Flora, fauna, horse riding, rafting, cycling, but also archeology and culture is at the Montemarcello Park, to discover in 10 experiences.

The regional protected area of Montemarcello Park is crossed by the passage of the river Magra in his Ligurian stretch and the river Vara, its main tributary. So many landscapes, animals and flowers to be discovered in different ways, sometimes unknown even to locals: find 10 Things to do in Montemarcello Park.

1 – Discover its plants in the Botanical Gardens

The botanical bgardens in the Monte Marcello Park

At the top of Mount Murlo , in the presence of one of the most beautiful views of the area, the Botanical Garden of Montemarcello is interesting because it shows on two mountain slopes, one facing the sea and other on the floodplain , the various typical botanical species in the area. The Pine forests of Aleppo along the sea front, surrounded by the Macchia Mediterranea and the Gariga , made of shrubs and herbs. Quercete prevail in cooler areas, and in the wetland are the plants of the local tradition.

It can only be reached on foot, with a walk of about twenty minutes by a path that starts in the resort La Gruzza, on the road that leads to Monte Marcello from Lerici. Reservations are necessary at the numbers 0187 626172 e 3271273871.
Entrance–  5,00 €, kids up to 5 years old go free.

2. Riding in its valleys and “bozi”

Riding in the Monte Marcello Park

The river area of Monte Marcello Park is especially suited to horseback riding . There are several tourist facilities in the area, and farms that allow to rent a horse for excursions of varying difficulty through different landscapes. One of the favourite riders’ points are the equipped trails loop around the area of Saudino Bozi : These are artificial lakes (the bozi) having arisen when the reservoirs formed by the excavations in the old quarry of gravel and clay of Saudino Fornaces were filled with ground water, creating an environment of high ecological value.

3. Rafting down its rivers

Rafting in the Monte Marcello Park, in the Vara River

In the upper Monte Marcello Park, the one affected by the passage of the river Vara , do not miss the opportunity to go down the rapids of the river on a canoe . You can practice canyoning in all security , with one of the many sports associations that provide the equipment and the minimum necessary preparation to take you to view points in a canoe: in different sections of the river from Varese Ligure to the confluence of the Magra River; the most interesting ones are marked by signs of embarkation and disembarkation.

4.Swim from its pristine beaches: the black Punta Corvo and white Punta Bianca.

The rocky beach of Punta Bianca

The Monte Marcello Park hosts some of the most beautiful beaches of the area. The best known is probably the Punta Corvo beach, that features wild and strong beauty: from the path at the side of the Park information point down the forest trail to the bay , which sometimes opens the magnificent view of the islands of the Gulf of Poets . The beach is characterized by dark gravel from which it takes its name, and that in the summer contributes to very high temperatures reached on the shore.
At the end of Caprione promontory dividing the Gulf of Poets from the Valley of Magra, however, is the white beach of Punta Bianca . The thick and fragrant maquis contrasts the white rocks, and you can admire the view from the walking trail starting where the road from Monte Marcello goes to Ameglia.
The two beaches are within walking distance for those who are prepared to face the steep climb back, but you can also get there in a canoe from Fiumaretta, or Marinella resorts.

5 – Birdwatching

The lower part of the Monte Marcello Park is the favorite environment by certain species of aquatic birds, who choose this area for their migratory passage, and here is also an LipuOasis (national association for the protection of birds. In the Park you can easily get acquainted with the river nightingale despite her shyness that makes it hide in the reeds. Near the river you can find the egret and the gray heron . The kingfisher often fishing and hunting insects among the foliage of the willows, in the stretches where the waters of the Magra and Vara rivers run slower . The mouth of the Magra is typical for observing herring gulls, shags and sandwich terns .
Among the most important species with the habitat in the park are the bee-eater and mouse , Marinella can be also the egret .
The promontory Caprione hosts the Raven and kestrel and the inhabitants of the stain as the warbler , blackcap and goldfinch . Nocturnal birds of prey such as tawny , the Owl and the assiolo and the barn owl are very frequent. Among the birds of prey we find the buzzard and the hawk .

