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Regional Park of Ligurian Alps

Regional Park of Ligurian Alps

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The recently constituted Regional Park of Ligurian Alps is subdivided into four main areas of great naturalistic importance ("natural park areas"), which are not contiguous and are connected by areas with wonderful protected landscapes and a strong cultural identity ("protected landscape areas").

It is located on the border between France and Piedmont, and it offers the scenery of the highest mountain in Ligurian territory, (Saccarello, 2,200 m), the deepest cave (Melosa), some of the most spectacular views from Alta Via dei Monti Liguri (the "High Road of Ligurian Mountains) and many other areas of great naturalistic and environmental prestige.

It is a landscape rich of contrasts, where the alpine environment mingles with the Mediterranean one. The Regional Park of Ligurian Alps il located in the territories of many municipalities: Rocchetta Nervina, Rezzo, Triora, Pigna, Mendatica, Montegrosso Pian Latte and Cosio d’Arroscia.

The park gives hospitality to a wide range of floristic species and it is populated by a variegated wildlife in protected habitats. There’s a lot of peculiarities of botanical interest, object of international studies, which include several endemisms characterized by the bizarre proximity between species typical of cold climate and Mediterranean species.

The fauna, interesting and very rich, includes Mediterranean species, such as the Lucertola Ocellata (lizard) and other typically alpine species such as the chamois and the Black Grouse (Tetrao Tetrix or Gallo Forcello).

In addition, no visit to the Regional Park of Ligurian Alps can be complete without seeing the Cascate dell’Arroscia (Arroscia waterfall), hydrothermal springs (Pigna), the Loreto and Realdo cliffs (Triora) and tens of caves of great dimensions. There are also several monumental trees, such as two larches and a white fir in the Foresta Demaniale Regionale of Gerbonte (Regional State Forest of Gerbonte, in Triora).

Absolutely to see is also the Pian Cavallo area, one of the most important naturalistic areas in Ligurian territory for its amazing and wide woods, composed of larch forests, scots pine forests, beech forests, and for its karst areas of European importance, among which stands the Gola delle Fascette, a gorge located in Cosio d’Arroscia.

The group of Gerbonte and Toraggio-Pietravecchia mountains are extraordinarily spectacular and houses several different habitats and a huge number of endemic species.

In addition, the Foresta Demaniale Testa d’Alpe and the Valley of Torrente Barbaira houses woods, small lakes and waterfalls of great naturalistic prestige, and boast of wonderful landscapes.

Here there’s a lot of excursions and thematic itineraries to try… for example the Alta Via dei Monti crosses the park for about 35 kms; other itineraries connected with excursionist paths have been recommended for MTB ("Alpi del Mare in bici", that is "Sea Alps by bike") and others are used by associations and excursion guides with snowshoes and trekking on horseback.

In addition, it is possible to make a trip following the thematic itinerary of "Memoria delle Alpi" ("Memory of alps"), "A caccia di fioriture" ("Discovering Flowers"), "Ecomuseo della Biodiversità".

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