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L'Aquila Reale nel Parco Nazionale dell'Appennino Tosco-Emiliano

Points of Interest

Cultural Heritage

While describing the features of the Park territory, we cannot neglect the cultural heritage enriching an already significant landscape as far as natural and environmental features are concerned. As a matter of fact, man settled in this territory since very ancient times, as it is witnessed by the various archaeological excavations which brought back to light some finds dating back to prehistory. Man has also been living in the historical villages clung to the woody slopes, has exploited the strength of the water to move the presses of the mills, defended himself in fortified villages and in tower-houses, and prayed in the churches and country chapels. This heritage has reached us in more or less intact conditions. Anyway, it remains as an evidence of the history of these places and as a precious tessera of the human art.
Last but not least, the various museums are worth a mention: from the botanic gardens to the Maggio museum to the print museum, tell us the features of the Park territory, from the features characterizing everyday life to the most unusual ones.

Apella di Licciana Nardi. Casa Nardi
Apella di Licciana Nardi. Casa Nardi


History in the mountains and valleys of Appennino Tosco-Emiliano

The Park territory represents a quality natural landscape but, at the same time, it does not exclude a strong human presence that has been characterizing it since ancient times. This factor, in the mountains and valleys of Appennino Tosco-Emiliano, has found its most frequent form of settlement in the village.
As a matter of fact, the landscape of the Park provinces is scattered with several villages: many of them are of great historical and architectural interest, and they have often been carefully renovated. Moreover, there is an increasing percentage of them which is still inhabited and rescued from the gradual abandonment.

See all the villages on the map

Point of InterestLocation
 Apella di Licciana Nardi. Casa NardiBorgo di ApellaLicciana Nardi (MS)
  Ca' AvogniVilla Minozzo (RE)
  CamporaghenaComano (MS)
  CaprioLicciana Nardi (MS)
  CarùVilla Minozzo (RE)
  Case BracchiLigonchio (RE)
 CecciolaCecciolaRamiseto (RE)
  CereggioRamiseto (RE)
  Cerrè SolognoVilla Minozzo (RE)
  Cerreto AlpiCollagna (RE)
  CervarezzaBusana (RE)
  CervaroloVilla Minozzo (RE)
  CisiglianaLicciana Nardi (MS)
  CorfinoVilla Collemandina (LU)
  Corte dei PapiLigonchio (RE)
  Corte PiazzaCastelnovo ne' Monti (RE)
  CostabuonaVilla Minozzo (RE)
  GazzanoVilla Minozzo (RE)
  GazzoloRamiseto (RE)
  GombioCastelnovo ne' Monti (RE)
  GovaVilla Minozzo (RE)
  GovernaraVilla Minozzo (RE)
  GragnaGiuncugnano (LU)
  Groppo San PietroComano (MS)
  La LoggiaLigonchio (RE)
  Le VaglieLigonchio (RE)
  MinozzoVilla Minozzo (RE)
 MiscosoMiscosoRamiseto (RE)
  MontedelloRamiseto (RE)
  MorsianoVilla Minozzo (RE)
  NigoneRamiseto (RE)
  NismozzaBusana (RE)
  NovellanoVilla Minozzo (RE)
  PietraduraCastelnovo ne' Monti (RE)
  PontebosioLicciana Nardi (MS)
  PonteccioGiuncugnano (LU)
  PonticelloFilattiera (MS)
  RoncroffioCastelnovo ne' Monti (RE)
  SassorossoVilla Collemandina (LU)
  Sesta InferioreCorniglio (PR)
  SolieraFivizzano (MS)
  SolognoVilla Minozzo (RE)
  SuccisoRamiseto (RE)
  TaladaCastelnovo ne' Monti (RE)
  TaponeccoLicciana Nardi (MS)
  TavernelleLicciana Nardi (MS)
  TerrarossaLicciana Nardi (MS)
  TorsanaComano (MS)
  VallisneraCollagna (RE)
  VianoFivizzano (MS)
  Village of NaggioSan Romano in Garfagnana (LU)
  Village of VibbianaSan Romano in Garfagnana (LU)
Verrucole Fortress
Verrucole Fortress


