Umbria/Marche: Parco Nazionale dei Monti Sibillini
Monte Sibillini – the Sibyl’s mountain is a massif, located in the heard of Italy where many lakes have their delta. Here are more than 10 mountain peaks over 2.0000, where Monte Vettore is the tallest with 2.476 m. Monte Sibilla (2.175m) also lies here, and this mountain is heavily surrounded by mysticism.
The massif is harsher on the eastern side with its small valleys, that face north, while the western side is characterized by “elevated valleys” and the famous plateaus by Castelluccio. In 1.940 m height lies the lake Lago di Pilato with its clear water. Naked and soft profiles replace each other. Here and there lies small abbey churches and medieval cities, where times has seemed to stop.
The park is relatively young, it was opened in 1993 and spans an area of 70.000 ha. This area has very good routes for hiking or mountain biking.
There are many marked routes – e.g.. the large ring route “Grade Anello del Sibillini” summing up to 120 km, divided into 9 stages or you can chose a stage on e.g. 12 km, 14 km or 18,3 km. The points of start in Umbria are in the cities of Preci, Forca di Ancarano and more. ´
Tuscany/Emilia Romagna: Parco Nazionale Foreste Casentinesi
This park is on the boarder between the regions Tuscany and Emilia-Romagna and is characterized by massive, thousand-year-old forests, grassy areas and a splendid flourishing. These old forests are some of the most well-preserved in all of Italy.
The eastern part of the Emilia-Romagna region has a more harsh character with naked mountain sides and dense forests. The Tuscan side is more easy in its contour, and is pierced by several streams that later flow out into the Arno-lake.
Through history man has clearly put his mark on this area. Especially in the Tuscan area, they take a lot of care for the many small historical trails, monastery and other sites, which lie spread out amongst the peaks. The park, which is 36.400 ha, has roughly 600 km of hiking route.
One of the highlights of this park is the Acquacheta-waterfall. From S. Benedetto in Alpe (Emilia-Romagna) you have a hike on 4.5 kms available, through oak forest. This hike lets you reach the Acquachetas spectacular fall that measures over 70 m. The trip there and back takes roughly 4-5 hours.
Another highlight is the monastery-complex in Camaldoli. It is the park’s most famous spot with a monastery-complex, which was founded ca. year 1000. In the monastery and church you can see beatiful Vasari-frescos and interesting objects from the monk’s early pharmacy deeds. A short route (“Alberi e bosco”) that is 1.8k forms a ring around the area and provides a short introduction to the area. This trip takes 1 – 2 hours.