Page Type Page Type: Mountain/Rock
Location Lat/Lon: 44.04243°N / 10.34622°E
Activities Activities: Hiking, Skiing
Seasons Season: Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter
Additional Information Elevation: 5604 ft / 1708 m
Sign the Climber's Log


Pania SeccaPania Secca and Pania della Croce seen from Monte Sumbra

Together with its direct neighbour, Pania della Croce, Pania Secca stands out as one of the most visible mountains of the Alpi Apuane in Italy's Toscana (Tuscany) region. It forms a barrier, separating the northern main summits of the group from the lower karst-like hillcountry in the south. Two valleys, Val Torente Turrite Secca in the north and Val Torente Turrite di Gallicano in the south separate the two mountains from their surroundings, ensuring that on both sides the elevation difference is more than 1000m.

While Pania della Croce is the signature mountain of the Alpi Apuane and thus is one of the most popular peaks of that mountain range, its close neighbour Pania Secca is much less visited. Indeed, often the two mountains are thrown together and thus Pania Secca often gets ignored. However, it is a mountain in its own right and when you look at its south face you see that it is a very impressive one as well. This south face rises for 1400m out of Val Torrente Turrite Secca and is near vertical in most parts. There are four ridges, which lead to the mountain - basically oriented like the direction of the compass - but only one ridge offers easy access to the summit.
Pania Secca
Pania Secca
Pania Secca

The word "easy" is relative and compared to the 6 routes, which ascend Pania della Croce, the Pania Secca route is far more difficult and exposed. Since it is rarely used, the path is not very easily visible and only a few stone cairns lead the way. It crosses a small karst plateau, in which orientation is rather difficult with all the crevices and gullies running across. The ascent itself is exposed as it dances above the abyss of the south face with the north face also being not exactly shallow.
Pania Secca and Pania della Croce
Pania Secca
Pania Secca

Pania Secca is a wonderful lookout summit, thanks to its central location within the Alpi Apuane. It is definitely the best spot to admire Pania della Croce but also the other parts of the mountain range are on display. In the east the long chain of the Appennino constitutes the skyline for most of the summit panorama.
Uomo Morto
Pania Secca
Pania Secca

A curiosity can be seen between Pania della Croce and Pania Secca: there Uomo Morto, the face of the dead man lies looking up at the sky. The features - nose, lips and chin - are visible from both north and south, though they look slightly different. Beneath Pania Secca's south face, close to the village of Fornovalasco you can find Grotta del Vento, one of italys largest stalagtite caves. It is a document of the karst-like nature of the mountain, a nature it shares with the other summits of the Alpi Apuane.

360° Summit Panorama

The 360° panorama on top of Pania Secca

Getting There

Uomo Morto and Pania SeccaPania Secca and Uomo Morto seen from Pania della Croce

  • West: From Forte dei Marmi on the coast of the Tyrrhenean Sea:
    • Take SP9 through Seravezza
    • At Pontestazzemese turn left to Cardoso or Pruno (1400m elevation gain)

  • North: From Massa on the coast
    • Take SP5 to Passo del Vestito
    • Take SP13 into Val Torrente Turrite Secca
    • Trailheads are Localita Tre Fiumi or Isola Santa (intersection with the road from Seravezza, 1100m elevation gain)

  • North: From Castelnuovo Garfagnana
    • Take SP12 direction Massa
    • Trailheads are at Isola Santa or Tre Fiumi (1100m elevation gain)

  • South: From Gallicano #1
    • Take SP39 (signs "Grotta del Vento") westward
    • Trailhead is Formovolasco (1400m elevation gain)

  • North-East: From Gallicano #2
    • Take SP41 through Molazzana
    • Follow the signs to Alpe San Antonio
    • Before you reach the Alpe, follow the signs to Piglonico (elevation gain 700m)

Red Tape

Cephalanthera longifoliaCephalanthera longifolia

The Parco Naturale delle Alpi Apuane was established in 1985 to protect the nature as well as culture of the area within which the Alpi Apuane are located. Its overall size amounts to almos 21000 ha. A constant challenge is the presence of roughly 300 marble quarries which their impact on the environment. A hiker might easily find himself inside one of the quarries and is requested to follow signs and rules there (especially for the start of the western route).

The park's official website


Accommodation is relatively easy to find along the coast of the Tyrrhenean Sea. Viareggio, Massa, Carrara and La Spezia offer lots of hotel rooms as well as campgrounds. Either book them by travel office or go for a google search.

On the other hand, to stay closer or within the range you can make use of Agriturismo, farms, which offer food and lodging. The site of the Natural Park has a selection of all kinds of accommodation of the area:

There are three huts near Pania della Croce: Rifugio Rossi at Uomo Morto, Rifugio del Freo at Foce di Mosceta and Rifugio la Fania above Pruno and Cardoso. You can find more information on the Alpi Apuane main page

Weather Conditions

Maps & Books


  • Alpi Apuane - Garfagnana
    Kompass Verlag
    ISBN: 3-85491-852-6
  • Geological Map Parco delle Alpi Apuane
    L. Carmignani, P. Conti, L. Disperati, P.L. Fantozzi, G. Giglia and M. Meccheri

Maps Online


  • Tuscany North / Toskana Nord
    Wolfgang Heitzmann / Renate Gabriel (translation: Gill Round)
    Rother Verlag
    ISBN: 978-3-7633-4812-1 (English)
    ISBN: 978-3-7633-4115-3 (German)
  • Guida al Parco delle Alpi Apuane
    Edited by: Giuliano Valdes
    Series: Guide Felici
    ISBN: 88-88327-91-6
  • Guida all’Alta Via del Parco delle Alpi Apuane
    Angelo Nerli
    Felici Editore Srl
    ISBN: 88-6019-006-1



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Parents refers to a larger category under which an object falls. For example, theAconcagua mountain page has the 'Aconcagua Group' and the 'Seven Summits' asparents and is a parent itself to many routes, photos, and Trip Reports.

Alpi ApuaneMountains & Rocks