Italy's National Parks

Foreste Casentinesi, Monte Falterona, and Campigna
Just the Facts

Location: Central Italy

Nearest town: San Marino, Poppi, Florence

Favorite activities: Hiking, wildlife viewing, birdwatching


Lying in the highlands on the border of Tuscany and Romagna, the great mixed coniferous-deciduous Casentinesi woodland was once Italy's version of Sherwood Forest, full of royalty-defying bandits and revolutionaries on the run. The forest is less dramatic today, at least on the human front, but it remains a fine place to get away from the heat and tourist crowds of Florence and Bologna. The easy trail to Monte Falterona, which is a shade over 5,000 feet tall, boasts a roaring waterfall whose bubbling fury Dante himself commemorated in the Inferno. The Campigna, a historic landmark, is a 17th-century palace once owned by a local duke, now transformed into a fine hotel; the forest is also dotted with free campgrounds.


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