Campocatino: a Slice of the Scottish Highlands in Italy!


Campocatino: a Slice of the Scottish Highlands in Italy!These magnificent mountains are famous the world over for their caves, and their marble. They were used by Michelangelo, which unofficially says that they are the best the world can offer.

These mountains are truly unspoilt and beautiful, complete with their own inhabitants, some dealing in marble, and some, leading a poor life, raising cattle and cultivating crops. A relationship between man, and nature exists here. A relationship which benefits both parties, nature cares for man by providing ways of making a living, and man cares for nature by taking care and protecting this lushious land in a truly organic way.

Campocatino is like a genuine slice of the Scottish highlands, except, a 1000 metres below its peak, lies the gorgeous Versilian coastline, with its beaches and people sunbathing, offers something that Scotland certainly doesn’t…Sunshine!

The small settlement Casilli, in the Campocatino area is quite a unique one. They live in an area of about eight hectares, with entrances to their settlement dating back to the 17th century. Therefore, they have quite an old heritage here. When the area is empty of people, it actually feels like a Ghost town.

The houses are a small art form, effortlessly constructed on the uneven surfaces of the hillside. They had built-in basements, which were to store their animals to keep them safe, and to store their farming tools. They had fruit trees around the house, and little gardens for the children to play in.

The fact that the population here has diminished has caused the place to become quite desolate. Many houses were knocked down because they were so derelict, however, during the last World War, the Germans instigated some sort of renewal programme, which cleaned the area up a bit.

The local authorities in recent years have, instigated some restoration works, on the outside of the houses, to make the place look a little neater, some of the houses needed a lot of work with stone and woods. The inside of the houses though, for the moment, are being left, as no modifications have been authorised.

The houses are now within the boundaries of the newly formed Apuane Park, where they will be preserved officially, along with the beautiful nature that surrounds them. Creating a harmonic and respectful relationship between man and nature.


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