6 – Explore it by bike

Cycling in the Cinque Terre, in the Monte Marcello Park

The Monte Marcello Park is rich in bike paths and very attractive routes for those who love cycling in nature. In mountain bike or racing bike , it is always advisable to have a pretty good working gear because the roads are often rather steep, but the unique view pays off fatigue along all routes . You can make a “ring” that runs for 22 km around Mount Caprione through the towns of Ameglia, Montemarcello, La Serra, Guercio, then to return to Ameglia, riding in some of the most interesting points of the Park. The route takes to points of a certain difficulty, but you can choose to run only simple traits.

7 – Find its ghost villages

The ghost villages in the Monte Marcello Park

There are many villages scattered in the Monte marcello Park : countries, villages, towns where it is simply a pleasure to stroll while tasting local specialties, being pampered by a family and stylish atmosphere. But there are also the lost villages, those abandoned by the history that decided to happen somewhere else, for practical reasons, or tragic. Two well-known examples are the “ghost” villages of Barbazzano and Portesone , located between Tellaro and Ameglia, once important centers for the local economy , as evidenced by the ancient terraces planted in ancient times in a large area surrounding them. The villages were also known for the prowess of its sailors , who had the honor of accompanying the bishop of Luni in his sea voyages. Barbazzano was probably the original center of Tellaro, the inhabitants had to abandon it due to an outbreak of plague in the sixteenth century.
The village of Portesano is even older (1000 year up to 1300), and its structure is one of the most suggestive evidence of life dedicated to sheep in the area.

8 Starting the Alta Via dei Monti Liguri Path

Hiking the Alta Via dei Monti Liguri from the Monte Marcello Park

In the Monte Marcello Park for some ends, for others starts the Alta Via dei Monti Liguri path , exactly in the town of Ceparana. It depends on your point of view, but certainly for those who are in the area it is easier to think about starting the path that crosses the whole Ligurian arch on its higher costs, offering the view that embraces the sea and the mountains that only our region can offer. The spectacular journey of 440 km through has its initial section right in the Monte Marcello Park to the Pass of Cento Croci. The Mountain of Cornoviglio is perhaps one of the most interesting points for the vantage point of view that it gives, with a spectacular view of the Gulf of Poets .
The Alta Via is anyway just an example of the many possible Parco di Monte Marcello paths, rangin from short walks on the river to the longer walks. find out more about trekking in the area, download the app of Cinque Terre & Beyod.

9 – Search for the “Cavanei”

The ” cavanei ” are stone buildings with vaulted tholos of unknown date in the Monte Marcello Park

The “ cavanei ” are stone buildings with vaulted tholos of unknown date, but of that are located in the territory of Monte Marcello, testifying the presence of developed communities on Mount Caprione already at the dawn of time . The name has a Celtic -Gaelic root Cab-Han , which means “round place,” and this would demonstrate the pre-roman construction , probably a housing complex. For some they were sky watchers , it seems that the filtered sunlight from the gaps can announce the arrival of the solstice: the elders of the area say
“if you want to become an astronomer like Ptolemy you must observe the moon from within a cavaneo”.
You can go in search of cavanei in Campazzo, Barbazzano, Monte Gruzza, Redarca, Rocchetta, Portesone-Ronchetto, and Carbognano. In Monti San Lorenzo, it seems to be confirmed the presence of a very old stone building site, which on the summer solstice day filters the sunlight in the shape of a butterfly .

10 – Visit its “capital”

The village of Monte Marcello gives its name to the park

The village of Monte Marcello gives its name to the park , point of arrival and observation of all its beauty. A small Ligurian beauty bulwark , located on the last strip of land, just where the geography changes to make room for larger, more sandy Tuscan coasts. Monte Marcello dominates from its Mount Caprione the Gulf of Poets , allowing perhaps its most spectacular view. colored houses, a network of narrow and articulate streets, treated and preserved with careful attention make Monte Marcello a truly magical place to spend some time away from the chaos, surrounded by the beauty of the park and the turquoise sea. The origin of the village proved to be the remains of the Roman road on Caprione and the Roman Villa of Bocca di Magra thermal baths.

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