Situated in the valley of Zeri, Mulino Marghen is in an ideal location to unwind with numerous recreational activities. Whether you wish to wander peacefully through the hills or bike through virgin forest, go mushrooming in autumn or skiing in winter, we are surrounded by unexplored oppurtunity.

Hopefully the links to various pursuits will give you a flavour of the diverse oppurtunities that abound here, and encourage you to expand your holiday experience.

Mountain Biking

Zeri is a little known mountain-biking destination. The hills are full of ancient mule tracks, with more being opened up each year. There is biking to match all abilities, but the emphasis here is on steady climbs on tarmac and some blistering descents on natural single-track and mule-track. Martin knows the area well and is available as a guide, or you can download tracks onto your gps, via garmin.

This is quality all-mountain style mtb. Trips can be arranged with a drop off at a high point, with a well gravity-assisted descent to various places, including Pontremoli. Other excursions have included a ride along the alta via to La Spezia, followed by ½ a day sailing on Molly Mack.

There is also a small downhill track near Albaretto, with an up-lift service at weekends.

Trekking

The Zeri hills are filled with old roads, impassable by vehicle, but ideal for trekking and walking enthusiasts. There are walks that scale hills to over 4500ft in altitude, rewarding the participants with stunning views out over Zeri, Parma, Liguria, and as far as the Alps and Sardinia on clear days.

Or others that simply meander between villages, raising or falling no more than 300ft in time, and crossing local bars where refreshments can be taken on board.

We are happy to pick up and drop off people from local points on the Alta-Via trails. There are many routes which start or finish near the Mulino and more trails are being marked each year.

Sailing at Cinque Terre

We provide a unique connection to the fabulous coastline of the Cinque Terre. Moored in La Spezia is our catamaran Molly Mack. Charter her with skipper and crew for the day and enjoy great sailing, swimming and snorkeling. Alternativly simply head off for a remote cove to enjoy a picnic in perfect isolation!

Charter her for either whole or half day's sailing, for destinations to Cinque Terre, Porto Venere, Eco del Mar, Lerici and La Spezia. We can provide cold drinks or even picnics, and drop-offs can be arranged by prior agreement, to end a great day being delivered in style to your desired waterside restaurant or bar. We even offer a discount to our valued guests at Mulino Marghen! For further details please visit the Molly Mack website.

Skiing at Zum Zeri

ZumZeri, our local ski resort, offers seasonal skiing and is only fifteen minutes from Mulino Marghen. It has a variety of slopes, from green to red, to suit all levels of competancy, and is quiet enough to allow you the pleasure of skiing in a peaceful and relaxed atmosphere. There are ski-lifts, and there are bar and restaurant facilities for apres-ski relaxation, as well as other amusements for the whole family.

The ZumZeri website offers more extensive information, and is updated daily in season. A weekend pass costs €45 for an adult; amazing value! Roads in Zeri are cleared of snow daily in winter, so are usually easily passable. Larger resorts are situated across the valley, on the Appenines, a one hour drive from us.

Festivals at Zeri

Among the local attractions to the area are the many festivals held throughout the year, particularly in the spring and summer months. Festivals in Zeri traditionally celebrate Christian holy days, but today have found themselves carrying a usually food related focus; The Lamb Festival in Rossano, the festival of Bardigiani (horses) in Adelano are two of the biggest.

Every year in August Pontremoli hosts the grand festival del medievalis; for these four days the whole medieval town is transformed; day and night there are celebrations and exhibitions of period sports, stalls, fireworks and costume dancing and feasts.

Guided excursions in Zeri

Two local Environmental and Excursion Guides (AGEA qualified) organise trekking and nature walks in the valleys of Zeri and surroundings, to reveal the hidden Lunigiana, full of environmental and cultural points of interest.

The more difficult routes, starting from small villages, rise on the slopes of the Apennines and its high peaks, while less demanding paths run through the old cattle tracks and‘Acciotolati’paths, strung between the villages. All are imbued with the magic of nature, lush woods of oak and beech trees, meadows and fresh Streams. Even in winter it is an exciting season to walk on our mountains, with organized routes employing the use of snowshoes, both day and night, in the moonlight.

Outtings can be arranged privately, according to your wishes and needs, or you can participate in our pre-arranged excursions in Zeri, found in our schedule. With ever-improving English

Your guides arre Alex Borrini: 3802 922035 alex@insiberia.net and Tulia Martelli: 3389 908885 tulia.86@libero.it

Formentara

The village of Formentera was an entire settlement built in stone where the shepherds would move in the summer months with their animals to the high pasture.

Now abandoned and full of charm and a suggestive atmosphere, immersed in the peace of the woods where because of the altitude you can enjoy the cooler air on the hottest of days.

Straits of Giaraedo

Three kilometers before Pontremoli are the Stretti di Giaraedo. Near Cavezzana the river Gordana narrows and feeds into a towering 30 metre gorge, passing between colourful rock-faces, the stone of which is historically used locally to make altar pieces.

Swimming in this spectacular location is a wonderful experience, and, like so many attractions here, you can expect to enjoy the experience without interruption.

We are happy to guide you to this hidden spot, and help ensure your visit is a pleasant one, and provide peace of mind.

Cinque Terre

Cinque Terre is a rugged portion of coast on the Italian Riviera composed of five villages: Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, and Riomaggiore. The coastline, the five villages, and the surrounding hillsides are all part of the Cinque Terre National Park, Italy's first National Park and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It's beauty is world renowned, and access to it is best achieved by boat. It is a 45 minute drive to the National Park from Mulino Marghen, through beautiful countryside.

There are ferries running from La Spezia, or you can talk to us about chartering our catamaran harboured in La Spezia, which can take parties of up to ten people to the southern ports of Cinque Terre on truly wonderous day trips. Anchovies are the exceptional culinary specialty of this area, and seafood in general is of a very high standard. We can drop off passengers on the catamaran at several of the cinque terre ports, and either collect or let you make your way back via train or ferry.

Porcini, Chestnuts and Fishing

Porcini are the most prestigious fungi one can find in Italy and they come at no small cost. If one is up for the hunt, searching for mushrooms in the countryside may save a euro or two, but more over is a wonderful way to see the countryside in its Autumnal beauty.

Here in Tuscany's Lunigiana, the chestnut crop was an important asset to the country people. Gathered in the fall and dried and ground into flour, to be stored and used through winter to make bread, pasta and a number of other local dishes. The Mulino was used primarily to mill the chestnuts from the surrounding groves into flour. Today you are welcome to roast and eat the chestnuts you gather here at the mill.

Throughout Zeri there is great trout fishing to be enjoyed. There are dozens of rivers, torrente, and natural waterfall pools where one can fish in the spectacular environment that abounds here. Trout weighing up to one kilogram have been hooked out of the river Gordana (which runs on two sides of the Mulino) this year.

A fishing license is obtainable from the Zeri Comune, for about €30 per season, with the season running from February to September. Naturally you are free to either throw back your catch or, alternatively, bring it back to the Mulino where we will be happy to prepare and cook it for you, or you can utilise our free barbeque facilities!

A day shepherding

Any foodie taking a little tour of Lunigiana will come to know the word “Zeri.” It is synonymous with the best lamb in Tuscany, if not Italy. And one of the best rearers of lambs in Zeri is Valentina Merletti.

Spend a day with her as a pastoralist, walking in the ancient meadows and learning the care and husbandry of sheep with the famous raiser of Zeri sheep.