Mount Barro Natural Park
Parco del Monte Barro
Monte Barro Park, located on the outskirts of Milan, is an easy-to-reach natural oasis. Concentrated in a relatively small area, the park is teeming with natural, historical, archaeological and environmental wonders.
The park area is mainly comprised of woodlands, meadows and cliffs that host an extraordinary array of flora (over 1000 species of plants in less than 700 hectares): inclusion in the insubrian district, events related to the Pleistocene glaciations, the substrate dolomitic limestone and other factors contribute to this small mountain's extraordinary biodiversity.
Monte Barro has a wide array of habitats, ranging from beech, lime and maple trees in the northern valleys , to open woodlands and sub-Mediterranean forests in durmast oak and downy oak on the southern slopes , to the primary xeric and pre-alpine and insubrian grasslands, to the karstic springs and the limestone cliffs on various sides of the hills. All of these factors contribute to the considerable presence of flora.
Even in terms of wildlife, the natural and semi-natural grasslands of Barro are of indisputable importance : surveys still in progress have led to the identification of hundreds of species of invertebrates (especially insects and spiders , including beautiful butterflies), many of which are new to Lombardy, in some cases, even Italy. And thanks to its strategic location, Monte Barro is also the transit point for numerous species of birds.
The archaeological excavations carried out here have brought to light a vast and articulated residential and military settlement from the Gothic age (5th –6th century), whose main artefacts are on display in the Antiquarium of the Eremo park centre. The Ethnographic Museum of Alta Brianza, built in the medieval village of Camporeso, is another centre of considerable scholarly interest.