In Appennino Tosco-Emiliano National Park, winter is the season when the setting of the Euro-Mediterranean climatic border on the ridge of the Apennines of this area is most evident. As a matter of fact, if on the slope of Emilia the snow remains during the whole season on the summits, in the valleys and towns, the Tuscan slope has a southern exposure and is influenced by the mild climate of the nearby Golfo dei Poeti. Here it is rare to find towns and forests covered with snow. On the contrary, the landscape is characterized by brown and burgundy shades.
On both slopes, winter is characterized by a calendar of cultural events linked above all to Christmas. Among the others, the "Via dei Presepi" (the Christmas Crib Trail) connecting the two slopes of the Apennines with a route along which the cultural diversity of the various towns emerges in the tradition of the Christmas Crib making. It is a season rich in sports events, among the others the initiative "The Royal Apennines" promoted by the National Park together with Frignano Regional Park and including mountain skiing and walks with snow rackets between Cusna and Cimone, across Abetina Reale.
On the slope of Emilia, sports activities on the snow are a tradition. In the surroundings and within the territory of the National Park you can find several ski resorts for mountain skiing, among which Cerreto Laghi in the Municipality of Collagna (offering about 30 km of slopes with different difficult levels and a big indoor ice rink), Febbio in the Municipality of Villa Minozzo (with the slope "2000", named after the altitude it reaches, with 25 km of slopes), Ventasso Laghi in the Municipality of Ramiseto, and Prato Spilla in the Municipality of Monchio delle Corti.
In the latest years, particular attention has been paid to the relaunching of cross-country skiing: you can practice it both in Pianvallese ring-routes, not far from Febbio, Pratizzano, and around Lake Pranda at Cerreto Lake, and along the several mule tracks crossing the Park territory as mountaineering/cross-country skiing.
If you are not familiar with skis, you can always enjoy the contact with the Apennines covered with snow thanks to the snow rackets. Tours leave from any town of the ridge, also at night under the moonlight, and are organized by the mountain huts and by specialized tour guides. It is also possible to follow nature routes looking for the wildlife traces on the snow or walk along frozen streams.
If you love mountain skiing, you can practice it along several itineraries on Mt. Prado (2,053m), Alpe di Vallestrina (1,930m), Mt. Cusna (2,120m), Mt. Cavalbianco (1,853), Mt. La Nuda (1,893m), the group of Mt. Casarola (1,979) and Alpe di Succiso (2,017m), Mt. Marmagna (1,851m), and Mt. Tondo (1,781m). It is recommended to bring adequate equipment, including safety equipment (shovel, avalanche beacon, and probe), and stay informed on the snow conditions and weather forecasts.
Moreover, in winter the activities of the project "Snow&Nature" are carried out: it is a project dedicated to students of the secondary schools suggesting a direct experience in the Apennines also in the most difficult season.
Live the winter of the Apennines during the weekends of "Neve Natura"
(discover the regional calendar)