Libro Aperto (it would sound like “Open Book” in English) is a mountain in Italy on the Apennines, located on the border between Tuscany and Emilia, characterized by two peaks, Monte Rotondo (1,937 m; 6,355 feet) and Monte Belvedere (1,896 m; 6,220 feet), which look like an open book if observed from afar, as the name suggests.
This is a beautiful hiking trail in Tuscany from Abetone (1,388 m, 4,554 feet), during which you will see fantastic landscapes and enjoy amazing views. I took this hike in August 2020 to escape the crowds on the beaches and it was definitely a great experience. It is not an easy hike, as it is about 12 km (8 miles) long round trip, with an elevation gain of 660 m (2,165 feet). It took me about 4 hours round trip (time spent on top of the mountain not included). Nonetheless, the first part of the hike is accessible to everyone. Remember to bring enough food and water with you, in particular if you take this hike in the summer, as it gets quite hot despite the elevation.
How to get to Abetone
Abetone is a lively mountain tourist destination in Tuscany, in the province of Pistoia. It is popular both in the summer, for its hiking trails, and in the winter, for its ski slopes.
If you are in Tuscany, the easiest way to get to Abetone by car is to take the A11 highway (also known as Firenze-Mare as it connects Firenze to the west coast of Italy) and take the exit to Pistoia. From here, follow directions to Abetone. Otherwise, you can take the road through the mountains from Lucca (Strada Statale 12 dell’Abetone e del Brennero), which will merge with the previous road in the village La Lima. This is a beautiful scenic drive: along the way you will have the opportunity to see some awesome landmarks, such as the “Ponte del Diavolo” (the “Devil’s Bridge”). When you are in Lucca, you just need to follow directions to Abetone.
Once you get to Abetone, there are various parking lots available. Just don’t arrive too late, as they get full quickly, especially during the weekend.
How to get to Libro Aperto from Abetone
After passing the main square of Abetone, coming from Pistoia, turn right onto Via dell’Uccelliera. After a few steps you will find the beginning of the hiking trail on the right, marked by a sign on the street.
Keep walking along this path through the wood and pass the iron barrier. You are now on the CAI trail 00.
After a couple of kilometres, you will find a large space with a small fountain and some wooden tables. From here three different trails begin: you can either take the one in the middle (CAI trail 00), which will lead you through Monte Maiori, or the one to the left, which is a forest road. I took the latter. However, going forward, the two trails merge at “La Verginetta”.
After a few steps past “La Verginetta”, you will get to a beautiful plateau with a mountain hut named “La Casetta di Lapo” (it would sound like “Lapo’s home” in English). Here, you can have a picnic on the meadow, relax and enjoy the amazing landscape.
At this point you have walked about 3.5 km (2 miles): this can be a good place to stop for those who don’t feel like taking the second part of the hike. In fact, as I mentioned above, from here the trail becomes quite steep until the top of the mountain. You have got two options from here to get to the top of Libro Aperto:
- keep hiking along the CAI trail 00;
- follow the CAI trail 495 on the left.
You can also make a loop trail, as I did: in fact, I followed the CAI trail 495 uphill and the CAI trail 00 downhill on my way back. From this point forward, it is very important to wear hiking shoes, since the path is rocky and you might slip on gravel or stones.
When you get to the top of Libro Aperto, you will be well rewarded for your effort. The landscape is spectacular and the views are wonderful: hiking along the mountain ridge is always thrilling to me! Moreover, this ridge marks the border between Tuscany and Emilia-Romagna.
Now you can relax on these beautiful meadows and enjoy your food!
These are some dramatic views from the top of Libro Aperto: I definitely recommend this hike!
I hope you liked this post and, even more, I hope you will enjoy this hike if you have the chance to take it! Leave a comment below and tell me what you think about it!
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