When I think of Italy, childhood memories come up. Memories of the beach in Caorle, memories of the city trip to Rome, memories of the road trip through Tuscany, memories above all of the most delicious ice cream in the world. And every time I board a train, a car or a plane to enjoy Italy, this childlike anticipation comes up.
In September, I was invited to one of the most inspiring conferences for travel bloggers, the Social Travel Summit, which took place in Ravenna. Afterwards, we were welcomed to take a trip through the Emilia Romagna region and I don't want to withhold my highlights at Foreste Casentinesi from you.
Active Holidays in Emilia Romagna: Foreste Casentinesi
The Foreste Casentinesi is located in the southern part of the Emilia Romagna region, bordering with Tuscany. Outdoor lovers will find here a treasure chest full of beautiful hiking trails, cycle paths and the possibility to kayak.
Hiking in Foreste Casentinesi
The Foreste Casentinesi is like a fairy tale forest, especially in autumn. The sun's rays, which make it through the dense foliage of the treetops, create a mystical flair in the forest. If I had met Little Red Riding Hood or Snow White during my hike, I would have hardly been surprised.
In Foreste Casentinesi you can choose from 160 different numbered and signposted hiking trails. If you walked them all, you would need 250 (!) hours. Here you will find a selection of beautiful routes through the woods of this part of Emilia Romagna.
Further information about Foreste Casentinesi
And although I'm not quite the big fan of cycling, I give e-Mountainbiking a try every once a while. Before my first attempt on the electric bike, I didn't have too positive an opinion about it, but after trying it out pretty much exactly a year ago in Carinthia, my attitude changed.
At Foreste Casentinesi there are some beautiful routes that are worth a trip by bike, whether electric or traditional. One of them starts at the Ecomuseo IDRO and leads up to the turquoise shimmering dam Ridracoli. There are also guided tours that combine the bike tour with a boat trip. Bicycles and e-mountain bikes can be picked up directly from the museum, by appointment.
Kayaking at the Ridracoli Dam
I would have loved to have come to Emilia Romagna a few weeks earlier! In the warmer months you can go for a kayak trip on the beautiful Ridracoli lake or visit the most beautiful corners by small boat. Hopefully, the next time.
Boat trips: From the end of March to September (depending on the weather) there are regular boat trips on the lake. It is best to call in advance and ask for the exact departure times and weather conditions.
Kayak tours: From April to September (also depending on weather and water level) kayak tours often take place on Sundays and by appointment at the Ridracoli lake.
Prices, availability and more information about water activities at Ridracoli Reservoir can be found on this Italian website (Google Translate should help you to understand most).
The best pasta in Foreste Casentinesi
By far the best food on my last trip to Italy was on the first day after the conference in the Foreste Casentinesi. I would never have found it because the turning at the main road is rather discreet. I have to thank our hiking guide Stefano for this insider tip.
The Agriturismo Biologico Poderone is also a place where you can switch off: Embedded in the middle of nowhere in the national park there is an old house with a wonderful panoramic view. Sometimes deer roars distantly and those who know a bit of Italian can listen to the stories of the hosts.
And exactly here it was, where I enjoyed probably the best pasta of my life: Beetroot pasta aglio e olio with lots of Parmigiano Reggiano. But also everything else like appetizers, salads, snacks and desserts were almost too good to be true. I would have loved to have eaten every single day here.
If your mouth has watered now, then you should definitely make a reservation before your visit. You can reach the landline at +39 543 980069, or these mobile numbers of Lorenzina +39 347 9460946 and Nicola +39 349 1253276.
The Agriturismo Biologico Poderone also has rooms and is therefore a good starting point for hiking and cycling excursions.
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