Use these tips to help you get the most out of your visit to the TEA National Park!
Tips & recommendations
Taste Regional Specialties
The TEA National Park is home to two of the most famous products of Italy, Parmesano Reggiano cheese and Prosciutto di Parma, but also is home to a unique regional cuisine, made out of fresh, simple, and high-quality ingredients. Some specialty dishes, as well as products, can only be found within the Park, and have not changed over the centuries. Food in the park is of extraordinary variety: regional dishes change every few miles, sometimes varying by the village or even family!
Food in park means cuisine, landscape, culture, history and family--while you're here don't be afraid to taste your way through the landscape! To learn more about our regional specialities, visit the Taste the Landscape page and come see what makes this part of Italy something to remember and cherish.
Talk with the Locals
Lost? Looking for a great cafe, restaurant, walking trail? No need to worry - the park's people are hospitable and willing to do everything they can to help. The park has served as a passageway for travellers for thousands of years. Don't be afraid to try out your Italian with the locals - residents love talking to international visitors! While many of the locals know some English, it's highly recommended to download Google Translate--which doesn't require WiFi to function--on your smartphone or to bring a basic phrase book.
Rent a Car
Renting a car is the best way to enjoy the TEA National Park. If you drive, you can explore the land at your own pace, and stop wherever you like. Visitors can cross the ridge and experience the different landscape and climate on the two sides, take daily trips to other destinations like Cinque Terre or the cities of Emilia or Tuscany, or simply wander from village to village stopping by at an appealing restaurant. Expect roads to be rather narrow and windy as they wind through the mountains, but traffic is normally quite light.
Get Out & Explore
The TEA National Park is an outstanding place to explore: you can explore mountains and forests but also villages and even restaurants: all you have to do is to follow one of the main roads and let your curiosity take the lead: you will find breathtaking views, pristine villages and authentic food. In the park, distances are short, which means that In a day's time, you can go for a hike, tour a small village and check out an ancient castle, while still having time to enjoy a delicious Italian meal! For more information on activities in the Park, check out our Things to do page.
Appreciate the History
In the Park there are centuries worth of history. Not only are there castles, fortresses and refugees to check out, but also ancient routes that can take you from the north to the south. Each village within the Park area has its own story, which allows travelers to visit a wide array of culture, cuisines and heritage. To learn more about the history of the Park, go to the History and Culture page.
Go for a Ride
We are located in the middle of a mountain wilderness. Take a main road and go town to town. Check out the little historic villages that inhabit this area. And bring a camera! The views are truly outstanding. A great road to take is route SP18 to SS63. It passes through Castelnovo ne Monti, one of the largest towns inside the Park, as well as many other charming little towns and historic landmarks along the way. Check out the Scenic Drives page for more great routes to take in the Park.
Use the Park as a Home Base
When planning a trip to Italy, most travelers include these four cities in their itinerary: Florence, Venice, Pisa and Milan. The TEA National Park actually sits in between all of these bustling cities. Other well-known places like Cinque Terre, Verona, Parma, Lucca and Bologna are also surrounding the Park and are easily accessible within a day. By being centrally located to so many different "must see" places, the Park an ideal spot to use as yours "home base". After a busy day seeing the sights and exploring the cities, how relaxing to have a peaceful evening in the Park. For additional information on the proximity of the Park to these major Italian cities and towns check out the Directions section.
Pick the Right Time for You!
Every season has something to offer in the Park. Picking the time should be dependent on what activities you are interested in doing. Summer is the perfect time for enjoying the outdoors and attending regional events. This is also when the most restaurants and hotels are open. Fall is known for the foliage, as the leaves transform the Park into a colorful mosaic. As the seasons transition and the leaves are gone, snow covers the Park making it a winter wonderland, with a plethora of winter activities like skiing and snowshoeing. When winter comes to a close and spring takes over, the Park is busy with all the flora, fauna and wildlife brushing off the season prior. Regardless of when you come, please pack accordingly. Check out our Seasons page to help you plan your next visit to the Park!