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Pruno, a village in the Regional Park of the Tuscan Apuan Alps Pruno is situated in Tuscany in the Versilia area at the foot of the mount Pania della Croce, (1858 m above sea level), with a view on the Mount Procinto and Forato. During the summer solstice you can see the sun rising through the arch of Monte Forato, a big hole on its summit. Built around the central tower, the village dates back to the Middle Ages. The ancient church of San Niccolò, built in 11th century, originally had a central nave and during the sixteenth century two side aisles were added. Inside there are sculptures by Thomas Baratta dating to 1706, as well as a baptismal font of the 15th cent. From Pruno many interesting excursions to the peaks of the Apuan Alps and alpine pastures are available. The village of Pruno is part of the municipality of Stazzema. The house is located in Melo, a place not far from Pruno, reachable on foot in about 10 minutes or in a few seconds by a car capable of passing through a steep, unpaved path. Excursions from Pruno: The area is rich with paths and trails; from easy walks for everyone to longer routes through the whole southern part of the Apuan Alps, with the Pania della Croce (1875m), Mount Croce, Mount Corchia, Forato, Procinto and others. Events to remember: The Summer Solstice � The event, which takes place in Pruno in the week at the turn of the summer solstice (June 21), is live with theatrical activities, shows, music, conferences, workshops and guided tours. Restaurants in Pruno: Il Poveromo, La Canonica

The holiday home at Melo The house is located in Melo, a hamlet not far from Pruno, reachable on foot in about 10 minutes or in just a few seconds by a car suited for steep dust paths. You descend by the church, passing by "La Canonica", towards the small cemetery in Pruno; from here continue down a 180° turn until you meet the other shorter dust road from Cardoso to Pruno. At the junction of the two roads, take a sharp turn left, follow the path, pass by a disused quarry until you reach a large square. The house is situated on the left on a terraced piece of land. In the background is Mount Pania, to the east and southeast a beautiful panorama on Mount Forato, as well as the small Procinto range with Mount Matanna. All around, a splendid view varying in light, shade and color changing over the day and season. The building is an old home of Alta Versilia dating to late 19th cent. only partially refurbished several times by the former owners. The house retains all its original character and is distinctly rustic. Facing a large pergola, it is built on three levels (unsuitable for people with restricted mobility) with two double bedrooms, one single bedroom (with two bunk beds), a dining room, a living room and a bathroom with shower. The large secluded rural home offers full tranquility, as well as excellent opportunities for a wide range of excursions, either to the mountainside or to typical villages in Alta Versilia; what's more the lovely resorts in Versilia with their renowned sandy beaches can be reached in about half an hour's drive. It's an ideal place for those who ‐ while choosing the opportunities and the tranquility of the mountains ‐ would like to spend some time on the Versilia coast and get to know this area and its attractions.

Distances from Stazzema to popular places: Antro del Corchia (Levigliani) 13 km; Grotta del Vento (Vergemoli) 79 Km; Torre del Lago Puccini 42 km; Viareggio 29 Km; Forte Dei Marmi 19 KM; Pietrasanta 19 KM; Cave di marmo di Carrara 35 Km; Lucca 52 Km; Pisa 54 Km; Orrido di Botri (Bagni di Lucca – Ponte a Gaio) 70Km; Portovenere 79 Km; Firenze 126 Km; Piombino (Per Isola D’Elba) 156 km; Siena 192 KM. Pruno is reachable by bus from every municipality in Versilia; however, since it is a mountain village, a car can guarantee complete freedom.

