The glacial lakes of the Tuscan-Emilian Apennines.

All the beauty of the Glacial Lakes of the Tuscan-Emilian Apennines

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Emilia is a veritable treasure chest of natural wonders. Among the most precious gems are the glacial lakes, authentic jewels set among the towering peaks and wild valleys of the Tuscan-Emilian Apennines.

These expanses of water, created by the sculpting action of glaciers during the last ice age, offer a unique experience for lovers of nature and outdoor sports, providing exciting walks and treks through a dense network of CAI trails. 

  • Length
    72 hours
  • Interests
    Nature & Outdoor
  • Target
  • First stop - Lake Calamone Ventasso Laghi

    Located at the foot of Mount Ventasso, Lake Calamone is at an altitude of about 1,300 metres surrounded by a spectacular backdrop of forests and towering peaks.

    It can be easily reached by anyone by following the paths of the trail network of the Alto Appennino Reggiano, which intersect with the Alta Via dei Parchi.

    The lake is a natural treasure that captivates visitors with its beauty and tranquil atmosphere, revealing botanical rarities such as the orchid Dactylorhiza Praetermissa, the only one found in Italy, and picturesque high-altitude blooms.
    All around are beech, oak, chestnut, white fir, linden and maple trees, among which it is possible to catch a glimpse of the Ventasso free horses grazing.

    For those who wish to extend their visit, nearby lodging options are available, as well as mountain lodges where they can enjoy delicious local cuisine.
    Notable among these is the Venusta Lodge on the shores of Lake Calamone, an ideal place to enjoy breathtaking views. 

  • Second stop - Cerreto Lakes Cerreto Laghi

    Hidden among the majestic peaks of the Tuscan-Emilian Apennines, Cerreto Laghi is the most important summer and winter tourist resort in the Reggio Emilia Apennines.
    The resort is not only easily accessible, but is also stocked with numerous hotels and restaurants in which to enjoy traditional porcini mushroom cuisine.

    At the center of the resort stands the striking Lake Cerreto, a body of water of glacial origin surrounded by a backdrop of green mountains. Its crystal clear waters reflect the sky and surrounding peaks, creating a unique color and light show in every season.

    During the summer, sporting and creative activities such as canoeing, fishing and paddleboarding take place in the lake's waters, while in winter it transforms into an outdoor skating rink, adding a fairy-tale touch to the surrounding landscape.

    Hiking trails around the lake lead visitors through fragrant coniferous forests and alpine meadows, providing breathtaking views that, on clear days, allow views of the Gulf of La Spezia and Palmaria Island. There is also no shortage of well-marked trails for mountain bikers and e-bikers.

    Nearby are the striking Cerretani Lakes (Lake Pranda, Lake Scuro, Lake Le Gore), but also the Lake of the Ligonchio Hydroelectric Power Plant, in the splendid Ozola Valley. 
    From here starts one of the most fascinating hiking trails in the Tuscan-Emilian Apennines (formerly Cai 633) that retraces the route of the spectacular Decauville railway, built from 1915 onwards.

    However, the entire area is dotted with small lakes and alpine pools, such as those of Prati di Sara, Lago del Caricatore, Lago del Capriolo and then Lago della Bargetana, which offers a spectacular view of Monte Cusna.

  • Third stop - One Hundred Lakes Monchio delle Corti

    In the area of the Parma Apennines, on the border between Emilia-Romagna and Liguria, lies the large Parco dei Cento Laghi, a paradise for lovers of trekking and lake scenery. 

    The name itself suggests its main attraction: the lakes. One hundred bodies of water, large and small, dot the landscape, each with its own unique history and characteristics. Among the most famous are Lago Santo, the largest lake in the Tuscan-Emilian Apennines, Lago del Bicchiere, the Laghi del Sillara, Lago Ballano and Lago Verde.

    The entire area is protected and offers a variety of natural beauty to be admired, including small settlements and perched villages, pastures and forests, all traversed by the long path of the Alta Via dei Parchi. 

    The area welcomes visitors year-round, offering a variety of activities suited to each season. During the warmer months, hikes and walks along well-marked trails allow visitors to fully enjoy the beauty of the landscape; in winter, however, the park is covered in a blanket of snow, providing enchanting views and opportunities for cross-country skiers.

    A possible itinerary to discover this area starts from Prato Spilla, the hub of trekking and hiking, to reach Lake Ballano and Lake Verde and, finally, climb up to the small Lake Frasconi, shrouded in a truly fairytale beech forest. 

    Small local communities preserve ancient traditions and host events that allow visitors to immerse themselves in Apennine culture. Among the lodges in the area is Lagdei Lodge located on the plain of the same name at an altitude of 1250 meters above sea level, among beech and coniferous trees.  

  • Fourth stop - Lake Trebecco, Lake Nero, Lake Moo, Lake Bino and Lake Mignano Alta Val Tidone

    Developed in the Colli Piacentini area, the Tidone Trail (about 69 km) offers a unique experience to be traveled on foot, by mountain bike or even on horseback. 

    This adventure, which follows the course of the Tidone River, promises unique thrills, among lush forests, medieval villages and unforgettable views, until you reach the Molato Dam, an imposing and majestic man-made structure at the origin of Lake Trebecco. The latter is an artificial reservoir, about 2.5-kilometre-long, which is set in a landscape of extraordinary beauty: the Upper Nure Valley

    The entire area is crisscrossed by more than 560 km of trails that immerse themselves in a unique naturalistic universe and connect the municipalities of Ponte dell'Olio, Bettola, Farini and Ferriere.

    Several lake basins of glacial origin, some of them very picturesque, develop in this area and are among the most popular hiking destinations in the Piacenza area. 

    Thus you can find Lake Nero, the picturesque Lake Moo and Lake Bino, and Lake Mignano, a dam created for the production of hydroelectric energy in Vernasca, now a reservoir with picnic areas and walking paths.

Last update 27/12/2023

For more information

Editorial board DT Emilia

Information offices

UIT Cerreto Laghi
Via Lungolato Cerratano - Ventasso (RE)
+ 39 0522 898153
UIT Monchio delle Corti
Strada Parco dei Cento Laghi, 4 - Monchio delle Corti (PR)
+ 39 0521 896618 Opening: all year round

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