A territory of Castles and fortresses, walls and towers

During the Middle Ages, the Park territory was the setting of the events and battles among the big noble families alternating and following one another for the rule of the feuds. Mathilda made famous the name of the Canossa family, being even crowned Vice-Queen of Italy. The Malaspina family - rich, powerful, and ambitious - ruled over Lunigiana and Garfagnana. The Este from Ferrara extended their supremacy to Tuscany and became patrons in their splendid courts.

Each estate, each fief, had to be controlled, administered, and above all defended: it is the period of the castles and fortresses, walls and towers.

See all the castles on the map

Point of InterestLocation
 Bastia Castle, LiccianaBastia CastleLicciana Nardi (MS)
  CasteldepianoLicciana Nardi (MS)
  Castellaccio of BaccianoSan Romano in Garfagnana (LU)
  Castelnovo Nè Monti CastleCastelnovo Nè Monti (RE)
  Comano CastleComano (MS)
  Corniglio CastleCorniglio (PR)
  Gova DonjonVilla Minozzo (RE)
  Gragnola CastleFivizzano (MS)
  Licciana Nardi CastleLicciana Nardi (MS)
  Malaspina Castle in FilattieraFilattiera (MS)
  Monti CastleLicciana Nardi (MS)
  Pontebosio CastleLicciana Nardi (MS)
 Rocca of MinozzoRocca of MinozzoVilla Minozzo (RE)
  Rocca of VallisneraCollagna (RE)
  Rossi Castle in BoscoCorniglio (PR)
  San Giorgio CastleFilattiera (MS)
  Scalelle CastleVilla Minozzo (RE)
  Sparavalle Small FortBusana (RE)
  Terrarossa CastleLicciana Nardi (MS)
  Verrucola CastleFivizzano (MS)
 Verrucole FortressVerrucole FortressSan Romano in Garfagnana (LU)
Frassinedolo Church
Frassinedolo Church


Churches, rural churches, oratories, chapels, sanctuaries, votive stelae and images, elements very widespread in the Park territory

The religious architecture is probably the part of cultural heritage of historical interest that has been better preserved till present times. As a matter of fact, it has been characterizing this territory since the early Middle Ages, and has maintained its features thanks to its continuous use over time, leaving us evidences from the year 1000. This heritage includes not only churches, but also rural churches, oratories, chapels, sanctuaries, votive stelae and images, all elements that are very widespread in the Park territory.
For instance, the 15th-century Hermitage of Castelnovo ne' Monti at the foot of Pietra di Bismantova is well known, as well as the 11th-century Pieve di Sorano, in the Municipality of Filattiera, or the several roadside shrines ("Maestà") of the Apennines.

See all the churches on the map

Point of InterestLocation
  Campiliola Rural ChurchCastelnovo ne' Monti (RE)
  Hermitage of Castelnovo ne' MontiCastelnovo ne' Monti (RE)
  Most Holy Annunciation ChurchVilla Minozzo (RE)
  Saints James and Anthony ChurchFivizzano (MS)
  Saints Sixtus and Margaret ChurchVilla Collemandina (LU)
  Saints Vincent and Anastasius Church in Pieve San VincenzoRamiseto (RE)
  San Venanzio Church in NismozzaBusana (RE)
  St Ambrose Church in VillaberzaCastelnovo ne' Monti (RE)
  St Andrew the Apostle Church in MaglianoGiuncugnano (LU)
  St George Rural ChurchFilattiera (MS)
  St James Church in MiscosoRamiseto (RE)
  St Joseph Spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary Church and St Leonard the Abbot in CivagoVilla Minozzo (RE)
  St Mary of the Assumption Church in FelinaCastelnovo ne' Monti (RE)
  St Mary of the Assumption Church in NigoneRamiseto (RE)
  St Paul Rural Church in VendasoFivizzano (MS)
  St Peter Church in VallisneraCollagna (RE)
  St Roch Church in GazzoloRamiseto (RE)
 St Stephen Rural Church in SoranoSt Stephen Rural Church in SoranoFilattiera (MS)

Architectural Features

Elements of artistic and architectural value

This category includes cultural heritage of various kind with an important artistic and architectural value, like an ancient well, a traditional tower house or the several stelae-statues of Lunigiana. Heterogeneous features for typology and period, but representing an enrichment to the Park territories.

