Beginning the adventure
A cloudy and rainy sunday welcomed me in Santa Sofia, a very little town, 200 meters up the sea level. The meeting point was exactly in the center town, at the offices of the Foreste Casentinesi National Park. My mission? The Fall Foliage seen from the deep of the forest, so called Sasso Frattino biogenetic natural reserve and Lama Forest. The Day was one of the many events of Slow Autumn, a program made by the Park and by Atlantide, a society who manages a lots of natural and educational parks in Romagna.
In past years I had been there several times but always in summer, when the sounds and colours of the inhabitans (trees, fallow deers, roe deers, wild boars, eagles, wolfs and many others) are mixing up together with the ecoes of the tourists and passings walking through the marked paths!
Yesterday it was quite different: sun and rain together in the sky gave to the forest new and unseen colours that only our autumn can give. This piece of uncontaminated land has an history that dated back through the ages, when man used to live here and used the resources of the wood to make his own living. Cutting trees and grab land to cultivate poor vegetables, use the chestnuts flour and all the fruits like blackberries and raspberries, this was the only way to survive at that time!
The forest enchantement
Going by feet or by car to some of this places with antic names (Pietrapazza, Poggio alla Lastra, Cancellino and many others) you will see the continuos struggle of men during the ages with the forest, a very unfriendly habitat. This is the plan of the 36.000 acres of the Park, shared between 2 regions:Emilia Romagna and Toscana.
Guided by Franco, a super expert park guard (ask for him if you happen to plan a visit!), who told us the history of the park and the people living there in the middle ages and in recent times, we arrived at the Lama Forest with 2 hours bus drive.
The Colors of the forest
The colours of the forest blew up to our eyes in a very astonishing way; rain falling smoothly (but shuttering us very hard in the afternoon) gave to the land a misty and misterious atmosphere and when Nevio, the promotion and studies director, told us the history of the unique royal eagles couple living up to Penna Mountain just in front of us, I jumped back to time where every single second was worth living and every sound had its meaning and our eyes where able to see all the colours shades! Really impressive!
It is barely impossible to leave this place without having the instinct to stay more and to live plenty this wonderful piece of nature, that man was not able to waste and that people like Nevio and Franco are loving so much to dedicate their lives and give us their free day to show everything and tell beautiful stories happened here! Thank you guys!
The sounds of the Forest, click here: Foresta della Lama!
Something good to eat!
What you should not wear when you go to the forest!
If you need some more advise on how to reach the forest, go to www.parcoforestecasentinesi.it. In the English website you will know some more about the history and foundation of the park and about the activities you can do there. The Autunno Slow program every year gives you a good chance to walk inside the Park with the guards!