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Category Archives: Environment
(Italiano) Monte Penna
(Italiano) Oasi WWF dei Ghirardi
The Monte Bue (literally Ox Mountain) is a peak which is part of the group of the Monte Maggiorasca rising amongst the Val d’Aveto (in the territory of Santo Stefano d’Aveto, Genova), the Val Nure (in the territory of Ferriere, Piacenza) and the Val Ceno (in territory of Bedonia, Parma). This mountain represents the extreme southern limit of the Province of Piacenza and also the second highest point (1775 m sea-level) within the whole area of Piacenza after the Monte Maggiorasca (1804 sea-level).
This is one of the favourite destinations of excursionists as it stands in an area full of pleasant naturalistic attractions like the Lago Nero, the Monte Nero and the Monte Maggiorasca. On its sides there is a bivouac (Bivacco Sacchi), a refuge (Prato Cipolla) and the brief Mazzocchi Railroad.
On its peak there is an old ski tow which until 19991 linked the Monte Bue with Rocca d’Aveto and whose ruins were originally an ancient station, an hotel and other facilities. In December 2008 a new ski tow connecting Rocca d’Aveto with the refuge Prato Cipolla (1578 m sea-level) was opened in order to promote the alpine ski in the high Val d’Aveto. Thanks to this important improvement, institutions are planning a new ski tow even in the area of Ferrieri. This initiative which can be seen on  is a model of the one presented in 1976. Thanks to its intermediary and crucial position amongst three different provinces, the Monte Bue area is destination for people from Piacenza, Parma and Genova. Apart from exclusionism, the area offers interesting possibilities for sport rock-climbing thanks to its several cliffs characterised by crumbly ophiolite. Just to mention some of the most important ones, there are the cliffs of Rocca del Prete, of the Monte Maggiorasca, of Waiting for Fred and of the Dente delle Ali.
The Monte Maggiorasca (1810 m sea-level) is the highest peak of the Ligurian Appenines. It stands between the Province of Genova and Parma and a few hundred metres north there is the border with the Province of Piacenza which corresponds to the peak of the Monte Bue. The Monte Maggiorasca dominates the Val d’Aveto and in particular the area of Santo Stefano d’Aveto (GE) and the Ceno Valley with the area of Bedonia (PR). The Maggiorasca mountain group, which stands north of the Tomarlo Pass, includes the Monte Nero, the Groppo delle Ali and the Monte Roncalla as well as the already mentioned Monte Bue. In this way it represents an important orographic junction amongst the Nure, the Ceno and the Aveto valleys which are respectively located in the provinces of Piacenza, Parma and Genova.
The wide top of the Monte Maggiorasca, which is marked by its saddle shape, is formed by non-calcareous basalts and sandstone conglomerates. On its southern side, on a flat area at an altitude of 1799 m sea-level, stands teh statue of Our Lady of Guadalupe which was erected in 1947, whereas on the top of the mountain there is an antenna tower.
During the year the Monte Maggiorasca is a very popular destination for excursionists who come both from Emilian and Ligurian areas.
Near the mountain there are some short winter hiking trails and more numerous summer paths which have been equipped by a group of excursionists from Piacenza.
The flora of the Monte Maggiorasca massif is particularly interesting thanks to the coexistence of some alpine vegetal species and typical Apennine species.
In fact the Monte Maggiorasca is the only mountain area of the Ligurian Apennines here it is possible to see the Chrysosplenium alternifolium (a rare specie in the saxifrage family which is common of the Euro-Siberian areas), the Aquilegia alpina (a sub-endemic specie of the Northern Alps which can be rarely found in the Northern Apennines) and the Primula marginata a garish sub-endemic specie of the South-eastern Alps and of the Western Ligurian Apennines, whose presence is limited to some outcrops of basalts located in the northern side of the mountain on the border between the areas of Genova and Piacenza.
Always on the slopes of this mountain group grow the Soldanella alpina – also called Alpine Snow Bell – the Pulsatilla alpina or alpine pasqueflower and the Draba aizoides or Yellow Whitlowgrass. All these species are quite typical of the alpine vegetation but very rare in the Apennines.
Finally, amongst the Apennine species, the Armeria marginata and the Arenaria bertolonii are worth being mentioned as well as the Pinus mugo Rostrata which was originally more common in the mountain massifd of the Val d’Aveto whereas nowadays they are sporadically present also on the Emilian side. Moeover, in the northern area of the Monte Maggiorasca, it is possible to see some natural settlements (therefore not derived from sylvicolture) of Albies alba or white fir trees.
source: free translation from Wikipedia