Tuscan-Romagna Apennines: in the enveloping silence of the Casentinesi Forests National Park
If you want to unwind, a regenerating getaway in the natural surroundings of the Casentinesi Forests National Park, Monte Falterona and Campigna is just the thing for you.
Among the woods, ridges and mule tracks of the Tuscan-Romagna Apennines, you will find numerous paths to cross on foot or by bicycle.
No less than 600 kilometres of hiking trails, also on horses and donkeys, and crossings on electric boats.
Walking is the best way to immerse yourself in the Casentinesi Forests National Park.
For novice hikers, we suggest the "Sentieri Natura" (Nature Trails): 9 easy routes to enjoy in complete self-sufficiency. They are suitable for everyone, even the visually impaired or those with walking difficulties, and are full of information stations with in-depth explanatory panels for each visitor.
The Sentiero delle Foreste Sacre (Sacred Forests Trail) is not to be missed; it consists of seven stages linking Lake Ponte di Tredozio to La Verna, for seven days of walking. You will cross the green mantle of the Casentinesi Forests, visiting their most picturesque places. You will be enveloped in total silence, far from the hustle and bustle of the cities, and interrupted only by the rustling of the trees and the sound of your footsteps.
Adding to the Park's already varied hiking opportunities are the Cammini and Vie di Pellegrinaggio.
We recommend the Cammino di Assisi, which leads through the Tuscan-Romagna woods of the protected area to the Sanctuary of La Verna, where St. Francis stayed and received the stigmata.
You can also try the Cammino di Dante, a ring-route of about 380 kilometres, which connects Romagna to Casentino in 20 stages. You will follow the ancient mediaeval roads of the Supreme Poet, whose departure and arrival points are, respectively, Dante's Tomb in Ravenna and the Casa di Dante Museum in Florence. The itinerary received Lonely Planet's prestigious Best in Travel 2021 award, ranking first in the sustainable and slow cultural tourism category.
Lastly, there are walks along the Alta Via dei Parchi: 27 stages through the Apennines between Emilia Romagna, Tuscany and the Marches, crossing no less than 10 provinces, with climbs and descents brimming with charm.
If you love the thrill of two wheels, the territory of the Casentinesi Forests National Park is without doubt a unique environment. Whether you are an athlete or an amateur, you will find routes to suit all tastes, offering breathtaking views. Your gaze will wander from Romagna to Tuscany, as far as the two seas and even the Alps on clear days. You will cycle in the cool of centuries-old beech and fir trees.
Among the various forest tracks, we recommend the Lama track. Created from the redevelopment of an old railway, it is now the most beautiful trail in Italy. It is about 20 kilometres long and will give you the opportunity to observe the biodiversity that characterises these areas.
The Casentinesi Forests National Park also offers the chance to visit its immense territory with the assistance of expert guides, who will help you to move around safely and to better appreciate the surrounding nature.
Among the many excursion options, try out those riding horses and donkeys, aimed at individuals, groups and families. There are ponies and donkeys for the little ones. All this surrounded by wildlife, geology, archaeology and food-tasting programmes.
And that's not all. If you visit the Park in warm weather, you can enjoy an excursion by electric boat. You will reach the most remote corners of Lake Ridracoli in a 45-minute crossing, accompanied by a story about the history of the dam and a guide ready to satisfy your every curiosity.