5 natural corners to discover in Emilia Romagna
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Emilia-Romagna is not just art and gastronomy: in this land that goes from the Adriatic Sea to the Apennines you will find some of the rarest ecosystems in Europe and a network of natural parks composed of 2 national parks, 1 interregional park, 14 regional parks and 15 natural reserves!
Among the many landscapes that you can discover from the wetlands of the Po Delta to the mountain peaks of the Apennines, we have chosen five not-to-miss corners to enjoy the nature in Emilia-Romagna.
Central station of the Po Delta Park, the Comacchio Valleys are composed of water mirrors that cover more than 13thousand hectares and offer a birdlife unique in Italy: not only they are the realm of gulls and terns, but 9 bird species regularly nest there and many other rare species have elected this lagoon area as their ideal habitat for reproduction: the Comacchio Saltpans, in fact, are seat of the largest Italian colony of flamingos and the only Italian colony of spoonbills.
The Foce Fishing Station -which hosts the Museum of the Valleys and between the waters the “lavoriero” used for capturing the eels- is the perfect starting place for picturesque routes to explore the valleys by boat or foot.
Ridracoli Lake, created by the Ridracoli Dam of the Bidente River, is a perfect example of balance between human engineering and environment. It is located in the town of Bagno di Romagna, on the Apennines of Forlì-Cesena, at the height of 557m above sea level and covers an area of 1.033km2.
A corner of paradise in the Casentino National Park, which offers numerous opportunities for recreation and active life, from boat trips to all kind of hiking itineraries, as the pleasant walk that from Rifugio Cà di Sopra reaches the Lama Forest, unpolluted green lung of the Park.
The park is spread over an area of 2.300 hectares on the heights of the Middle Apennines of Modena, in the municipalities of Guiglia, Marano sul Panaro and Zocca. A landscape of hills and mountains, made of ancient chestnut forests, woods, karst and medieval villages, that goes from the 174m above sea level of the Panaro River Valley to the 808m above sea level of Riva Mount. Among the many points of natural & cultural interest, the sandstone spires of Roccamalatina and Sant’Andrea Rocks.
With over 100km of trails, the park offers many itineraries accessible on foot, horseback or bicycle.
The Corno alle Scale Park, which takes its name from the highest peak of Bologna’s Apennines, is a ridge park that protects a precious territory composed of a complex variety of fauna & flora. Inside the park, the majestic peaks that create the striking Valleys of Dardagna and Silla Rivers.
The Dardagna River borns from the basins of Cavone Mount and develops into two distinct branches: the main, on the east, falls from Corno alle Scale Mount while the secondary, on the west, falls from Spigolino Mount with a series of impressive leaps.
The Dardagna Waterfalls are undoubtedly one of the most celebrated natural features of the area and you can easily reach them with a scenic loop trail of few hours and suitable for everyone. The route starts from the Sanctuary of the Madonna dell’Acero and shows geomorphology, vegetation and historical characteristic of this Apennine mountains.
SANTO LAKE (PARMA)
The Santo Lake, with its depth of 22.5m, is the largest glacial lake in Emilia-Romagna as well as the largest natural lake of Northern Apennines. Located in the municipality of Corniglio, the Lake is located in the western part of the Tuscan-Emilian Apennines National Park and is part of the Cento Laghi Regional Park.
The Lake is easily accessible from Rifugio Lagdei with a chairlift or on foot following the easy path 723A, that in less than one hour leads to Rifugio Mariotti, located on the shores of the Lake.
From the Lake takes also origin the 2nd stage of the Alta Via dei Parchi trail: a long walk that leads to Prato Spilla along the “Lake Ridge”, an evocative succession of glacial valleys, rocky ridges and grasslands.