Il Parco Regionale della Vena del Gesso

The places to explore, the flora and fauna to encounter

What is the Parco regionale Vena del Gesso romagnola? What animal and plant species are found in this area that covers the territory from the foothills to the Tuscan-Romagna Apennines? Park guide Ivano Fabbri tells us about the special features of this unique natural area

The Cà Carnè visitor center covers about 43 hectares on the Rontana and Castelnuovo gypsums in the municipality of Brisighella. It is open daily and admission is free. The center offers many services for the visitor. The building on the left houses the information point of the Chalk Vein Park of Romagna, the conference room, the “Climate Room” education room, and the nature museum dedicated to the fauna of the Chalk Vein of Romagna, which houses exhibits of almost all the most interesting animal species in the park, including wolf, porcupine, eagle owl, peregrine falcon, and lone sparrow.
At Ca’ Carnè, a typical rural house of hillside reclamation from the 1920s, from which the center takes its name, is the hut, with restaurant and bar and with some bedrooms (two common dormitories and two smaller rooms for families. In the adjacent area is The “Scout Hut,” a room that can be requested for self-management with beds, bathroom and kitchen. In the large lawn in front is an area for waiting (always on request).

The natural merits of the Parco regionale Vena del Gesso romagnola

It is a concentration of biodiversity, and the explanation lies in the strong variety of habitats, from sunken sinkholes with cool-humid microclimates to sun-drenched open former crops now turned into meadows. In the former we find snowdrops, little bells, dogtooth, two-leafed scilla, red columbine (the latter not legally protected but very rare, like the others, at only 300 meters above sea level), cervine tongue, and especially bursolo, which has no more than about 15 stations in Emilia-Romagna and is largely beech woodland. In the latter, there are about thirty orchid species: twenty-five were the results of a 2013 census, and those are now joined by Serapias lingua, Serapias neglecta, Orchis papilionacea and Ophris tusca.
But there are also the rock walls with maple minor, raven pear and, in the shadier spots, wild linden and Arabis alpina; there are the cool forests with Solomon’s seal, dog mercorella and Iris graminea and the drier, sparse ones where the downy oak is accompanied by the terebinth, the true differential element, in the Mediterranean sense, of these oak forests.
But to geologists’ delight there are also “candle erosions” on the chalks, outcrops of Lucina limestones (large bivalve whose fossilized shells are found), an enigmatic very limited outcrop of sandstones-among other things with two cup-marks excavated in hitherto unspecified prehistoric times-and finally the presence of the mythical lapis specularis, honey-colored and very transparent secondary gypsum, employed by the Romans- Pliny tells us so in his Naturalis Historia-as a substitute for glass.
Informazioni e ringraziamenti

In partnership with:
Parco Naturale della Vena del Gesso

People present:
Ivano Fabbri, Park Guide