See all the architectural features on the map

Point of InterestLocation
  Humpback BridgeVilla Minozzo (RE)
  Morsiano WellVilla Minozzo (RE)
  The Stelae-Statues of Lunigiana AFilattiera (MS)
  The Stelae-Statues of Lunigiana BFilattiera (MS)
  The Stelae-Statues of Lunigiana CFilattiera (MS)
  The Stelae-Statues of Lunigiana DFilattiera (MS)
  Three FountainsRamiseto (RE)
  Tower House in Corte PiazzaCastelnovo ne' Monti (RE)
  Tower House in RoncroffioCastelnovo ne' Monti (RE)
  Tower Houses in CollagnaCollagna (RE)
  Tower Houses in GazzoloRamiseto (RE)
  Tower Houses in GombioCastelnovo ne' Monti (RE)
  Tower Houses in PietraduraCastelnovo ne' Monti (RE)
Cerreto Alpi Mill
Cerreto Alpi Mill


Mainly characterized by the presence of mountains and rich torrential watercourses, the Park territory developed an economy based on local resources, for which the mills played an essential role. As a matter of fact, the cereals produced by agriculture were transformed from the millstones activated by the water current into wheat flour, chestnut and spelt flour, while the olives were used to obtain oil.
Today the mills are no longer used except in some cases, and they are often abandoned and in ruin or renovated and transformed into houses. However, the role they played in the history of these lands cannot be forgotten.

Point of InterestLocation
  Adani Mill in Pieve San VincenzoRamiseto (RE)
 Arlia MillArlia MillFivizzano (MS)
  Bocchi Mill in SuccisoRamiseto (RE)
  Briselli Mill in CecciolaRamiseto (RE)
  Burano MillCastelnovo ne' Monti (RE)
  Carù MillVilla Minozzo (RE)
  Casalini Mill in Pieve San VincenzoRamiseto (RE)
 Cerreto Alpi MillCerreto Alpi MillCollagna (RE)
  Civago MillVilla Minozzo (RE)
  Collagna MillCollagna (RE)
  Del Rosto Mill in TaladaBusana (RE)
  Ligonchio MillLigonchio (RE)
  Mill del Chioso in CervarezzaBusana (RE)
  San Bartolomeo di Gatta MillCastelnovo ne' Monti (RE)
  Verrucole MillSan Romano in Garfagnana (LU)

Archaeological Sites

A territory characterized by human settlements since ancient times has preserved some evidences of its past: from the settlements of the ancient Ligurian people on Mt. Pisone to the necropolises of Campo Pianelli.

See all the archaeological sites on the map

Point of InterestLocation
  Campo PianelliCastelnovo ne' Monti (RE)
  Mt. PisoneSan Romano in Garfagnana (LU)
  San BartolomeoVilla Minozzo (RE)
  SoranoFilattiera (MS)


From "Canti del Maggio", to the traditional cork processing, to the history of the first printed books, the museums situated in the Park area represent for visitors windows to this territory, showing its qualities, traditions, and features.

