The National Park of the Casentinese Forests, Monte Falterona and Campigna (its full name) is the largest one in Italy, covering an area of aprox. 36.000 hectares (about 15.000 acres), between Tuscany and Romagna regions. It extends over the Tuscan-Emilian Apennine ridge. On the Tuscan side it descends gradually on gentle slopes, until it reaches the valley of the river Arno. The importance of this Park is not only from an environmental aspect, the protection of this wide and lush forest, but also in terms of local economy based on Tourism. In fact the Park offers many services and activities all year round, for all types of groups.
Among the choices you can have from pleasant walking excursions, to mountain biking, horseback riding, or even in winter, on cross-country skis along a path network of approximately 600 kilometres.
The paths include natural and cultural attractions, in particular the two most important points of historic, cultural and spiritual interest: Sanctuary of La Verna and the Hermitage of Camaldoli.
The first one, the Sanctuary of La Verna, according to the tradition, is the place where Saint Francis has searched for seclusion and peace and one day received the stigmata, leaving than the green slopes under the custody of his brother monks. It is located in a stunning position on the top of a rock in the peak of La Verna.
The second one, Hermitage of Camaldoli, is an order initiated is an order initiated by Saint Romualdo, whose rules were based on the nature conservation and the management of the forests. The Hermitage offers cultural and spiritual proposals, through events, ecumenic meetings and other activities according to the religious calendar. The monks preserve well the old pharmacy that can be visited by appointment. To visit the Hermitage you must contact the Camaldoli Monastic Community.
Services and Activities:
The park is surrounded by 12 villages, and in 11 of them there are Visitor Centers. The Visitor Centres are detached offices which intermediate between the Park’s administration and functions and visitors. They are organized to promote environmental education, to give a complete knowledge about the Park, to promote and book many activities and services.
Main Visitor Centres:
Badia Prataglia – the main town in the Park; the visitor centre is open the whole year, while the other ones are opened during Spring, Summer and Easter holidays. This Visitor Centre is the information office for most of the activities of the Park. Address: 14/a, Via Nazionale – 52010 Badia Prataglia (AR), tel/fax: (0039) 0575559477, email: cv.badiaprataglia@ parcoforestecasentinesi. it
Stia – This centre is opened according to the activities of the Planetary. Address: 2, Via Montegrappa –52017 – Stia (AR), tel/fax: (0039) 0575504596 email: cv.planetariostia@ parcoforestecasentinesi. it
Londa – near the Lake. Address: Località Parco del Lago – 50060 – Londa (FI), tel: (0039) 0558351202, email: cv.londa@ parcoforestecasentinesi. it
Chiusi della Verna – the information center for Camaldoli and La Verna sanctuaries. Address: Parco I Maggio – 52010 – Chiusi della Verna (AR), tel/fax: (0039) 0575532098, email: cv.chiusiverna@ parcoforestecasentinesi. it
The Casentino Park's Information offices are:
Campigna - Address: 47010 - Via Centro - tel.: (0039) 0543980231
Camaldoli - Address: 52010 - Loc. Camaldoli - tel.: (0039) 0575556130
Stia - Address: 52017 - Piazza Tanucci (downtown)
The Park organizes a program of guided trekking paths for each season, with a calendar of activities to which you will be able to join along the year. It is enough to book until 6 pm of the day before, but usually there is a maximum number of people allowed in each tour. The program is available on the Park’s website in Italian language, so to receive detailed information in English you should contact one of the Information offices or Visitor centres. Besides, every week, the Park publishes a list of events in its Visitor Centres, which might be composed of exhibitions, artistic activities, environmental meetings and much more.
The Park has a Planetary, with a program of activities the whole year. The Planetary is a room which roof has a form of a cupola to simulate the sky vault, just like it could be seen outdoor in an isolated place, far from all artificial lights. The Planetary program is able to simulate in the vault the sky how it appears in different seasons, the constellations, the movements of the moon and planets, and much more. This is a great experience not only for kids. In the months of July and August, the activities can be matched with nocturnal outing with sky observation.
The Park has a rich collection of tips and descriptions for trekking by your own. It is possible to purchase books, CD-Roms, DVDs and maps of the paths and routes of the Park. The material is on sale in each Visitor Centre. In many of the Visitor Centers, the Park offers mountain bikes rental, many of the paths can also be made by your own, using the Park’s guides. If you have a group of at least 4 people and would like to book a private guided tour in the Park, you can contact anyone of the Visitor Centres to organize a trip with one of the Park’s professional environmental guides.
VISIT OUR VILLAS CLOSE TO THE CASENTINO NATIONAL PARK:
CASA AL LAGO
VALLE DEL GOLF
MULINO DEL BOSCO
TORRE DEL AMORE
MULINO DEL BOSCO
To give more chance for everyone to reach a wonderful place inside the Park, there is a bus service that leads to the Lama Forest, one of the amazing points in the heart of Casentino. In the past it used to be an important management centre of the Park. On the way a guide will be explaining the history, the secrets and all information about the place. Once there, guests will have the opportunity to make a quick trip among the woods. The service is available in the months of July, August and September, it costs approximately 10 Euros per person. To book it you must contact the Visitor Centre of Badia Prataglia: (0039) 0575559477, e-mail: cv.badiaprataglia@ parcoforestecasentinesi. it
In addition to the bus, there is a local train that crosses the Casentino valley from /to Arezzo, connecting the main towns on the borders of the Park: Stia, Pratovcchio, Poppi, Bibbiena, Rassina, Subbiano, Capolona. The train matches well the philosophy of a National Park as alternative and ecologic transportation. Besides it has a great function to increase the local tourism and the access to the National Park.
Another exciting trip in the Park is the electric boat in the Lake of Ridracoli, an exclusive 45 minute trip to the most hidden points of the lake. This service is available from Easter to the end of July, on the weekends and Italian holidays and during week days only by appointments with groups. To book a tour please contact: Idro Ecomuseo delle Acque di Ridracoli: Borgo di Ridracoli - 47021 Bagno di Romagna (FC) - Tel. (0039) 0543917912 - Fax (0039) 0543903733 - E-mail: ladigadiridracoli@atlantide. net; Atlantide Website.
How to get there:
In Tuscany you can reach the Park by taking the highway A1 (Milano-Roma), at the toolgates of Barberino del Mugello, Firenze and Arezzo:
From Barberino, beyond Borgo San Lorenzo, and from Firenze, on the SS road 67, you can reach the Municipalities of San Godenzo and Londa. From Firenze, beyond Pontassieve, take the SR road 70 to reach the Municipalities of Pratovecchio, Stia, Poppi and Bibbiena;
From Arezzo, along the SR road 71, you can reach the Municipalities of Bibbiena, Poppi, Pratovecchio and Stia;
From Bibbiena, by taking SP 208, you can reach the Municipalities of Chiusi della Verna
In Tuscany you can reach the Park by train from the railway stations of Bibbiena, Poppi, Pratovecchio and Stia in Casentino; Pontassieve and Contea-Londa in Mugello.
In Tuscany you can reach the Park by taking the bus service SITA and LFI.
To see more detailed information about this amazing place, visit the: