Between History and Sports

Between History and Sports

Among the first mountains in Italy to be equipped for skiing.

The ski district of the Pistoiese mountains is the largest of the Tuscan-Emilian Apennines: it extends for more than 50 km of trails served by approximately 25 ski lift structures of the latest generation. We can interpret this as a union between ski stations: Abetone, Val di Luce and Doganaccia. From 1,930 meters of maximum quote of the Monte Gomito, and from other peaks, one can enjoy a breathtaking panorama from the steep ridges and valleys of extraordinary beauty. It is the mountain landscape of this territory, in fact, that is one of the major attractions.  

Comprensorio sciistico dell’Abetone

Not only for its rich environmental compositions, beech trees with tall trunks and white firs, torrents of crystalline and fresh water, small lakes that in the winter transform into mirrors of ice, alpine meadows where one finds shelters and camps at a high altitude; but also for the historical memory that lies in these places. The environmental context in which one collocates the territory of the Pistoiese mountains is unique of its kind. Easily reached from Florence, Pistoia and Lucca it presented with a large park at the door of Tuscany. “I love this mountain, it is one of the most poetic places of the poetic Tuscan land.” Writes Tommaseo in the middle of the 19th century. And maybe still today one can acquire the enthusiasm of the noted Italian linguist over the pass through the wood paths and in the going down the slopes.

Every village or inhabited centre, even if small, has an ancient name, often fascinating and curious. The peaks have names that recall historical events (Alps of the Three Powers, because on this was placed the border stone of three pre-united states; “Old Woman’s Teeth”, for its sharp form and almost like a “cavity”; the “Passage of Hannible”, from where generations of Tuscans swear passed by this intruder from Carthage: Doganaccia, because of the seat of the grand duchy “dogana” (customs point).

The roads and paths recall facts and glorious personages of the past, such as the mountain road of the Duchess, that unites the territories of Lucca with Modena, evidently because of the subjects of the Duchess of Lucca that she did not want to pay the transit tax on the trans-alpine road that came from Pistoia.

I remember a Swiss friend – a great skier – who came to see me on the trails of the Abetone. For her it was quite a discovery! She was amazed at the traces of the Zeno (the trails designed by Zeno Colò, one of the most famous skiers of all times, world champion in the 1950’s. Here even Vittorio Chierroni was born and Ada Seghi, Paride Milianti and Gaetano Coppi, all noted champions), or della Selletta (already served by ski lift structure, the famous sled, in the 1930’s), or of the Valley of Light, so similar to the large slopes of the Alps. Here, the ski trails are vast sheets cloaked white above the trees.

On the side of the Abetone, instead, one can find alternating itineraries plateaus, more narrow variants and descents that are more difficult, that go down to the steps of the Pyramids, a spontaneous appellative erected by the two monuments that marked the borders between the historical grand duchy of Tuscany and Modena. The skiing complex of the Doganaccia – above Cutigliano, an ancient and beautiful village paved in stone – it is at the measure of the family and perfect for those who have to learn the techniques of descent in complete tranquillity. One finds a variety such that it will stimulate almost any kind of skier, from the most expert to the beginner.

Today, the tourist offerings of the entire district is updated with the times and offers modern ski lift structures (cable cars, chairs, lifts, baby-lifts and a recent automatic release cable), and utilizes an efficient structure of programmed snow. There are all of the services of a modern climactic ski station: schools for every discipline of skiing, snow parks for food lovers, hotels, chalet and a diversified offering of after ski activities. The hospitality is comparable to modern luxury hotels.


Elisa Valentini

Andrea Formento*

The valley of Light is handicap accessible. Avant-garde systems and fascinating landscape

T he Valley of Light is a skiing destination with a fascinating landscape at the measure of man and family. The ski structures are avant-garde, the trails are linked with “ski dans neige” to the rest of the district of the Abetone. The new “Valley of Light Spa Resort” offers services of competitive quality with Alpine hospitality and is capable of attracting a medium to high-level income clientele. In synergy with the spinal unity of Florence projects it was begun to bring to the ski lifts people with spinal lesions. The masters, part of the employees of the systems, and the rescue path of the trails are already constructed.

The objective is to create a station that is accessible at 360° to insert in a circuit of the location and be handicap accessible. The Region acquired 50% of the ski lift structures, with a model similar to the Valle d’Aosta: many poles are under a unique ownership structure. It would be a essential transition for the entire Tuscan mountains.»

* Director of the structures and trails of the Valley of Light, and President of ANEF Tuscany

Marco Ceccarelli*

Cutigliano, Alpine Bob and circuits of downhill

Summer and winter for the measure of families’ is our slogan. The trails of Doganaccia are accessible for everyone, even children who are just beginning to learn to ski and can use the treadmill for free. The ski pass and lessons with the masters are at reasonable prices as well. The district, which is small and compact, is perfect for the winter break vacations.

The beautiful winter season proposes many attractions: the adventure park, Alpine Bob and circuits of downhill skiing where Italian and world champions train. Other than the completing of the cableway for Croce Arcana, there is a plan to construct a hotel in Doganaccia and the connection of its ski structures with Corno alle Scale. Cutigliano will become the central junction of the new large district.»

* Doganaccia 2000 S.r.l.

Giampiero Danti*

The famous ski champions and trails of the Abetone Mountain

The Abetone is the capital of Tuscan skiing (beyond other things). The first pair of skis arrive in 1904, and from then on is the beginning of a long cycle of Olympic champions that made it celebrated all over the world. The Abetone has maintained itself at the top of technology for its ski structures and its long experience gained during important events from world champions and the Master of “Pinocchio on skis.”

Other than the prestigious sister ship with Aspen, Colorado in the USA, an immanent objective is the realization of a trail for the world cup and the recovery of the traced in the woods for snowshoes, cross country skiing and mountain climbing. Summer has as its highlight, Gravity Park; the next investment will be a sports centre. The Tuscan and Emilia regions are working on a project for a unique ski pass for the triangle, Abetone-Doganaccia-Corno alle Scale, extending to all of the Tuscan and Emilian ski stations.»

* The Mayor of Abetone and Director of SAF (Society of Funivie of the Abetone)

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