Parco Naturale delle Capanne di Marcarolo

Capanne di Marcarolo Natural Park. This park straddles the border between Liguria and Piedmont, on the actual geological border between the Alps and the Apennines, and was created to tell and safeguard a major environmental site. There are numerous nature trails here, which take visitors along the banks of the Lavagnina lakes (artificial reservoirs) or up the slopes of Mount Tobbio to enjoy breathtaking views over the Ligurian Sea. Of great importance is the presence of reptiles and amphibians; there are eight species of snake and, in the disused mines, the Italian cave salamander which lives in complete darkness. The Park's wonderful streams and brooks are home to the river trout and the freshwater prawn, now quite rare and only seen in a few waterways. The Park is also the nesting ground for different species of birds and an important stopping-off point on migratory routes. Among the birds of prey, the most important is the short-toed eagle that feeds mainly on reptiles. This imposing bird, at risk of extinction, nests with several pairs in the Park and has become a symbol of the Protected Area.