Hidden away in the foothills of the Apuan Alps in the Lucca Province of Tuscany, halfway between Pisa and Cinque Terre you can find one of the “Best-Kept Secrets of Tuscany” The Malbacco Ponds. The crystal clear Fiume Versilia (Versilia River) runs down from the Alps into the sea. Along the river you can find many spots where there are waterfalls and natural pools. One of the best spots is the waterfall and ponds closest to Seravezza in Malbacco. The easiest way to get to the ponds is by car.
How to reach the ponds:
1. Drive past the town of Seravezza and up towards the Alps. If you put “Malbacco” into your GPS it should bring you in the right direction although it is difficult to find which is one of the most alluring features of this destination. Once you get to the town this is a great place to stop for a photo op!
2. When you see this sign it’s time to park. Make sure you pull over and park in the gravel parking area, if you continue on up the hill to park you risk getting a parking fine of $600.
3. Once you park it’s time to start walking up the hill, make sure you have plenty of water as it is a bit of a trek up to where the falls are!
4. The next sign you come to marks the trail down to the river. The trail splits at one point so if you are intending to go to these ponds make sure you take the first path down that you see!
5. Just a few minutes after taking the path down you will arrive at the beautiful freshwater ponds. Prepare for cold water as the river comes straight down from the Alps but it is extremely refreshing! Walk a bit down the river and you will find a small waterfall, there are also falls further up the path the locals say are ~30 ft tall (10 meters) we didn’t make it to them as this area was perfect for us. There is so much exploring to do, the scenery is breathtaking!
After going for a dip in the pools and waterfalls make sure you stop by the quaint town of Seravezza for a cappuccino or an apertivo and enjoy the breathtaking views of the surrounding Mountains. The perfect activity for an afternoon of adventure and relaxation off the beaten path in Tuscany!