The first integral nature reserve in Italy
In the heart of the Foreste Casentinesi, Monte Falterona and Campigna National Park lies the Sasso Fratino Nature Reserve. This is the first integral nature reserve in Italy, a portion of land where no human activities are allowed except for scientific research.
Established in 1959 with the aim of preserving one of the few strips of woodland still intact on the peninsula, the Sasso Fratino Nature Reserve extends 764 hectares along the steep northeastern slope of the Apennine ridge and passes through the municipalities of Santa Sofia and Bagno di Romagna. It is no wonder that this magical place has become a UNESCO World Heritage Site, listed among Europe's ancient beech forests.
The area, rich in ditches, streams and rocky outcrops made of sand particles, is characterised by its high biodiversity. The reserve is home to mixed forests of beech and silver fir, sycamore and sycamore maples, mountain elms, linden, ash and conifers, and to 800 species of mushrooms. Animals include deer, roe deer, fallow deer, wild boar, mouflon, wolves and nocturnal birds of prey.