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Casentinesi Forest National Park, a protected area to be discovered by entering intricate but welcoming areas covered by woods. Of all its approximately 37 thousand hectares, approximately 80% is made up of forests and this is what makes the experience of visiting this park unique, which has been part of theNational Park Authority of the Casentinesi Forests, Monte Falterona and Campigna.
Casentinesi Forest National Park: where it is located
The Casentinesi Forest National Park it is located about fifty kilometers from Florence and its surface is divided in half, almost mathematically, with a difference of a few hundred hectares, between Emilia Romagna and Tuscany. Other nearby cities are Arezzo (48 km) and Siena (100 km) but also Rimini (96 km) such as Forlì (46 km) and Cesena (60 km).
There are three provinces affected by this protected area, Forlì, Arezzo and Florence, in all, to be exact, the hectares of the Casentinesi Forest National Park are 36,843, divided into four areas, each with a particular protection, defined by the Park Plan itself.
The most protected is Zone A: an "integral reserve" of almost a thousand hectares which includes the Integral Natural Reserves of Sassofratino, Pietra and Monte Falco, follows the B in which nature is preserved as best as possible, you can touch it with your hands by visiting for example the monumental complex of La Verna and the State Biogenetic Natural Reserves (Camaldoli, Scodella, Campigna and Badia Prataglia) that are part of it.
Zone C, with areas of naturalistic interest, is that part of Casentinesi Forest National Park in which the goal is to maintain the balance between the settlement system and the natural one, finally the D is that of urban centers and small villages often of historical and / or tourist value.
Casentinesi Forest National Park: excursions and trekking
In collaboration with the Italian Alpine Club, the Casentinesi Forest National Park makes available to visitors beyond 600 km of trails where it is impossible not to find one's way. There are 20 itineraries, 9 nature trails for naturalistic interpretation and 2 routes that are also accessible to the blind and to people in wheelchairs and with walking difficulties.
There is no shortage of more structured proposals to take advantage of without being intimidated because they are very interesting and original. Romagna Trekking offers excursions for both families and experts, including those dedicated to birdwatching, in the company of one Environmental Hiking Guide enabled that will allow us to notice every little wonder of nature, easy to escape to those who do not have the trained eye.
If you call us Trekkabbestia, one can only offer trekking, but this reality makes it accessible to everyone, even non-experts, attracting them with the idea of night walks, the possibility of diving into the river and even, for those who want, spending 2 days in the Casentinesi Forest National Park sleeping in a self-managed shelter. Other peculiar excursions those that associate the passion for nature with that for photography, or that propose the company of a donkey or a horse, why not? If we do not like an excursion companion with clogs, we can choose guided tours in key geological, faunal or archaeological.
For those who want to organize themselves, creating a program of visits to the Casentinesi Forest National Park that tailor-made shoes, know that you can take advantage of the “Il Bosco di Rincine” Equestrian Center, a shuttle bus to the Lama Forest, numerous equipped rest areas and Mountain Bikes rental services. There is even an electric boat near the Ridracoli Dam and a Park train.
Casentinesi Forest National Park: interactive map
Especially for those who want to self-manage, but also for those who let themselves be guided but in a conscious way, here is an interactive map to anticipate their trip in the Casentinesi Forest National Park walking along some path with your eyes, on the screen. We can also have fun discovering the waterways that cross the area: in Tuscany there is the Arno with its tributaries, in Romagna instead the Tramazzo, Montone, Rabbi streams and the Bidente river with the branches of Corniolo, Ridracoli and Pietrapazza.
There is only one lake, and it is artificial: that of Ridracoli, the highest peak is Monte Falco (1658 meters above sea level) and if you find this, to compensate, also look for the lowest point of the Casentinesi Forest National Park: the Bidente di Ridracoli valley, at 430 meters.
Casentino Forest National Park: mushroom picking
A type of excursion that I have not mentioned before but which is suitable for this park is the one related to mushroom picking. Their presence is important in the Casentinesi Forest National Park, today there are about 845 present but more than the quantity it is their uniqueness that attracts fans. In fact, some mushrooms are of prime and unique species in Italy, others of species new to the scientific world, such as Botryobasidium sassofratinoense, to be found in Integral Reserve of Sasso Fratino.
Casentinesi Forest National Park: flora and fauna
Interesting in mushrooms, but certainly not the only attraction in the fauna of a park that hosts 1357 species, 1125 of which are considered indigenous. The Casentinesi Forest National Park boasts a high level of phytodiversity and despite being so small and unknown to most, it combines forest ecosystems considered to be among the best preserved in Europe.
This is because it is in a fortunate position that makes it a virtuous link between two very different realities in terms of flora. Passing from north to south of the park, it is easy to notice. To get a minimal idea of the green heritage that we have available without our knowledge, here are some numbers of Casentinesi Forest National Park: there are 37 species and subspecies of Ferns and Lycopods in its territory and 44 species of Orchids.
It is not over here but I do not want to bore you and then there is the Valbonella botanical garden which reproduces the plant environments of the Romagna Apennines as I could not do in words. It should certainly be visited as well as the Carlo Siemoni Museum and Arboretum in Badia Prataglia with more than one hundred indigenous and exotic forest plants.
The fauna of the Casentinesi Forest National Park it is just as rich as the flora. Among the mammals, the wolf of the northern Apennines and the Wild cat but among the 21 species present we will also find the fox, the hare, the mole, the red squirrel, the porcupine and the hedgehog. And mustelid friends, like the badger, the weasel, the stone marten and my beloved skunk.
As for the avifauna, there are a total of 139 species present, 77 of which nesting, and looking at the long list, we find names such as those of the Alpine Rampichino and Bullfinch, Occhiocotto and Sterpazzolina. 6 species of woodpeckers, including the Black woodpecker, present only in Casentinesi Forest National Park as regards the area of the northern Apennines.
I cannot fail to mention theGolden Eagle and the other 21 diurnal birds of prey, there are almost as many nocturnal ones, in the group the Barn Owl, the Owl, the Allocco, thePeregrine Falcon and the Long-eared Owl, honored by the presence of the Eagle Owl. Finally, the 23 species of Amphibians and Reptiles, Viper common included.
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