The Regional Park of Campo dei Fiori is one of the largest nature parks in the Varese area.
It borders to the north and west on the Cuvia Valley, to the east on the Ganna Valley, and to the south on the state road from Laveno Mombello to Varese, the perfect departure point for a visit to the Park.
The Park owes its beauty to the rich variety of plant and animal life it contains. The woods abound in beech, chestnut, ash, lime and maple; orchids and gentians bloom in the meadows. The fauna includes different species of birds of prey such as black kite, honey buzzard, common buzzard, sparrowhawk, peregrine falcon and short-toed eagle, as well as more common animals like red deer, roe deer, and bat.
The Park also contains some natural “monuments” such as the “Fonte del Ceppo”, a spring of carsic origin, and the “Marmitte dei giganti”, sculpted rocks formed by the abrasive action of the River Vellone. Carsic phenomena are a feature of the Park, which numbers more than 130 underground caves.
Other places of interest are historic monuments like the Rocca di Orino, a 15th century “ricetto” or fortified structure used as a store for agricultural produce and a refuge for the villagers in case of attack, and the Velate Tower, an ancient defensive building datable to the 11th-12th centuries. Lovers of architecture should not miss a visit to the Ponti Villas and the Sacro Monte of Varese.
A variety of themed paths with informative panels describing the history and natural features of the surroundings make it easy to tour the Park on foot.
Mountain bikers can choose to take part in guided tours, and there is also a dedicated fitness area with equipment that includes a Tibetan bridge and a log traverse.
And for those who make it to the highest hilltop of Campo dei Fiori, Punta Paradiso (1,226 metres), have a look at the “G.V. Schiapparelli” Observatory and the Pre-alpine Geophysical Centre, with weather stations and a Seismological Observatory.