The Apuan Alps were already inhabited in prehistoric times by tiny nomadic groups of which we have proof in the form of stone objects. The human presence became significant here from the Iron Age onwards (from 4000 years ago) when the first tribes settled permanently in the area.
These individuals, who came from the west, had a tenacious temperament and settled in strategic positions in several parts of the range.
These Liguri-Apuani, as they were later called, lived in peace with the Etruscans of the Lucca plain but then, towards the end of the third century B.C., because of the hostility between Rome and the Gauls of the Padan plain, the good neighbours became enemies who fought each other for a long time. The war ended with the direct intervention of the Romans, whom the Liguri-Apuani opposed strenuously before being defeated.
After the Middle Ages, this area became absorbed into the history of Tuscany while part of it was constantly claimed by the Duchy of Este.
The Apuan Alps re-emerged into the history books during the second world war during the resistance of the partisans against the Nazi occupation, when there were dramatic skirmishes, and terrible reprisals by the invaders.