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Appennino Tosco-Emiliano National Park

 

Monte Prado - Photo courtesy of Herzi Pinki/Wikimedia

If you are looking for stunning natural landscapes then visiting the Appenino Tosco-Emiliano National Park is a perfect option for your vacation. The youngest of Italy's national parks the Appenino Tosco-Emiliano was established in 2001 and encompasses two regional parks and four state nature reserves. Located in central Italy, the park's forest ridges, the Cisa and Forbici Passes, seperate Tuscany from the Emilia region. It is easy to be awed by nature's majesty in these parts, with the summits of Alpe di Succiso, Monte Prado and Monte Cusna towering over pristine lakes and green grasslands. Also not to be missed is the Pietra di Bismantova in Emilia, located at a lower altitude than the mountains, but no less magnificent.

Appennino Tosco-Emiliano - Vegetation - Photo courtesy of Innocenti.rob/Wikimedia

 

 

History

The natural glories of the park are a consequence of thousands of years of history and evolution, which created the complex mountain ranges and lakes. There are also symbols that show that people have been visiting the area since ancient times. It is certainly profound to find yourself in an area of such extreme natural beauty, knowing that you are following in the footsteps of the ancients. There are traces of the Romans, like the fortress overlooking Lake Trasimeno, as well as medieval palaces and fortresses. The forest trails have been in use for thousands of years by those who passed through the area as well as merchants and their mules. Currently, the Park Authority is under the direction of President Fausto Giovanelli and the local communities manage the activities and services of the park.

 

Tourist Facilities and Activities

 

The Park is known for its forests and snow, clearings and slopes, as well as its forest and peat bogs. Along with admiring the natural beauty of their surroundings, visitors can also participate in a wide variety of outdoor sporting activities. The park has several large sports facilities, open year round, which cater to the beginner as well as the accomplished athlete.

Bismantova Stone - Photo courtesy of Paolo da Reggio/Wikimedia

The Park and its staff have always aimed to promote traditional and recreational activities that are environmentally friendly. Those who love the outdoors will find plenty of things to do in the Appennino Tosco-Emiliano National Park, from horseback riding through the dense woods or on the many nature trails, to hiking and mountain climbing through the high mountain peaks of the Apennines. Of course, the winter months draw many tourists who wish to participate in the type of sports the area's climate is ideally suited for.

Garfagnana Mountains - Photo courtesy of Eucasan/Wikimedia

In the summer you can take part in hiking, trekking or Nordic walking on one of the many protected routes in the park, preserved to ensure the flora and fauna and natural beauty of the area remain untouched. In addition to wandering through the woods visitors can also explore the small towns and villages located around the park, which affords an ideal opportunity to experience the real lifestyle of the locals. Culture and history are rich in this part of Italy and there are also plenty of gastronomical wonders to be explored. The towns in the area offer several charming accommodation options, from bed and breakfasts to apartments for rent, for those wishing to stay overnight.

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