Apennines become open air school for students and tourists

Fri, 08/18/2006 - 07:23

The Apennines with their historical, cultural and natural heritage will become a school offering thousands of opportunities for learning while having fun.

The members of the Unione Appennino e Verde association of Emilia Romagna have offered a rich programme of didactic initiatives for schoolchildren of all ages. A wide range of activities will be carried out in the parks, castles, along rivers but also in museums and food production places in order to make the young people familiar with the environment and the culture of the region.

In the Apennines nature has always rhymed with adventure. In the Parco Regionale del Corno alle Scale (Bologna) and the Parco dei Cento Laghi (Parma), for example, the children will be able to turn into explorers and follow wolf tracks, with theoretical lessons and excursions along the pathways to learn the predators habits and the pack structure.

The observation of animals and the didactic activities to learn to use a compass and maps of the pathways are in the centre of the proposals by the Parco Nazionale dell'Appennino Tosco Emiliano where the children will be able to attend sport climbing courses at the Pietra di Bismantova rock climbing site.

An agricultural tourism office in Argenta (Ferrara), in the heart of the Parco del Delta del Po, will offer the possibility to discover the complexity and delicacy of the fluvial environment and humid areas, following a kilometre long bird watching route around the Valli di Comacchio complex. The route is provided with huts for observation and offers knowledge about the various habitat types, the bird species and the flora in this precious ecosystem.

In the Apennines one can also storm a castle, dressed as a medieval warrior. At the Bardi castle (Parma), an impressive fortress built on spur of a rock, the students are protagonists in such theatrical visits. Thanks to a route that unites history and culture with the discovery of food and genuine flavours, the children will get to know the magnificent 19 , the Castelli del Ducato in Parma and Piacenza.

The educational trip in the Apennines is also an occasion to discover the secrets of the preparation of typical Emilia-Romagna products. In Parmense the children will be able to visit dairies producing Parmigiano Reggiano cheese and the places where the Fungo Porcino (mushroom) of Borgotaro is collected and processed. Both visits will include tasting as well as excursions.

A guided tour of the natural reserves of Salse di Nirano and Sassoguidano (Modena) will give the children the opportunity to become familiar with the local traditions and flavours through direct experience. The children will prepare bread themselves and will help in the honey production.

This is only a small part of the many didactic proposals of the Apennines, in the natural parks and the green oases of Emilia Romagna. Complete information about the various initiatives is available on the website www.appenninoeverde.org. The Unione Appennino e Verde of Emilia-Romagna is an association of 74 public bodies, among them provinces, communes, mountain communities, parks, chambers of commerce, and private organisations, which was established in 1998 following the enforcement of regional law 7/98. The organisation offers tourist promotion of the region and supports the marketing activities of private associates.