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.
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.
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Three large reservoirs present: