Breathing in nature on the Living Mountain with Stefano Pucci
“When I was little, my contact with nature was intense. As an adult, I returned to breathe the air that was embedded in my soul”.
Speaking is Stefano Pucci (Apuantrek), one of the guides for the activities scheduled every day at Il Ciocco’s Living Mountain. His wide-ranging curriculum is something that only the love for the Apuan Alps and our territory can summarize.
Q. Stefano, you are the Environmental Hiking Guide of the Apuan Alps Regional Park. Someone defined you the "Cultural Ambassador" of our mountains…
A. Yes, it is a great honor for me. I spent most of my life walking along mountain trails and I consider it a sort of vocation to share the knowledge acquired, fruit of this experience, and above all the feeling that ties me to certain places. I was born in the area of Alta Versilia and my childhood was spent the woods. Accompanied by my mother, I took long walks in the midst of nature. Observing the landscape that surrounds us is my passion. In recent years, for example, I performed some research on the rock carvings of the Apuan Alps, testimonies somewhere between art and myth (Video “Erano gli stessi sogni – They were the same dreams”).
Q. Breathing in nature… “Breath of Life" is the title of the botanical/naturalistic excursion that you hold every Monday at Il Ciocco’s Living Mountain.
A. Yes, it is an excursion on foot that owes its name to the coming to life of the essences of plants during springtime. Every bud contains the project of the entire plant, and the sprout takes on great therapeutic importance for man. Wild herbs – “erbi” as they are called in local tradition – in addition to tasting good, are also purifying for the entire organism and helpful to better face the changing of the season. Some examples? Wild chicory, that helps purify the liver; wild garlic, that disinfects the stomach; or a wild herbs soup flavored with wild fennel, tasty and optimal to reduce stomach bloating. Along the easy ring-shaped trails that we will take in the Estate, we will meet a rich variety of these plants, both in cultivated fields and in the woods, where there are lots of trees with edible flowers and essences traditionally used for medicinal purposes. An authentic full immersion for the senses in nature to enjoy its positive effects.
Q. At the end of an excursion, what do you see in the eyes of the participants?
A. The people and families often remain impressed by how much history, culture and beauty our territory possesses. And they return, bringing their friends along so they can try new experiences, too: for me, this is the greatest satisfaction of all. I hope that the generations of the future will nurture on these excursions, too, creating an important cultural baggage for themselves and for nature.