At the heart of the Apuan Alps, just after the crossroads for Arni on the road leading down to the coasts of Versilia, stands a peaceful oasis of beauty, a place so unexpected that seems to come straight out from a Tim Burton movie. It is called Isola Santa and belongs to the municipality of Careggine, in Lucca surroundings.Isola Santa has not always been as it is now. It is a very old village, built in the Middle Ages around a hospitale for travellers and pilgrims on the banks of the river Turrite Secca. In particular, it was a place for travellers to recover after passing through the Foce di Mosceta, a communicating road between Versilia and Garfagnana. In 1950, the construction of a dam for hydroelectric power forced the inhabitants to leave their homes. But, later, the old inhabitants decided to give back to the village its ancient beauty and charm: in the 2000s, a restoration project brought life again on the shores of the lake but Isola Santa remains today almost ghost town where the houses are empty and where just trout fishermen and sporadic travellers pass by. Even though this place is out of the tourist’s paths, it is a village that seems to be made on the purpose to be photographed or painted. Visit the Church of San Jacopo, built in 1260 and once a hospital for pilgrims and start a beautiful hike towards the peaks of the Apuan Alps. How to get there By car: from Castelnuovo Garfagnana follow the signs to Arni and Seravezza on the SP13 road for about 13 Km. From the coast, you can take the motorway and exit in Massa. Follow the signs Passo del Vestito and then for Arni. Then take the SP13 road (starda del Cipollaio) that comes from Versilia. Continue towards Castelnuovo Garfagnana for about 4 km. By train: the nearest stations are Castelnuovo Garfagnana, Pietrasanta and Querceta. Then you can reach Isola Santa by bus with VaiBus company. By bus: Isola Santa is connected to Castelnuovo Garfagnana and Pietrasanta by VaiBus company.