Monte Altissimo is an classic mountain. When viewed from the sea or from Massa it appears enormous, primarily due to its 700m South face. At 1589m it is in fact one of the smaller Apuane mountains. Nonetheless, standing on its summit is breathtaking. The "Recommended Route" is an anti-clockwise circuit reached by a 500m walk-in, running SW from Ristorante Le Gobbie.
Start on path 33, heading south west until reaching an old quarry road. Cross this road onto path 42 which climbs steadily south west towards the ridge at Foce del Frate.
On reaching the ridge turn left on path 41 which traverses south, on the east side of the ridge, to reach Passo degli Uncini, staying a few metres beneath the ridge for the whole of the traverse.
Immediately after reaching the Passo degli Unchini, turn left on path 143 which again drops below the ridge and traverses north east on Altissimo's northern side. After 800m the path turns R to climb back onto the final exposed rocky ridge. This climbs SSW for 300m and then traverses SE for 200m to the summit cross.
Descend on path 143, which initially heads NE and is steep and exposed for 300m. Here a U-turn to the R gives way to a much easier section of path which follows the ridge on its westerly side, heading SW initially but gradually veering to the S and then then E before reaching a junction with path 142 on the L at Paso del Vaso Tondo (1 mile).
Here turn L onto path 142 to descend to the mainly derelict quarry, Cave Fondone. After descending through quarry workings for 1 mile, turn left onto the old quarry road, heading north west, parallelling the valley bottom. After 1.5 miles turn right onto path 33 (your initial ascent path) and return to Ristorante Gobbie.