Romagna presents a great variety of natural environments, developed following the geographic conformation and the history of the places.
In the hilly and mountainous part, the fir forests of the National Park of the Casentinesi Forests, beech, downy oak, hornbeam and minor ash dominate. In this environment there are also chestnut groves on the colder and humid slopes exposed to the north.
Going down to the low hill the cultivated land is framed by natural forest in a harmonious contrast. Between the low hills and the Apennines, a natural bastion runs through the valleys from the north-west to the south-east: it is the “gypsum sulphurous formation“. These are varied geological formations originated from shallow sea salt deposits and brought to light by the tectonic movements of the Apennine orogeny.
Between five and six million years ago the Strait of Gibraltar closed again and again and the Mediterranean Sea slowly dried up for several cycles, causing the evaporation of imposing salt banks.
In Bologna and Ravenna the formation that originated from this phenomenon, due to its characteristics, takes the name of “Vena del Gesso Romagnola“. Today it is included in the homonymous Regional Park.
Local wildlife includes roe deer, wild boar, foxes; recently the Apennine wolf reappeared and the porcupine widespread. A great variety of birds, even birds of prey, accompanies the wave of new naturalness of the Romagna Apennines that took place after the second post-war period.
The plain, now completely cultivated, still has many troponins and some remains of the ancient oak forests that covered it in antiquity. The lowland in particular is an artificial environment torn from the valleys and marshes through centuries of land reclamation, which has eradicated malaria and made the countryside habitable.
The valleys, however, survive in a vast, largely protected area, which is the Po Delta Regional Park: the evocative valley environment with its extraordinary biodiversity is today one of the most interesting naturalistic tourism destinations in Europe. There is a surprising variety of swamp birds, including large colonies of flamingos.
The famous Pinus pinea pinewoods of the coastal area of Ravenna and Cervia are extremely characteristic, but they do not have spontaneous origins. The largest and most distant from the sea (pine forests of San Vitale, Classe and Cervia) were planted in the Middle Ages. The coastal ones, close to the dunes, are much more recent.
Beyond their artificial origin, the pine forests are today an extremely unique environment due to the biological characteristics and the habitats they host. The nearby Adriatic Sea is a sea rich in marine species, fishy, shallow, with a sandy bottom that in some areas originates long beaches and in others erodes the coast.
With its biological balance it guarantees admirably the life of animals and human activities.
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