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Trek the GEA with a Cicerone guidebook

Cover of Trekking in the Apennines
14 Jan 2016
17.2 x 11.6 x 1.0cm
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Trekking in the Apennines

The Grande Escursione Appenninica

by Gillian Price
Book published by Cicerone Press

Guidebook to the Grand Apennines Trek, or Grande Escursione Appenninica (GEA). Through Tuscany and Emilia-Romagna and 2 national parks, this 400km trail takes 23 days to complete, exploring the mountains, forests and hills of central Italy. Suitable for a range of walkers, it can be split into shorter sections or day walks if needed.

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Cover: Paperback - Laminated
Size: 17.2 x 11.6 x 1.0cm
Weight: 18000g

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This guidebook describes the Grande Escursione Appenninica (GEA), a nearly 400km long, three week trek crossing the Appenines in 23 stages, from Bocca Trabaria to Passo Due Santi on the edge of Liguria. The route dips in and out of Tuscany and Emilia-Romagna, never dropping below 400 metres. Best walked between spring and autumn, it is suitable for any reasonably fit walker. Highlights include Monte Prado – Tuscany's highest peak – friendly villages and comfortable hotel-style accommodation, memorable meals and yet few walkers, besides the Casentino National Park and Franciscan sanctuaries, the WW2 Gothic line, open ridges on the northern stretch, alpine-style lakes in the Apennines National Park, magnificent beech woods and alpine flowers.

The guidebook provides step-by-step route descriptions, accompanied by detailed mapping. There are transport options for joining and leaving the walk at a number of points, making it perfect for undertaking in small sections or single-day walks. There are suggestions for accommodation en route in comfortable guest houses and alpine-style huts, making it essential reading for anyone undertaking the GEA.

The Apennines are Italy's best-kept secret. Forming the rugged spine of the Italian peninsula, this range provides thousands of kilometres of marked trails over rocky crests and ridges and explores extensive forests and meadows, following routes established long ago by traders, pilgrims and shepherds and little affected by mass tourism. Dotted throughout are historic sanctuaries, national parks and nature reserves, wildlife and wildflowers, incredible roads and passes, and stark memorials to the terrible events of World War II.

  • Activities
    walking, trekking, hill walking, sightseeing, eating and drinking
  • Seasons
    spring through to autumn: late June-September fits best with accommodation availability in the central section
  • Centres
    Abetone, Arezzo, Bibbiena, Bologna, Parma, Pieve Pelago, Pistoia, Pontremoli, Porretta Terme, Prato, Reggio Emilia, Sansepolcro
  • Difficulty
    no special experience needed: any fit walker can embark on this route, and there are plenty of short sections, making the route perfect for bespoke walking holidays. The few moderately exposed stretches can always be detoured
  • Must See
    the Casentino National Park and Franciscan sanctuaries; the WW2 Gothic line; open ridges on the northern stretch; alpine-style lakes in the Apennines National Park; Monte Prado, Tuscany's highest peak (2054m); magnificent beech woods; alpine flowers

Oct 2017

p120 Lovely Albergo Carpe Diem at Passo di Pradarena at the end of Stage 18 has changed management and is now thankfully open once again:

tel 0522 899113 or mob 388 6471360, email:

(Thanks to Barbara O)



August 2016

p72 Locanda della Colla

p120 Albergo Carpe Diem is currently closed. Stay at Rifugio Bargetana on the previous stage.

p141 Locanda degli Aceri is closed so go to the Ostello. Contact via email or phone: mobiles 328 8741814 or 347 4197674. The land line 0525 629072 no longer works.

p145 Zum Zeri website no longer works

(Thanks to Martin and Sue)


The Apennines
The GEA trek
Highlights and shorter walks
Plants and flowers
Getting there
Local transport
When to go
Food and drink
What to take
Using this guide
Stage 1 Bocca Trabaria to Passo di Viamaggio
Stage 2 Passo di Viamaggio to Caprese Michelangelo
Stage 3 Caprese Michelangelo to La Verna
Stage 4 La Verna to Badia Prataglia
Stage 5 Badia Prataglia to Rifugio Città di Forlì
Stage 6 Rifugio Città di Forlì to Passo del Muraglione
Stage 7 Passo del Muraglione to Colla di Casaglia
Stage 8 Colla di Casaglia to Badia Moscheta
Stage 9 Badia Moscheta to Passo del Giogo
Stage 10 Passo del Giogo to Passo della Futa
Stage 11 Passo della Futa to Montepiano
Stage 12 Montepiano to Rifugio Pacini
Stage 13 Rifugio Pacini to Pracchia
Stage 14 Pracchia to Lago Scaffaiolo
Stage 15 Lago Scaffaiolo to Boscolungo
Stage 16 Boscolungo to Lago Santo Modenese
Stage 17 Lago Santo Modenese to Passo delle Radici
Stage 18 Passo delle Radici to Passo di Pradarena
Stage 19 Passo di Pradarena to Passo del Cerreto
Stage 20 Passo del Cerreto to Prato Spilla
Stage 21 Prato Spilla to Lago Santo Parmense
Stage 22 Lago Santo Parmense to Passo della Cisa
Stage 23 Passo della Cisa to Passo Due Santi
Appendix A Route summary table
Appendix B Italian–English glossary
Appendix C Useful contacts
Appendix D Background reading
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