See all the Museums on the map

Point of InterestLocation
  Christmas Crib Museum in GazzanoVilla Minozzo (RE)
 Cork Museum in CervarezzaCork Museum in CervarezzaBusana (RE)
  Ecomuseum of the Lunigianese MountainsFivizzano (MS)
  Frignoli Botanic GardenFivizzano (MS)
  Madoi-Outdoor MuseumCorniglio (PR)
  Museum of the Maggio in Villa MinozzoVilla Minozzo (RE)
  Pania di Corfino Botanic GardenVilla Collemandina (LU)
  Printing MuseumFivizzano (MS)
  Rural Civilization Museum in San BartolomeoVilla Minozzo (RE)
The \'bilite\', the sign of the Park Gateways
The 'bilite', the sign of the Park Gateways

The Park gateways

The Park gateways, Apennine places

"The Gateways" are invitations to meet, read and appreciate the National Park's most significant aspects and, through them, to identify and appreciate the qualities of Appennino Tosco-Emiliano. The National Park is in fact hardly recognisable as a geographical unit. It is composed of a system of ridges, which are highly valuable as they connect areas and territories with different climates, geology, pedology, nature, vegetation, settlements and human landscapes. These territories include places and products of excellence in terms of nature, science, culture and economics.

The Gateways, each having a different name and function, are sometimes located in panoramic spots, or by environmental, historical, religious, or scenic landmarks. Others consist in educational or information facilities, or in places where significant economic and social activities take place.

PDF Download the brochure (8,8Mb)

Point of InterestLocation
  Euro-Mediterranean Gateway
On the continental climatic border
Ventasso (RE)
 Pietra di BismantovaGateway of Bismantova
The mountain of Purgatory and the Apennine
Castelnovo ne' Monti (RE)
 Pania di CorfinoGateway of Pania
In the Valley of Corfino and Sassorosso
Villa Collemandina (LU)
 Maturation of Parmigiano ReggianoGateway of Parmigiano-Reggiano
The Park’s dairy, at the foot of Ventasso
Ventasso (RE)
 Casarola. Bertolucci's HouseGateway of poetry
“Deep Apennine” and Attilio Bertolucci’s home
Monchio delle Corti (PR)
 The 'bilite', the sign of the Park GatewaysGateway of Sparavalle
A panoramic balcony by the watershed between the Enza and Secchia rivers
Ventasso (RE)
  Gateway of the ancient villages
In ancient Lunigiana
Licciana Nardi (MS)
  Gateway of the Apennine
A postcard from the 20th Century
Castelnovo ne' Monti (RE)
 Fortezza of VerrucoleGateway of the castles
The Fortress of Verrucole between the Apennines and the Apuan Alps
San Romano in Garfagnana (LU)
  Gateway of the Gessi
A primeval landscape
Villa Minozzo (RE)
  Gateway of the horsemenComano (MS)
 Parma Ham PDOGateway of the Parma ham
Among lakes and valleys
Corniglio (PR)
 St Stephen Rural Church in SoranoGateway of the pievi
The pilgrims’ gateway, along the Via Francigena
Filattiera (MS)
  Gateway of the skies
A panorama on Sea and Apennine Parks
Comano (MS)
 The marble of Apuane and the water of the Apennines meet in the work of artGateway of the three Parks
Art and nature
Fivizzano (MS)
 Enel power plant in LigonchioGateway of water and energy
The hydroelectric power plant: a science and nature learning ground
Ventasso (RE)

Historical Place Names

The significant historical-cultural features of the Park territories have been preserved in the local place names. They are a sort of epigraphs witnessing what happened in the past.
Therefore, "Lunigiana" could be Luni's land, "Garfagnana" a big sacred forest, and "Bismantova" a theater of struggles at the times of Livy or, even before, the altar of the night sacrifices that Celtic people used to offer to the Moon.



The Park territory is the result of centuries of history shaped by the wonderful but also difficult mountains of Appennino Tosco-Emiliano.
The first prehistoric nomadic people, as well as the Resistance movement and any other important historical event have left their signs on the territory and the landscape, signs that are there to remember who and what they come from, integrated in a natural context of great value they contribute to further enrich.
Traces dating back to the Roman period, the ruins of Matilda's fortresses or the rich palaces of the medieval lords. The trails of the merchants and their mules, and the trails that have enabled the Partisans to move across the forests without being seen. The hope given and then stolen by Napoleon and the patriotic passion of the heroes of the Risorgimento.

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