Parco Campo dei Fiori
The project aims to restore the forest and improve its valuable habitats, such as lean grasslands and ancient chestnut orchards.
In the hills north of Varese, Lombardy, over 6,000 hectares cover Parco Campo dei Fiori. It’s a green jewel that touches 17 municipalities and 2 mountain resorts in the Varese area, it can be visited thanks to the trails that wend their way through it.
There are 20 well-marked local trails, plus other regional longer paths, popular among trekking lovers: the European E1 trail, the Jubilee trail, the Via Verde Varesina and the Valcuviano loop trail. Walking in the park, it is easy to see that its location and geological features have given rise to a wide variety of natural environments, all to be discovered. A special attention needs to be given to the two mountain massifs of the park: one is the Campo dei Fiori, which gives our park its name, and the other is the Martica-Chiusarella.
The former rises on the western part of the park and its highest peak, Punta Paradiso, touches 1227 meters. Besides offering a privileged panoramic viewpoint, Campo dei Fiori massif is formed by carbonate rocks, easily eroded by water, which over the years has excavated as many as 130 caves, developed for more than for more than 30 km. The second massif embraces the eastern boundary of the Park, with two main peaks: Mount Chiusarella and Mount Martica, slightly lower than their neighbors, thus preferred by amateur hikers in the Varese Prealps.
On the slopes, we find expanses of broadleaf trees, like chestnut, ash, linden and fileld maples, up to 600 meters. As altitude rises, they are replaced by beech in the wetter areas, while the dry slopes of Mount Martica are covered with birch and Swiss pine. Open spaces are dominated by rupicolous flora and swampy environments, inhabited by local fauna. We also find arid meadows on limestone substrate, graced by bear-ear primroses and dozens of wild orchid species, often observed by enthusiasts. Campo dei Fiori Park is a hotspot for nature enthusiasts, from the sporties to the scientists.
Over the past few years, extreme weather events, added to a fire that broke out in 2017, have damaged the ancient forest, calling WOWnature to action. The project aims to restore the forest and improve its valuable habitats, such as lean grasslands and ancient chestnut orchards.
This project is co-funded by the Lombardy Region’s Biodiversity and Climate Call (BioClima) and supported by Fondazione Cariplo. Bioclima is an initiative created within the framework of the Lombardy Plan and the LIFE GESTIRE 2020 project that aims to create public-private financing models to catalyze investment in biodiversity conservation and climate change adaptation projects in Lombardy’s forests and protected areas.