It is June 1926 and in the small towns of the Pistoia mountains there is something novelty in the air. It begins the story of the little red and white trains that will accompany workers from the Lima and Reno valleys to the factories where the iron coming from Elba Island, and the paper are processed thanks to the abundant wood the mountains provide.
This is the story that welds the Italian Metallurgical Society and the paper mills with the rural world of the surrounding valleys. The towns of Pracchia, Maresca, Gavinana, Limestre, S. Marcello Pistoiese and Mammiano begin to exist apart from their own world because beside the industry, the little train begins to bring the first tourists.
The breathtaking views show travelers the meadows of the Alpe Piana, the Oppio Pass, the whole Lima Valley with its vast forests overlooked by the Abetone ridges, to the white mountains of Lucchio and the Le Lari massif where the Reno River has its source.
The dream lasted until September 30, 1965. The restoration work on the line after the World War II did not stop the spirit of the times, which in recent years increasingly favored road traffic, condemning the railways to old stuff no longer in step with modernity.
However, there is an option for those who still want to dream: The small disused line is now a fabulous (and not even too well known) dirt road, totally suitable for gravel riders. The slopes are more than rideable, and once you reach the Oppio Pass, the dirt road descends in fun turns leading to Pracchia. In addition, we can appreciate the perfectly restored Art Nouveau old train stations.
Campari Long Ride
Campari Long Ride is a 100 km loop ruote that ride through the lesser-known valleys of the Bologna and Pistoia Apennines area, passing through mountain villages of special beauty, ancient forest trails…