Above all, do not lose your desire to walk. Everyday, I walk myself into a state of well-being & walk away from every illness. I have walked myself into my best thoughts.. (Søren Kierkegaard)

With this quote, the famous philosopher Kierkegaard wants us to think about how important walking is in our everyday life. Also, it is the perfect solution for difficult times: this is the best way to escape your routine. So, wheter you just need some time for yourself or you need to care about your mental and phisical health, walking is what you need to do.

Follow our path through the Alta Via Dei Parchithe highest and longest trail of the Italian Apennines. As a matter of fact, this route crosses 8 Natural Parks and Protected Areas.

The route is made of 500 kilometers among incredible landscapes in the provinces of Parma, Reggio Emillia, Modena, Bologna, Ravenna, Forlì-Cesena and Rimini, to Carpegna, in the Marche.

Mappa Percorso
photo via altaviadeiparchi.eu

Alta Via Dei Parchi: let’s start discovering the first 5 stages!

There are 27 stages in this trail: 

  1. From Berceto to Lago Santo Parmense: 22 km itinerary that goes from the cultivated hills of the first Apennines of Parma to some breathtaking high altitude landscapes. What’s more, at the end of the 9 hours walk you’ll see the magnificent view of Lake Santo – the largest natural lake in the whole northern Apennines – with its crystal clear waters and beech forests that embrace it.

    Lake Santo
    Santo Parmense Lake, photo via wikimedia
  2. From Santo Parmense Lake to Pratospilla:this is a long walk of about 15 km along the “Crinale dei laghi”. Here, you’ll find glacial valleys, suggestive rocky crests and prairies. In addition, the route crosses the National Park of the Emilian Apennines and the Regional Park of  Cedra and Parma.
  3. From Pratospilla to Passo del Cerreto: almost 16 km of Itinerary through the Park of the Tuscan-Emilian ApenninesMoreover, here you can stay in the ancient mill of the Briganti di Cereto and discover the history of this beautiful village.
  4. From Passo del Cerreto: this route is easier than the previous ones (10 km of walk, accessible in 5 hours). What’s more, here there are breathtaking views of the Apuan Alps on one side, and on the other there is the Padano landscape with the Bismantova Stone.
    Monte La Nuda
    Alta Via dei Parchi on La Nuda Mountain, photo via Wikimedia

    Go on to discover the other beautiful stages!

  5. From Passo Pradarena to Lama Lite: With its 1600 meters of altitude, this is the highest stage of the entire path.
  6. Lama Lite to San Pellegrino in Alpe: The old nursing home of San Pellegrino in Alpe, hospitable for travelers and pelegrini, will welcome you in this stage.
  7. San Pellegrino in Alpe to Lago Santo Modenese (Modena): follow this trail, so you’ll find the highest mountains of Modena. In addition, you will discover the famous destination of Santo Lake.
  8. From Lago Santo Modenese a all’Abetone (Firenze): very fascinating stage for its landscapes.In the valley of the Sestaione you can see the most enchanting forest of the Alta Via.
  9. From Abetone al Lago Saffaiolo: panoramic walk that leads you to two of the most famous places of the northern Apennines.
  10. From Scaffaiolo Lake to Rifugio Monte Cavallo: Last stage where the discover of the Reno Valley begins.

    Scaffaiolo Lake
    Scaffaiolo Lake – photo by Massimilianogalardi via Wikimedia
  11. From Rifugio Monte Cavallo a Poranceto: this is the longest stage of the Alta Via; so, it would be convenient to stop for the night on the shores of Suviana Lake or Badi.
  12. Poranceto to Boccadirio: Going up from Poranceto, stay on the side of the BrasimoneHere, you will find beautiful views of the lake.
  13. Boccadirio to Alpe di Monghidoro: After leaving the valley bottom, go up the right side until you get to the buildings of Ca ‘di Barba.
  14. Alpe di Monghidoro to Le Selve: this stage is not that hard to walk. In addition, it boasts some of the most beautiful views.
  15. Le Selve to Tossignano: Some beautiful vineyards will follow while you’ll walk this stage. In addition, there are fantastic views of the Campiuno chestnut grove and the chalk cliffs. At the end, you will find the ancient village of Tossignano.

    Photo by Fugzu via Flickr
  16. From Tossignano to Carnè: this is the most unique stage of the route. In fact, it allows you to discover the whole ridge of the Vena del Gesso. At the end of this stage, you’ll walk next among groves, orchards and vineyards until you reach the entrance of the Carnè Park.
  17. From Carnè to Marradi: From Parco Carnè go up to the asphalt road. So, continue following the hilly landscape characterized by pine trees and the silvery spots of the olive groves.
  18. From Marradi to Lago di Ponte: this path is quite easy and it leads to the Foreste Casentinesi Park.
  19. From Lago di Ponte to San Benedetto in Alpe / Eremo dei Toschi: Break time. This path will take you to San Benedetto, where there is the homonymous Benedictine abbey of the eleventh century, founded by Saint Romunaldo.
  20. From San Benedetto in Alpe / Eremo dei Toschi to Castagno d’Andrea: Follow the path that goes up to the valley of Fosso dell’Acquacheta. As a result, the views of the river will be lovely.

    castagno d'andrea - Castagno d'Andrea - photo by Maximilian Lanz, via Wikimedia
    Castagno d’Andrea – photo by Maximilian Lanz, via Wikimedia
  21. From Castagno d’Andrea to Campiglia: After the highest mountains of the Tuscan-Romagna Apennines, you will cross stretches of woods. As a matter of fact, they will give you an idea of the successive stages which are characterized by beautiful forests.
  22. From Campiglia to Camaldoli: Walk along the ridge that overlooks the Reserve of Sassofratino. As matter of  fact, he’s the one who guards the most beautiful forests of the park.
  23. From Camaldoli to Badia Prataglia: Here there aren’t many panoramic landscapes but you will walk entirely  among the forests. What’s more, at the end you reach the refuge Cotozzo, in case you are tired or you need something.
  24. From Badia Prataglia to La Verna: At the end of this path you’ll cross the ancient road that goes up from La Beccia, primary pedestrian access to the monastic city: along this street San Francesco went up to the mountain for the first time.

    Scenario con montagne
    Badia Prataglia – Photo by Giordano Giacomini via Wikimedia
  25. From La Verna to Rifugio Biancaneve al Fumaiolo: This stage could be a little bit long but it’s really evocative. As a matter of fact, you’ll walk along forests and then you’ll find some beautiful landscapes.
  26. From Rifugio Biancaneve to Fumaiolo a Bascio: 8 hours of walking through beautiful places, unspoilt nature and ancient villages. As a matter of fact, you can divide the itinerary into two shorter stages if you decide to spend the night in the beautiful village of Gattara.
  27. From Bascio to the Eremo “Madonna del Faggio”: A wonderful view of the Sassi Simone and Simoncello is waiting for you. Also, from this evocative environment, you can see the Carpegna Mountain.

Don’t miss the chance to feel better by walking and discovering everything that the nature can give us! Follow our guide. Which stage will be the chosen one? Let us know!

More info on the official website 


Cover Image: San Pellegrino in Alpe – sul sentiero del GEA 00 (panoramica sferica), foto via ЭЯMДИИФ БIFFI, Wikimedia