A week in Melo What can you do staying a week in Melo? Enjoy the natural scenery and a peaceful and secluded stay, go for a hike in the Apuan Alps choosing excursions of your level of difficulty or spend a day in the bustling beach towns. Take advantage of the many cultural attractions in Versilia or visit the charming historic towns in Tuscany. Following are a few suggestions: Excursions: The area is rich with paths and itineraries. There are easy walks suitable for everyone, such as the easy path from Melo to the cascades of Acquapendente to longer and more demanding routes in the southern area of the Apuan Alps which include the peak of Pania della Croce (1875 m.), its ridge joining to Mount Forato, Croce, Corchia and Procinto. Nature and speleology: A few kilometers away from Pruno is the Antro del Corchia. The system of Mount Corchia situated in the Apuan Alps Regional Park is the largest karst system in Italy and one of the largest in Europe. The site extends over 60 km of galleries and passages, with differences in depth reaching 1 200 m. Although the exploration of this system (the third one in Italy in depth) began in the 19th century, it was opened only in 2001 enabling the public to admire its stalactites, outflows, hardpans and also underwater concretions such as cave pearls. The Grotta del Vento in Garfagnana, in the heart of Apuan Alps Park, is situated in a territory rich with spectacular and interesting karst phenomena. Here the atmospheric agents have endlessly excavated, carved and shaped the calcareous rocks, creating magnificent natural sculptures, such as the range of Panias, the huge natural arch of Mount Forato or the stone waterfalls and crevasses of the Vetricia Plateau. In this fascinating environment, the Grotta del Vento shows an outstanding variety of underground karstic characteristics: live, shiny stalagmites, small lakes, forms of erosion, mud formations and even perfectly vertical shafts that can be visited through convenient itineraries. Grotta all'Onda is situated at 710 m above sea level on the slopes of Mount Matanna, near the village of Casoli over Camaiore. It is a large cave, 40x60 m wide, and originally had numerous underground passages which are today obstructed. This enormous cave bears witness of the presence of man during a long period spanning from Prehistory until recent times. Other interesting natural attractions for a one-day-visit: The Orrido di Botri is a spectacular calcareous canyon on the slopes of Mount Rondinaio and Mount Tre Potenze, with steep sides dug up by the cold water of Mariana and Ribellino streams, merging then into the Rio Pelago. During the summer period, when the flow rate is lower and temperature is milder, it is possible to reach the final segment, from Ponte a Gaio to Piscina. The vegetation here is distributed according to a vertical stratification, with more humid and colder levels at the base, full of mosses and ferns, substituted gradually with columbine and silene plants surrounded by vast beech forests. The inaccessible mountain sides of the orrido reach in some place 200 m in height: these have always been a nesting area of the golden eagle.

Lipu Reserve on the shore of Massaciuccoli Lake: this nature itinerary in the Chiarone Natural Reserve is made up of a wooden walkway about 700 m long built on wood pilings. This is a short and pleasant walk that will take you to a unique environment where the typical marshland vegetation, as well as several species of birds living in this area can be observed. Marble, nature, environment, culture and craftsmanship: the mountains of Versilia have been exploited for marble extraction since ancient times. This tradition is important not only for commercial reasons, but also from an artistic point of view. In fact, even today a good number of sculpture and artisan laboratories operate in Pietrasanta and the surrounding area. However, it is important to outline that over the years marble extraction techniques have heavily contributed to modify the features of the surrounding mountains. Marble quarrying dates back to Roman times and the techniques have remained practically the same until today. The instruments used for extraction were chisels and wooden wedges: the slaves used these tools inserting them in the marble cracks and extracting the marble blocks with the help of water. The real innovation was the use of explosives. At the same time, the first marble industry was born. A few kilometers from Versilia, the Carrara marble quarries can be visited, where the white marble for Michelangelo's masterpieces was obtained. Visiting the Fantiscritti marble quarry (more than 600 m inside the mountains) is a unique and unforgettable experience. Torre del Lago Puccini:a place of inspiration where Giacomo Puccini composed most of his operas. A mix of natural environments which still today makes Torre del Lago Puccini a highly popular holiday resort. Versilia: culture, exhibitions and entertainment: Versilia is also famous for its cultural events, shows and entertainment throughout the whole year, offering numerous opportunities for young people, families, theatre and music lovers and those interested in current events. In particular, during the summer season we recommend two wellknown events: Puccini's opera season during the Festival Pucciniano in Torre del Lago and the Versiliana Festival in Pietrasanta featuring theatre, ballet, concerts and talk-shows about latest events. In winter, don't forget, the parades of the famous Viareggio Carnival.

For further information Micaela Francesconi Pruno, loc. Melo, 1 55040 Stazzema Lu Cell. +39 3473509221

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Hospitality: We can arrange different combinations for your stay: one or more nights short stay, weekend or weekly stay. A maximum of 6+2 guests can be hosted; however, for the more adventurous, the park in front of the house allow the installation of camping tents.

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Casa vacanze a Pruno

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