Situated on the border between Tuscany and Emilia is the Parco dell’Appenino Tosco-Emiliano. From the summit of some of the peaks (Mt. Prado 2,045M, Mt. Cusna and Alpe di Succiso, both over 2,000M) you can see as far as the Po Valley, the Apuan Alps, the Tyrrhenian Sea or the Ligurian Sea. There are woods, meadows, valleys and ridges spread out below the mountains, which are gentler on the Emilian side and more rugged in Tuscany, toward the Apuan hills. Due to the variety of its environments, there is a wealth of bio-diversity.
The National Parks include different territories such as Alto Appenino Reggiano (Parco del Gigante); Alta Val Parma e Cedra (Parco dei Cento Laghi), Pietra di Bismantova, mentioned by Dante in the Divine Comedy, and the Triassic Chalks of the Secchia Valley.
Mt. Cusna has been known as “dead man” or “the giant” due to its particular shape when seen from below. Pietra di Bismantova (Rock of Bismantova), which is also mentioned by Dante in the 4th Canto of Purgatory, is a limestone block, which rises 1047M above the plain. It was formed by a process known as “selective erosion” and once lay at the bottom of a sea.
A vast network of long hiking trails, all well marked, wind through these parks, allowing visitors to discover the beautiful landscape and historic points of interest both in and out of the traditional park areas.
The traditional cooking offers specialties that were once considered “poor” but now are sought after by food lovers such as tigelle or borlenghi. Typical dishes range from those made with chestnuts, mushrooms, and truffles to polenta, pasta, various mountain cheeses and artiginal salumi and wild game. In the local villages and on weekends in many parks you can see food stalls with local producers of the regions gastronomy.