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The Park of Lakes Suviana and Brasimone extends into the central section of the Bologna Apennines, encompassing three artificial lakes— Suviana, Brasimone and Santa Maria—that were created starting in the early 1900s for hydroelectric power.  The streams that feed into them are the Brasimone and the Limentra di Treppio.

The large bodies of water and hydraulic structures are surrounded by woods with a mixture of oak, beechwood, chestnut and reforested conifers. There are also two charming towns in the park: Bargi and Chiapporato.

Bargi is a Medieval village where visitors can admire the ruins of the walls of a sumptuous castle, an 18th century church perched on a rocky promontory overlooking Lake Suviana. Not far from the town is the stonework  manor house known as Palazzo Comelli, complete with an 18th-century sundial.

Chiapporato, on the other hand, is an abandoned 17th-century village set amid old chestnut groves. It’s a great place to admire the stone houses that are common in the area, with all their rural mountain architectural details. In recent decades, the reduced presence of people has allowed wildlife populations to grow—deer first and foremost in terms of importance.

The park is crossed through by the Alta Via dei Parchi, but it has another 130 km of marked trails that can be explored independently, by foot and bicycle.

  1. Discovering Deer à an itinerary that mainly winds through a wooded area often frequented by the park’s deer. Though it isn’t technically difficult, the trail is long.
  2. Educational Trail à just a few hundred meters long, this trail is great for children and is dotted by educational-yet-fun stations that help little ones learn about the forest and its wildlife.
  3. Re di Macchia à this itinerary heads along the ancient Via Piana, which once united Castiglione dei Pepoli and Lake Brasimone.
  4. Lake to Lake à this hike starts on the left bank of Lake Suviana and reaches the dam of Lake Brasimone at La Guardata, crossing through large meadows in which you might catch a glimpse of orchid blooms in spring or hear the belling of deer in fall.

The nature reserve also has a Forest Museum-Visitor Centre in old rural buildings surrounded by a magnificent centuries-old chestnut grove. The ground-floor exhibition introduces the flora of the mountain forests; on the landing there’s a striking window with a view of the woods; and, inside the barn, our understanding of the human-forest relationship is deepened. 

Lastly, both lakes (Suviana in particular), are great for water sports such as rowing, windsurfing and sport fishing.

Visit the Park’s website

bar_chart Technical Info

Three large reservoirs present:

  1. Lake Suviana
  2. Lake Brasimone
  3. Lake Santa Maria
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