The Gigante Park One of the most intact environments Apennines of Emilia-Romagna ...
The Gigante Park, once known as the Regional Park of the High Apennines Reggiano, includes one of the most intact environments Apennines of Emilia-Romagna. The name "Giant" comes from the shape of the summit more important, Mount Cusna, that view from the plains recalls the figure of a male lying. The Regional Park of the High Apennines Reggiano was established in 1988 in the municipalities of Busana, Collagna, Ligonchio, Ramiseto and Villa Minozzo. Following the establishment of the National Park of the Tuscan-Emilian Apennines, in 2005 the regional park was abolished and the area has been included in the National Park. To form the territory of the National Park have competition, within Emilia, in addition to much of the Parco del Gigante, the upper valley of the river Parma and isolated mass of Bismantova with neighbors Triassic gypsum Secchia.
The park area of the Giant presents a wide variety of exhibitions and elevations, and these features have generated different environments, from the most cold and bare, to forests, hills, all of high natural and scenic value. Besides Mount Cusna, are part of it some of the highest peaks of the northern Apennines, from which you enjoy extensive views of rugged valleys, extensive forests and wide meadows at the top.
The mountain slopes from 900 m to 1,800 m are characterized by extensive beech forests, which often give way to other formations, stand out among all the replanting with conifers. Along the waterways beeches give way to willows, poplars and alders and herbaceous vegetation stand out among the huge heart-shaped leaves of farfaracci. In the park there are also chestnut trees, always located close to residential areas, confirming the close ties between these forests to local people.
The area is rich in animal species of great interest, especially related to ecosystems of high altitude. In particular, the birds are the most diverse group, among which: martins; swifts; golden eagles; woodcock, which has here one of the few breeding sites known in Italy; and stiaccino, a passerine similar to the saltimpalo, very rare in Italy. Among other species include: wolf, deer, roe deer, wild boar, fox and various mustelids including marten, skunk, weasel and badger.
Plus are visible many forms of mountain architecture such as stone houses and some service buildings in stone, once with a distinctive thatched roof. In the woods instead often you can meet small stone constructions called "metati", which served to dry the chestnuts harvested in the chestnut.