© photo Daria Victorini
The towering ridge of the Corno alle Scale (1944 m) is the highest peak of the Natural Park and of the entire Bolognese Apennine and at the same time, the backbone of the protected area, extending to the north to Monte La Nuda (1828 m) and to the east to Monte Gennaio (1812 m) overlooking the Silla Valley. From the two close towns, Lizzano in Belvedere and Vidiciatico, you can reach Monte Pizzo (1194 m) and Monte Grande (1531 m). The ridges, which have several different characteristics in the two valleys, are largely covered by beech forests while at the highest altitudes blueberries and wide meadows prevail. Set along the gentler ridges, the mountain villages with religious buildings, houses and peculiar elements of local mountain architecture, are today popular tourist destinations.
The biodiversity and the complexity of the landscape, which alternate high altitude meadows, woods, cultivated areas, thalwegs and watersheds, favors the extreme flowering wealth (over 1.000 species), with numerous rare species of magnificent blooms some of which are typical of the alpine reliefs that reach in the Corno alle Scale Natural Park, their southern limit of expansion. An example is the Genziana Purpurea and the beautiful Aquilegia Alpina with its large blue flowers. The natural woods, the chestnuts, the beech trees and the reforestation of fir trees and pines give each season a spectacular multicolored scenario. The restrained human impact also allows the presence of many of the most interesting wild animals in Italy: inside the park, it is likely, with some luck, to see deers, mouflons and various species of birds, including the majestic Golden Eagle. The extensive wooded areas are also a perfect habitat for one of the rarest and most fascinating animals in the Italian fauna which has finally returned to our mountains in the last decades: the wolf. Today more than ever, a clear sign of a recovering environmental stability.
The Natural Park of the Corno alle Scale is part of a district of parks and natural reserves established by the Council of Emilia Romagna in the late 1970s in order to protect territorial areas of high naturalistic and landscape value. Being contiguous with other parks, extending to the Modena and Reggio mountain areas, it is part of the Apennine Mountains protection and conservation plan. The Natural Park district is therefore designed to provide a model for coexistence between nature and development, ensuring the maintenance of natural balance, the recovery of compromised situations, the economic and cultural improvement of the conditions of the inhabitants through the promotion of sustainable activities regarding the tourist, the productive and the cultural sectors.
© photo Massimo Mattioli
The Corno alle Scale Natural Park has been established in 1998 by law L.R. 11/88.
The huge territory spans over 4974 hectares of which 2545 of contiguous areas (the pre-park area including wood, agricultural land, and the ski domain) and 2429 for the remaining areas of the Park:
- Zone A Integral Protection
- Zone B General Protection
- Zone C Environmental Protection and Retraining aimed at touristic activities.
Two Visitor Centers and one Ethnographic Museum are located in Pianaccio, Pian D’Ivo ( Madonna dell’Acero) and Poggiolforato. These structures constitute proper gateways to the protected area for visitors to have a first look at the peculiar aspects of the territory both from the naturalistic and the historical-cultural points of view. Accurate paths, multi-skill treks and forest roads reaches the most significant environments and all major peaks.
The Corno alle Scale Natural Park is 70km far from Bologna, 80km from Florence and 70km from Modena.