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Parks and Protected Areas

Oasis "La valle"
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The Tiber River Park
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The Park of Colfiorito
The Park of Colfiorito is the smallest regional park. It was established in...
Mount Cucco Park PDF Print E-mail

The Mount Cucco Park is a protected natural area in the region of Umbria and it encompasses the territories adjacent to Mount Cucco. It was established in 1995. Its territory extends into six municipalities in the province of Perugia. In 1997, the earthquake that struck Umbria damaged numerous buildings inside the Park. The fauna of the Park includes a variety of animals, among which the wolf, the marten and the golden eagle.  The Mount Cucco Park lies on the north-eastern border of the region of Umbria and is delimited by the Apennine ridge, on which Mount Cucco stands 1,566 meters high, as well as the ancient Via Flaminia and the Sentino and Chiascio rivers. The Park's resident population is about 8,000.  Human activities in the mountainous area focus on running the woods and grazing.

The floor of the valley is largely used as arable land for non-intensive crop cultivation.  There are numerous artisan and small-scale manufacturing activities in the Park’s municipal territories, as well as accommodation and catering businesses, which, together with the high level of services, make it easy and pleasant to enjoy the Park. The most important cities on the border of Cucco, in terms of size and cultural heritage, are: Gubbio to the west and Gualdo Tadino to the south. The Park is rich in groundwater and mineral sources, uncontaminated streams, large untouched beech forests and karst caves that are inaccessible to most (luckily!).

The Park is the home of wolves and golden eagles. It is also characterized by many smaller historical towns, in which, nevertheless, there is a wealth of cultural and artistic relics and numerous evocative Benedictine hermitages. The high quality of the Mount Cucco Park makes it an ideal place for practicing mountain sports, such as gliding, cross-country skiing and trekking. In the highest points of the Apennine chain, there are beech woods and mountain pastures, rock faces and deep ravines with flowing streams. The mountains gradually slope gently into a range of high hills, also characterized by precious woods and pastures. Lower down are coppices, which, in turn, fade into cultivated areas. Down in the valley the winding Via Flaminia road and the Sentino and Chiascio rivers can be found. The mountain environment lends itself to a significant presence of wolves and probably wild cats, as well as fallow deer, wild boar, porcupines, hares and martens. There are a few golden eagles, hawks, grey partridges, rock partridges, eagle owls and kingfishers. In the higher areas of the streams, brown trout and freshwater prawns can be found.

HISTORY

In the earliest period of its expansion, the original Umbrian civilization overlapped with Roman civilization. In fact, in 220 BC, the Roman Consul, Gaius Flaminius, began building the Via Flaminia, to connect Rome with the upper Adriatic region. Helvillum (Fossato di Vico), Suillum (Sigillo) and Ad Ensemb (Scheggia), remained first under Roman political and cultural rule and later Byzantine. Their territories made up part of the passageway that connected Rome to Ravenna, despite pressures from the Lombard duchies. Castrum Costacciarii (Costacciaro) was built by the Municipality of Gubbio around 1250, in order to fortify the eastern municipal border with Scheggia. Sigillo and Fossato di Vico were part of the territory belonging to the municipality of Perugia, which, thanks to the road across the mountain pass, was guaranteed access to the salt market from the Adriatic Sea. The archaeological finds linked to the Via Flaminia road are of great importance. They are preserved in the antiquarium and can still be seen in the original monumental settlements like  Pontespiano. The four municipalities that make up the Park include historical town centres with defensive walls and towers, churches, paintings, fossil collections and rare archival documents. There are several  Benedictine and Camaldolese abbeys in the northern part of the territory, the most important of which are those of Sant'Emiliano in Congiuntoli, Sitria in Isola Fossara and the Hermitage of San Girolamo in Pascelupo.

While driving along the Via Flaminia, you can admire and visit all the most important historical towns. By taking the internal roads, starting from Scheggia, you can embark upon an extraordinary itinerary of the abbeys. The other internal roads lead to the area of Val di Ranco and the tourist settlements built there in the Sixties. The more mountainous area of the Park is crossed by the Sentiero Italia trail and can also be visited by using the Italian Alpine Club network of trails. These same trails are also suited to equestrian tourism. Some of these trails have been especially equipped for the use of mountain bikes and competitive, national events are also orgainzed here. The municipalities of the Park are: Costacciaro, Fossato di Vico, Scheggia, Pascelupo and Sigillo. The park lies entirely within the territory of the province of Perugia.


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