The Reserve of the S. Antonio Valleys
The Reserve of the S. Antonio Valleys can be reached from Aprica by descending towards Edolo; at Campagnola spot head towards the small hamlet of S. Antonio. A fascinating visitor's centre and the Alpine Hydrobiology Station welcome excursionists on their way to the Brandet or Campovecchio Valleys.
Water is a characterising element of this Site of Community Importance; here streams flow into bubbling waterfalls and clear emerald streams are home to very special fish populations. The presence of the European bullhead (Cottus gobio) is especially worthy of mention.
Fishing is subject to regulations (link). Mountain restaurants and picnic areas give excursionists the chance to visit and enjoy these areas in full freedom and comfort.
Val Campovecchio can be reached along an easy path that runs alongside the eponymous stream. Past the church of the small hamlet of S. Antonio, head left along a small street which climbs amid shaded stretches of red firs, up to a picturesque wooden bridge (0:20h), immediately followed by the first lodges. The valley widens and the path becomes a dirt road, leading to the Rifugio Alpini Campovecchio (0:40h). As the walk continues, you'll find rest areas at the side of the stream, where you can spend peaceful days in the Nature Reserve.
The Brandet Valley
The Brandet Valley is the easternmost valley of the S. Antonio Nature Reserve. Once past the hamlet of S. Antonio, keep left and ascend a steep dirt road, which soon leads onto the valley. The road becomes less steep and leads to the church of Rifugio Brandet (0:40h). Continue until you reach the picnic area "ponte del gallina" (0:20h from Rifugio Brandet), and then Malga Casazza (0:40h hence). The presence of a few mines and ancient melting furnaces testify to ancient mining activity linked to the extraction of siderite and other ferrous minerals.