On the border between Europe and the Mediterranean Sea
The Tuscan-Emilian Apennine National Park (TEA Park) consists of a striking stretch of the Apennine Mountains surrounded by forests, in an extraordinary geographical position: a 930 mile-long Apennine Mountain range that runs north-south, and lays right in between the Po River Valley, the rest of Europe, and the Mediterranean Sea. The Apennine ridgeline, an almost continuous sequence of peaks whose altitude ranges between 1600 and 2000 meters, is the physical border between Emilia and Tuscany: you can walk along it, and on clear days overlook the Alps on the north side and the Mediterranean Sea on the south side.
Two Sides and four districts: Parma & reggio, Lunigiana & Garfagnana
The Park is split into 2 regions – Emilia-Romagna and Tuscany – and 4 districts: Reggio and Parma in Emilia Romagna on the north side; Lunigiana and Garfagnana (districts of Massa Carrara and Lucca) in Tuscany on the south side.
TWO SIDES, Twice the biodiversity
This orientation gives the Park two distinct climate zones and dramatic diversity. There are olive trees, holly oaks, and vineyards and early, warm springs on the southern side in Lunigiana and Garfagnana. On the north side in Reggio and Parma, there are grasslands, fir trees, and ample snowfall. In this unique environment you can meet exceptional biodiversity: the Park contains 70% of all the species present in Italy, including species of birds, amphibians, reptiles, mammals, fish, the wolf and the golden eagle.
A frontier culture
Throughout history crossing the Apennines where the Park is located today has been the fastest way to travel to Rome from the north of Italy (and Europe). The Park's historic roads, such as Via Francigena and Via del Volto Santo, trails and mountain passes have served as vital routes for trade, pilgrimage, armies and smugglers. Travel and its strategic location have shaped the Park's long history and its diverse culture. The Park is a true frontier land, and like all frontiers, it is a place where different cultures and landscapes meet each other and merge, creating a unique natural and cultural environment.
Natural and rural: The bond Between man and nature
The Tuscan-Emilian Apennine National Park is a rural area in the heart of Italy that has been farmed by man since prehistoric times. Thousands of years of small scale farming and sheep grazing, have shaped the landscape and created a strong, ancestral bond between local communities and nature, which is remains a key cultural feature of the Park.
UNESCO Man and biosphere reserve
Due to its extraordinary features and ongoing relationship between man and nature, in 2015 the Park was designated by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) as a Man and Biosphere Reserve. As a biosphere reserve, the Park focuses on three core elements of conservation, development, and providing logistic support to local stakeholders in order to promote sustainable environmental, economic, and social practices across the reserve.
For more information about the Park's UNESCO Man and Biosphere Designation, visit TEA Park MaB UNESCO
For more information about UNESCO, visit UNESCO Man and Biosphere Reserve
ancient and precious farmland
A small scale, mountain agriculture which has reached very high quality and has created some of the highest quality products in Italy including international favorites such as Parmigiano Reggiano and Prosciutto di Parma. Both products originated in the Tuscan Emilian Appenine National Park and continue to be locally produced along with many other top quality niche products you can only find there.
Looking for authentic Parmigiano Reggiano Cheese? Visit http://www.parmigianoreggiano.com/
Hungry for the real Prosciutto di Parma? Visit http://parmacrown.com/
Apennines and the sea
The sea is a constant presence in the TEA National Park: you can see it walking along the ridgeline, smell it in the mild climate of the south side and learn about how important it has always been in the Park's ancient culture of sheepfarming and transhumance. The sea is just 19 miles from the Park as the crow flies!
TEA National Park and Cinque Terre National Park
Well-known and picturescque Cinque Terre National Park is just one hour away from TEA National Park. Two national parks just on the side of the other: you can enjoy the sea of Cinque Terre and the peaks of the Apennines ridge in the same weekend.
Centrally Located and Distinctly Different
The Park is located in close proximity to the popular Italian cities of Florence, Pisa, Milan and Bologna. This makes it easy to use the Park as a homebase from which to take day trips to the bigger cities or, simply as a relaxing respite from the busier tourist destinations.
You are a Guest, not a Tourist
Lots of travellers and pilgrims have passed by the Park roads in its long history: travellers have always been welcome, and the habit of hosting them as guests and helping them to find their way through the Park is as old as these lands. You will not be seen as a tourist but as a traveller, who has news from the rest of the world... just like 2000 years ago!