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Trek Trail on Apuan Alps: Vandelli Road & Tambura Pass

Trek trail between Tuscany and Emilia. The “path nr 35” is a simple walk, but with a significant difference in altitude

by Michele Suraci

The trail called Vandelli road connects the cities of Massa Carrara in Tuscany and Modena in Emilia. It is the path number 35 according to CAI (i.e. the Italian Alpine Club). Technically it is not a difficult path, it is just a simple walk, but the snag could be the difference in altitude: to reach the pass Tambura da Resceto you have to go over +1.140 mt high.

Vandelli road history

In 1738 Ercole III, the son of Modena’s Duke, got engaged with Maria Teresa Cybo, the daughter of Massa Carrara Dukedom’s heir. This led to a commercial agreement between the two dukedoms and it became crucial to open a new connecting path. A project that the abbot Domenico Vandelli realised in 1751. The abbot Vandelli was not so expert in those kind of huge works, and he had to ask for some help by the engineer Francesco Maria Colombini, appreciated by the Estensi Court. The so called Vandelli Road became the path number 35.

Itinerary: path n. 35

Resceto – Vandelli Road – Tambura Pass

Start your itinerary from the square on the bottom of Resceto village, when the paved road finishes, start walking on the dirt road. The view gets soon impressive: Mount Tambura seems to watch at you all the time. It takes 6 km to Tambura Pass from here. A long series of subsequent turns leads quickly high, the view opens on the surrounding peaks, the marble caves on Apuan Alps and the sea. You can spot the islands of Tuscan Archipelago, Portofino and La Spezia Gulf.

Walking towards the lodge, the trail is more and more craggy, finally turning into a simple mountain path. After climbing 5 km there is a crossroad, on the right you reach the lodge Nello Conti through the so called Vandelli window; on the left you go towards the Tambura pass. Stop at the lodge to supply some water before walking towards the Pass, it is the last chance to get some.

From the lodge, it takes half an hour to reach the Tambura Pass. The view is touching: the Apuan Alps, sharp and bare, despoiled of their marble during the years, overlook the sea, so close that it seems you can plunge! If you have still some time and strength, from Tambura Pass walk through the path number 148 to reach the Tambura peak, the altitude here is 1895 mt on the sea level.


Technical data:

Start: Resceto (MS) – 485 mt
Arrival: Tambura Pass – 1.620 mt
Water supply: only at the lodge Nello Conti
Simple trail
Path number 35 (if you continue to the peak, also number 148)
Time: 7h 45′ round trip
Opened every day from June 15th to September 15th, on the weekends the rest of the year.


Text and pics by Michele Suraci (I viaggi di Michele)

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