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The Park

The landscape is characterised by sedimentary rock, predominantly sandstone intercalated with marl, which in Romagna frequently appears with characteristic stratified escarpments or with bare ridges. The structure of the South-East area of the park is different: here the distinctive feature of Mount La Verna rises up with its calcareous crags from a landscape of broad, rolling hills interrupted by badland erosions, revealing the presence of clay. From a naturalist viewpoint, the Park stands out as one of the most prized forest areas in Europe. At the heart of the park are the Foreste Demaniali Casentinesi [State Casentino forests], within which can be found the Riserva Naturale Integrale (Integral Nature Reserve) of Sasso Fratino, founded in 1959. The territory also has towns and villages rich in history and artistic and architectural heritage, which present themselves to the visitor in a wonderful natural frame, rich in flora and fauna, including the most important population of the Apennine wolf, as well as the exceptional presence of five species of ungulates (mammals with hooves): wild boar, roe deer, fallow deer, common deer, and mouflon (mountain sheep). Inside the park there are two points of great interest and spiritual importance: the Sanctuary of La Verna and the Hermitage of Camaldoli. This forest has also represented the only true wealth of this territory, since it provided wood of the best quality and thus gave the mountain people a means of living. The Park includes an area in which people have always lived and worked, and this is the reason for the presence of many ruins and abandoned villages within the park territory. As a result of the mass exodus that took place starting from the Second World War, the number of actual inhabitants of the Park has dwindled to about 1,500. The protected area can be visited by pleasant excursions on foot, mountain bike, horseback or, in winter, on cross-country skis along a path network of approximately 600 kilometres.