We’re starting with the Appennino Tosco-Emiliano National Park. It is sometimes called the “park of giants” because there are some of the highest peaks of the northern Apennines here. Their outlines are vast, softened and bent by the years, with gentle, ridge paths, hovering between two regions (at one point even two states) and two worlds: The Po valley to the north-east and the Mediterranean to the south-west.
Walking on these mountains requires crossing historic paths: those of salt and pilgrims, as well as the army, as battles took place many times on the Apennine borders; the last one happened only a few decades ago, with some of the bloodiest battles of the Second World War taking place here.
Hiking through the trails of the Apennines means you will find an everyday reality in many aspects still linked to ancient traditions, very different to the “urban” one which we are used to, but just as real and vital.