Between the regions of Romagna and Tuscany, where the river Arno begins its route to the Tirrenian Sea, there is a valley called Casentino which is very rich both in flora and fauna and it’d be a great destination for who’d like to experience some days surrounded by stunning nature, exploring the famous forests of the area, or taking advantage of the many activities this National Park has to offer. Yes, this area was turned into a National Park in 1993 because of its unique variety of nature, its history (that dates to the Etruscans), and its biodiversity.
The park covers and area of more than 30,000 hectares, 18,000 of which are in the Romagna region, most of them covered by the largest and best-preserved woods forest in Italy, Foreste Casentinesi. The richness in wood has always been a defying trait of this area and of course it influenced the historic events that happened here; the Medici family was using these trees to build its villas, the cities of Pisa and Livorno needed those woods to build their arsenal and boats, and even for the construction of the splendid Duomo of Florence workers got their raw material from this forest.
The park offers many trekking paths and different itineraries, one of them ends up at the Acquacheta waterfalls. Acquacheta is the largest tributary of the Montone river and before it reaches its destination it drops into a stunning 70 meters fall. Reaching this spectacular location, however, is not a piece of cake: getting here requires few hours of walking, but there is the chance to choose between paths with various levels of difficulty.
Another must visit of the Park is “Lago degli Idoli”, Idols’ Lake, situated on the slopes of mountain Falterona. This mountain was an important sacred place for the Etruscan civilization. Etruscans were placing their gifts to the Goods inside and on the shores of the lake that had been later found and are now exposed in some of the World most important museums.
Visiting the Cosentino Park is a great, alternative idea when in Italy. Inside the wide area of the Park there are villages, monasteries, lakes, sanctuaries, and incredible nature. Pick your favorite!