Parks and nature reserves not to be missed

Nature has designed, sculpted and painted incredible landscapes in the province of Arezzo. A varied territory, where the plain alternates with rolling hills and wooded mountains with steep slopes.

In this area there are many parks and nature reserves to visit. Enchanted kingdoms populated by fascinating specimens of flora and fauna, now under protection to preserve their magic. They are dream places that anyone has the opportunity to access, in exchange for respect and attention to the environment.

Green Lungs, Tuscan Paradises

Set off to discover the protected Eden in Arezzo. Dirt roads, paths and trails are waiting for you, beaten only by the most adventurous. There are routes suitable for everyone and those instead recommended exclusively for those who have had good training. Whatever route you choose, it is likely to intertwine with picturesque waterways.

Here rivers and streams are protagonists of fairy-tale scenarios. Their springs hide somewhere in the carpet of vegetation that covers the slopes of the heights. From there the waterways descend through the woods and cross your path.

Relax and regenerate in contact with a nature of rare beauty. But what are the destinations not to be missed in the province of Arezzo?

The National Park of the Casentino Forests

Head into one of the largest forests in Europe. Its trees have welcomed Etruscan settlements and spiritual pilgrimages, as well as the wandering of Dante Alighieri after his exile from Florence. It is the Casentino Forest, able to make saints, writers and artists of all ages fall in love with themselves.

The park was established in 1993 and covers part of the provinces of Arezzo, Florence and Forlì. Do you know that within its borders there is an integral reserve area, the old beech forests of Sasso Fratino, a UNESCO World Heritage Site? The Casentino Forests have for you authentic wonders that you can contemplate in all seasons of the year.

Breathe in the scents, aligned to the rhythms of the life of its inhabitants: animals and vegetables. Climb up to Capo d’Arno, on the slopes of Monte Falterona, where the most important river of Tuscany is born.

You can explore the Casentino Forests on foot, by bike or on horseback. And do not forget to visit the lovely villages embraced by the woods. Some suggestions: Badia Prataglia, La Verna, Stia, Camaldoli with its hermitage.

foreste casentinesi
The Casentino Forests have for you authentic wonders that you can contemplate in all seasons of the year. Photo by Nevio Agostini

The Nature Reserve Alpe della Luna

Take as reference points on the map Pieve Santo Stefano, BadiaTedalda, Sansepolcro and Sestino. This is the geographical area that houses the pearls of the Apennine Nature Reserve Alpe della Luna.

It is also called “the mountain of water” and, once you arrive, it will be obvious why. Just the sound of this natural element in motion will make your stay here pleasantly unique. You will come across spectacular springs, pools, caves and waterfalls.

Walk accompanied by centuries-old beech logs and a variety of flora that leaves speechless both kids and grown-ups. With a bit of luck, walking in silence, you could spot in the bush or on the meadows the silhouettes of deer, fallow deer and roe deer. Much easier instead the meeting at a distance (they in heaven, you on the ground) with the birds of prey, including the sparrow hawk and the golden eagle.

Known for those who have a weakness for folk legends: the Alpe della Luna holds a mysterious story to tell. If none of your fellow travelers know it, you can always find it with a quick search on the Internet!

Ripa della Luna - Mote dei Frati.
Ripa della Luna – Mote dei Frati.

The Protected Nature Reserve of the Balze

Do you know Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa? Behind the protagonist of the famous masterpiece there is a landscape that you can find only in the province of Arezzo. The Balze of Valdarno.

Multiple layers of debris overlap in these jagged reliefs that have formed over millennia along the slopes of Pratomagno. Can you believe a long time ago they were the shores of a giant lake?

Balze are included in a protected area renowned among lovers of photography and nature. Write down the names of the most exciting points of interest to not neglect the best that this destination can offer: Buca delle Fate, pillars of Poggitazzi and Piantravigne

The Cave Road is a pleasant path that winds through the valley that was the bed of the huge body of water of the Upper Valdarno. Try it if you want to do some sports. Otherwise, you can choose one of the poetic villages in the area, looking for beautiful views.

The land of Arezzo offers you a full immersion in the most unspoilt nature, among woods, caves and waterfalls. Comfortable shoes and a backpack, ready to go?

Balze del Valdarno
Le Balze sono incluse in un’area protetta rinomata fra gli appassionati di fotografia e di natura.