Montagne della Duchessa Nature Reserve

There is an enchanting territory on the border with Abruzzo, easily reachable from Rome in just under 90 minutes by car, with hiking routes for everyone, a landscape of limestone sculpted by deep valleys, stretches of highland prairie and dense beech forests.

For those who want to climb the typically Apennine rocky bastions like those of the Murolungo, Costone and Morrone, it is ideal.

Located in the Reserve is Corvaro, a hamlet of Borgorose, known for its medieval centre dominated by a castle built between the 10th and 11th centuries. Outstanding among its features are the ellipsoidal walls, the four circular towers and the main entrance named Porta Calata.

The gem in this landscape is the small Duchessa Lake, at 1,788 meters of altitude, located on the floor of a vast basin of glacial origin, later shaped by karst, and surrounded by meadows and pastures.

Rich in biodiversity, the Reserve includes among its fauna all the best known and most characteristic species of the central Apennines – with the exception of the chamois – including the wolf, the roe deer, the deer, the Eurasian eagle owl, the golden eagle, Ursini’s viper and, occasionally, the Marsican bear. The diversity of the habitats makes it possible for species typical of highland prairies, such as deciduous forests and hilly woods, to coexist.

Birdwatchers may be able to spot birds of prey: the Northern goshawk, the Eurasian sparrow hawk and the hobby, the white-backed woodpecker, the rock partridge and the alpine chaffinch; in rupicolous environments it is possible to spot the peregrine falcon, the Lanner falcon and the common raven.

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Parks and rivers