Parco delle Foreste Casentinesi
Parco delle Foreste Casentinesi Review
A drive through the park, especially on the very winding 34-km (21-mile) road between the Monastero di Camaldoli and Santuario della Verna, passing through the lovely abbey town of Badia Prataglia, reveals one satisfying vista after another, from walls of firs to velvety pillows of pastureland where sheep or white cattle graze. In autumn the beeches add a mass of red-brown to the palette, and in spring torrents of bright golden broom pour off the hillsides with an unforgettable profusion and fragrance. Walking the forests—which also include sycamore, lime, maple, ash, elm, oak, hornbeam, and chestnut trees and abundant brooks and impressive waterfalls—is the best way to see some of the wilder creatures, from deer and mouflon (wild sheep imported from Sardinia starting in 1872) to eagles and many other birds, as well as 1,000 species of flora, including many rare and endangered plants and an orchid found nowhere else. The Grande Escursione Apenninica (GEA) hiking route, which is accessible from both the Monastero di Camaldoli and the Sanutario della Verna, runs along a winding ridge. The park organizes theme walks in summer and provides English-speaking guides anytime with advance notice.