Castelnuovo, with its romanesque “Duomo” (Cathedral) and the Rocca Ariostesca, is the commercial and administrative centre of the valley, enliveved every Thursday, since 1430, by an open-air market. From here, the provincial road leading to the Versilia area flanks the river Turrite Secca, a typical Apuan Alps torrent, in a narrow gorge.
After a few kilometers, you will reach the Lake Isola Santa, and on its banks the little hamlet, with typical style buildings and slate roofs. Further on, the scenery changes to the rock-faces of Monte Sumbra, with the “Marmitte dei Giganti”, (Giant’s potholes) characteristic rock erosions caused by water on the stone.
In Tre Fiumi the main road ascends to the Galleria del Cipollaio (Cipollaio Tunnel) leading to Forte dei Marmi and the Versilian Coast. Along this road, in Levigliani, it’s possible to visit the wonderful cave Antro del Corchia, the most important limestone formation of Italy. From Tre Fiumi, the road on the right, leads to Arni and the Galleria del Monte Pelato (Mount Pelato Tunnel) and the Passo del Vestito (Vestito Pass). From this height the view sweeps over the coast, the marble quarries of Carrara to the Golfo di La Spezia (La Spezia bay) and Portovenere. Further on in Pian della Fioba there is a botanic garden “Pellegrini”.
On the return journey, just before Isola Santa, there is the road leading up to Capanne di Careggine and the Maestà della Formica then down to the village of Careggine, situated on a plateau where you can enjoy splendid panoramas. Here in the winter season, it is possible to ski and, during the other seasons, to walk along fascinating paths and tracks in century-old chestnut woods. In the village of Poggio, a visit the small Romanesque Church of S. Biagio is a must.