The Livorno Mountain Park
Beautiful countryside, numerous waterways and geological resources
The Park extends as far as the flourishing state-managed forest in the Benedetta Valley near Montenero. This woodland is full of waterways, mainly streams, which historically powered the area's many watermills. Very often, it's still possible to identify where these old watermills stood, as many of them have been transformed into houses, especially along the rivers Ugione, Morra, Camorr and Chioma. Other old watermills have been left to crumble, although its still possible to see what they once were.
There are plenty of opportunities for great days out in the countryside here, especially on Mount Pelato, Poggetti Park and by the river Chioma - all areas of outstanding natural beauty on the coast between Castiglioncello and Rosignano Solvay.
There are many footpaths which are ideal for hiking, mountain biking and horse riding. There are, in fact, 200km of bridle paths which link up the main protected wildlife areas around Livorno and which even join up to the Interprovincial Park of Montaione. These bridle paths wind their way through stunning countryside and pass by the ruins of many old buildings such as mills, ice houses and ovens. The bridle paths also pass the eighteenth century Colognole Aqueduct and its 18km of splendid arches, monuments and huge walls. This aqueduct brought vital water from a natural spring to the city of Livorno and its surrounding hill towns. With such a beautiful natural backdrop, it's a sight to be seen.
The Livorno Mountain Park is Livorno's 'green lung'. It's also a wonderful place to study local geomorphic phenomena and geological formations. There's also a rich variety of wildlife, from the invertebrates found in the waterways (a clear sign of the quality of the water), to crustaceans, anphibians, fish, mammals (including rare species like the marten), insects and birds (including migratory and nesting varieties).