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Ditch the crowds at the beach and head for these little-known oases: fresh-water swimming holes, waterfalls & streams await


From Malbacco to Candalla and then Gaudine here are some enchanting places in the backwoods of Versilia

The mercury rises, the beaches are crowded and very often you can’t find a bit of relief there anyway. So what are the alternatives to escape the heat wave for a few hours? To maybe find yourself surrounded by greenery and coolness? Tuscany offers several possibilities.

In the backcountry of Versilia there are beautiful natural pools, that are easier to reach than you’d expect, with waterfalls and pools with transparent, crystalline fresh water: these are the Pozze di Malbacco or Wells of Malbacco. Located at the foot of the Apuan Alps near Seravezza, they are increasingly attracting more and more people seeking the relief that these idyllic green oases can offer. They can easily be reached by car or scooter: take the Via Sarzanese and after crossing the town of Vallecchia, continue, leaving behind Corvaia, Seravezza, and Romignano. At that point, you’ll find a sign for Malbacco. Shortly after the sign, on the left you’ll see the swimming holes, but you’ll need to leave your car at a small parking lot a bit further along, and walk down to the pools. Since parking is limited, it’s best to avoid the weekend or arrive early in the morning.  Remember to bring comfortable shoes to go down the path, which is made of steps with rope railings at particularly difficult points.

If you are more daring, and have strong legs, you can see a second path from the parking lot that leads to another very beautiful swimming hole that even has a natural slide.  It will take half an hour to get there on foot, but the beauty and coolness at the destination will amply repay your fatigue.

Still in Versilia, but in the municipality of Camaiore, it’s also possible to find a green oasis not far from the city’s historic center: the Candalla waterfalls, a cool area along a stream with waterwalls along its path and emerald green water pools. It’s easy to reach: once you arrive at the beautiful Badia, turn left towards Candalla and Casoli driving on the only road that passes between the houses. After five minutes, you will find a bridge and again a sign for “via di Candalla” where, however, it’s illegal to park even if many do.  It’s best to leave the car near the tavern and continue on foot, a pleasurable stroll for those who like to walk and have suitable shoes. It is easy to follow the path that winds between rock walls, trees, the remains of an old abandoned mill and pebble beaches that line the stream as it winds its way through basins, waterfalls, ponds and natural pools. The sound of the stream will accompany you on the whole walk through this shady paradise.

Not far from Massa, however, in Gaudine, there is another magical place that’s also a destination for walkers, lovers of natural landscapes, and fugitives from the summer heat. Every year intrepid people test themselves by diving into icy pools created here by the Renara torrent. The Pozzo Traversa and the Pozzo Scuro are particularly popular with the bravest divers due to their depth. But there are also those who do not challenge Fate by diving, nor put themselves to the test, but choose instead to lie down comfortably on the beautiful smooth rocks along the path of the stream to sunbathe in complete tranquility, cooling off from time to time in the transparent and fresh waters.  Here one can find places to swim in the deeper ponds, lounge in the water, and take a break from the super-crowded beaches of August.

Translated from the TIRRENO: 13 August 2022 by Elena Torre

https://www.iltirreno.it/tempo-libero/2022/08/13/news/fresche-e-dolci-acque-pozze-cascatelle-torrenti-nel-verde-per-un-tuffo-alternativo- alle-beaches-1.100070784
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