What could be better than slow, sustainable and close-to-home tourism? Doing it while you’re discovering beautiful Italian Appennines! This year It.a.cà, the Festival about sustainable tourism, starts this way… and the green adventure is guaranteed!

Learning sustainability by travelling

The sustainable tourism Festival, now in its sixth edition, will start on May 30th in the ancient “Palazzo del Governatore”, in the historical centre of Parma, the quite and elegant Emilian town. Here, several guests, including Jacopo Fo, Marco Boschini, Ivan Stomeo and Pierluigi Musarò will talk about Learning sustainability by travelling. The prize-giving of national contests “Adotta un turista” (Adopt a tourist) and “Racconta la tua città” (Tell your city), organized by ViaggiVerdi and It.a.cà Festival, will take place during the same conference.

Saturday, May 31st: it’s time to set off!

But the experience is what really matters. For this reason, on Saturday May 31st morning we will leave on foot, or with Nordic walking sticks, to slowly discover one of the most striking route in the Italian Apennines, the Alta via dei Parchi, which passes through all the Emilia-Romagna region.
Nature is the great protagonist of the route: glacial cirques, enormous high-flying meadows, amazing lakes, endless beech forests and chestnut woods, clear brooks, badlands and faint spring blooms. Also inhabitants will be there to tell places, with fragrant foods of their local cookery, their ancient recipes and traditions.

The Parco dei Cento Laghi

The route starts discovering the Val Cedra and the Parco dei Cento Laghi (the “One-hundred-Lakes Park”), one of the “Alta Via dei Parchi” initial stretchs in the province of Parma, where beech forests are interspersed with rivers and glacial lakes.
After a wild pic-nic surrounded by nature, we will keep on our trip with a walk through the striking mountain villages of Riana and Casarola, birthplace of the italian poeta Attilio Bertolucci. We will listen to local stories, and then we will watch the engaging movie “Alta Via dei Parchi. Viaggio a piedi in Emilia Romagna” (Alta Via dei Parchi. Walking trip in Emilia-Romagna), a documentary by Serena Tommasini, with Enrico Brizzi, an Italian writer.

The Valle dei Cavalieri and Cerreto Alpi: discovering community tourism

On Sunday, June 1st, and Monday, June 2nd, we will move to the real Appennines’ mountain, the Alpe di Succiso, with its wonderful views. Our route goes on endeed visiting the glacial lake Mescà, still showing its stretch of water in this season. Then we will explore the Valle dei Cavalieri (“Valley of the Knights” translating the italian name) and its beautiful fortified hamlets, where strong and brave communities live making territory a resource against Appennines depopulation.

Itinerary will end on Monday, June 2nd in Cerreto Alpi, where we will meet the renowed community of the Briganti di Cerreto, who turned their endangered mountain village into one of the best examples of community tourism in the world.


The taste of a journey, living as a local

Three days into the nature, between tastes, fragrances, stories and personalities that make this wonderful stretch of the Northern Appennines unique, even if near to home. These three days will be the real opening event of the It.a.cà Festival, that will walk through the highest road of Emilia Romagna region, to ideally arrive in Bologna, the very heart of the Festival. In fact, “It a cà” means in the italian dialect from Bologna “Are you at home?”.

Cover photo: Casarola, ph. by Luca Gilli

Info and reservations: The Alta via dei Parchi hike