte dei Marmi on the Mediterranean coast.

Forte dei Marmi

Vicki had stayed here several years ago and wanted to see it again and share it.  What we didn’t really expect was that we would be guided to a jaw-dropping, seemingly untouched village 10 minutes away in the Apuan Alps.


DSCF4198 bw


So, here’s what went down.  Vicki was trying to remember where she had visited a small, hillside ‘art colony’ of sorts, so we went in search of it.  Not seeming to be getting any closer to finding it, we stopped in a small ‘commune’ called Seravezza…not Cerveza…that’s another language and another story…  After trying to figure it out with the ‘tourist info’ people, we just decided to stop somewhere for lunch.  We found Ristorante Giardino Dei Medici, a very unassuming place, (and surprisingly open for business on a Monday)…what we would call a ‘Mom and Pop’ establishment here in Tennessee.  We soon got the impression that it was, wonderfully, NOT a regular tourist stop.  (Actually, I wouldn’t be surprised if we were the first Americans who had eaten there in quite some time.)

Ristorante Giardino dei Medici

It, of course, was great!   ‘Pop’…(‘Mom’ was the waitress) came over to see how we were doing…”Come stai?”, and between my broken Italian and his limited English we established what we were looking for, although he didn’t know what it exactly was that we were looking for…well, we didn’t either, to be perfectly fair.  Then, and here’s where it became so endearing, he disappeared into the kitchen and came back with a map and a pencil.  He suggested that we drive about 10 minutes up into the mountains and visit a place called Pruno.

That’s what the post title is about.  I started to not even tell the name because I wanted to jealously guard it as ‘our’ little treasure…but, y’know…I like to share…BUT…if you buy a place there, we get first ‘dibs’ on visiting you!!!


Monte Forato with Cardoso


There are 4 little villages peeking out of these pictures; Cardosa, Orzale, Volegna, and Pruno.  (This makes me imagine how many other wonderful places there are in the world.)


DSCF4193 hiker

They all are situated under the Monte Forato (Holed Mountain), in the Alpi Apuane.  (The arch is there between the two peaks.) At the summer solstice the sun passes through the arch…well, it doesn’t pass through the arch… that would be a stretch…it is visible through the arch as it rises.



Though it will be a bit unclear, I have ‘blown up’ the arch from the last picture to show a hiker inside it.


Monte Forato Hiker


As we were on the circuitous approach to Pruno, cautiously navigating the switchbacks, we passed the village of Volegno.  Several people had parked at the lower end of the village and it appeared that they were approaching the Sante Maria della Grazie for a wedding.  Nice destination!!!



Secret place



View of Volegno from Pruno


Volegno from Pruno

Ok, a few more…







The ‘halls’ of Pruno….




Not enough time to spend in this timeless place… though we WILL return…!!!

~ by rkpowers on December 8, 2017.

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