For hiking enthusiasts in Emilia-Romagna there are numerous mountain huts. These are small buildings perched on mountain slopes where you have the opportunity to get in touch with nature and discover local flavors and traditions. Here are some refuges to consider in the area between Reggio Emilia and Parma

Alpine refuges (RE)

In the heart of the Appennino Tosco Emiliano National Park is the San Leonardo al Dolo Refuge, a structure rebuilt on the ruins of what was an ancient hospitale, whose existence is documented as early as the 12th century. It stands along CAI path 605, just over half an hour’s walk from the village of Civago. In this little stone alpine gem it is possible to wash, sleep and above all eat. San Leo’s activities include: themed events and days, summer walks and winter snowshoeing, rock climbing gymnasium for children, canyoning in the Dolo stream, “lunate” night walks with snowshoes in the moonlight, and educational stays for children and youth.

Not far away, in Lama Lite, is Rifugio Cesare Battisti, a stopover place on the Alta Via dei Parchi, from which it is possible to admire splendid views and set out to conquer the peaks of Prado and Cusna. It is located in one of the most fascinating areas of the Tuscan-Emilian Apennine National Park and can be reached exclusively on foot by following the trails that start from the nearby towns of Febbio, Civago and Ligonchio. The area is also home to Rifugio Bargetana, which stands at the point where the dense beech forests begin to thin out to make way for boundless meadows and blueberry heaths. Here, too, you can enjoy classic Emilian cuisine with an emphasis on mountain specialties. The hut is not only an arrival point, but also an excellent starting point. Not far away (a 30-minute walk from Battisti and a 15-minute walk from Rifugio Bargetana) is the enchanting Lake Bargetana.

Refuges in the Upper Parma Valley (PR)

The Mariotti Refuge, opened in 1882, stands on the shores of Lago Santo Parmense, the largest body of water of glacial origin in the region. It is dedicated to Giovanni Mariotti, mayor of the city of Parma, senator of the Kingdom and president of the CAI section of Parma from 1893 to 1935. And it can be reached by chairlift (depending on when it is open) or on foot via several trails. The refuge is a landmark for hikers, who can reach Mount Marmagna and Mount Orsaro from here, as well as for those seeking an experience of tranquility and good food.

Two other refuges are located in the Upper Parma Valley. The first, Rifugio Lagdei, is nestled in a centuries-old forest and can also be reached by car. It offers food and overnight accommodations, as well as an information point for the Tuscan-Emilian Apennine National Park. It offers guided excursions, nature tours, environmental education activities for schools and children’s entertainment. The second, Rifugio Lagoni, is located on the shore of the Gemini lakes and can be reached by car. The kitchen offers delicious local specialties, accompanied by a wide selection of red and white wines. A variety of interesting activities can be enjoyed here: hiking, fishing, mushroom picking, climbing, and mountain biking.

Photo Alpine refuges © Rifugio Cesare Battisti | Refuges in the Upper Parma Valley © Rifugio Lagdei

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