It's a territory, a physical place that you won't find in the toponymy of any map, because it is above all a way of conceiving nature and outdoor activities with the spirit of an explorer rather than a tourist. Campex Valley is, in fact, the name that we at Swarovski Optik have chosen for this vast area in the beautiful Parco dell'Alto Appennino Modenese located between the Italian regions of Emilia Romagna and Tuscany, to make it the largest area in Europe for field-testing our range of binoculars.
The Campex Valley seems to duplicate in its extension the territory of Frignano between the Secchia river and the Dragone torrent wrapping the delightful villages of Fanano and Montese. The low level of anthropization makes this valley a naturalistic and landscape destination of great interest. The extension of beech woods climb up to the 2,165 meters of Mount Cimone where the vegetation turns into vast prairies and blueberry heaths interrupted only by mighty rocks. Here, in the ideal habitat for roe deer, deer, fallow deer, wild boar, foxes, badgers, weasels and groundhogs, and where specimens of honey buzzards, goshawks, golden eagles, kestrels and sparrow hawks can be seen in flight, 9 observation platforms have been installed that are perfectly integrated with the environment.
If Campex Valley was born from the idea of Swarovski Optik to create a place where nature observation would merge with the desire for knowledge and discovery of an outdoor tourist destination, it was the sharing of this project with the municipality of Fanano and some companies in the food and accommodation industry that made possible a new model of eco-tourism in which the concept of wilderness evolves into a multi-sensory experience.
Imagine the showroom of a market-leading optics company, set in an environment where you can test the latest generation of binoculars and spotting scopes at "kilometer
zero". This is Swarovski Optik Campex, the new headquarters of the Italian division im-mersed in the "green" context of the Campex Valley. A rural structure dating back to the early 1900s has been redesigned in a sustainable manner to become not only one of the Tyrolese company's most exclusive and unique flagship locations, but also a place of hospitality for fans of outdoor activities and nature observation.
Le Casellace, in fact, is also an agritourism structure with a "country restaurant" whose menu focuses on seasonal products produced by the farm itself. The dishes are a mix of local tradition and innovation especially from the point of view of new food styles and a concept of sustainability that pervades the whole spirit of Campex Valley.
Campex Valley brings together a variety of outdoor treks to suit hikers' physical conditions. A new project of the Municipality of Fanano is redesigning the paths that start from this village and go to the slopes of the mountains that surround it. Five tourist trails have been marked out according to color: the Green Trail, or the redwoods trail, offers the possibility to visit the centuries-old redwoods in the Lotta Park, which can be easily reached from the center of Fanano.
The Orange Trail, on the other hand, offers a panoramic tour through chestnut groves and suggestive views in the upper part of Fanano, passing by the village of Canevare; the Yellow Trail is dedicated to water: It runs along the Leo torrent and then climbs back up to Fanano passing by the sanctuary sella Santa Croce, a destination for pilgrims due to a miracle that occurred in the mid-17th century, and the source of the sulfurous water.
The Blue path proposes a tour of the metati, traditional structures dedicated to the drying of chestnuts, between the waterfalls of Madonna del Ponte and the woods to discover the legend of the Orma del Bue; the Brown path is the path of the monks and proposes a tour in the historical center of Fanano with a great monastic and historical tradition, with over 30 points of interest.
For mountain bikers, the Campex Valley offers itineraries that are particularly interesting also from the point of view of nature observation such as the Passo del Lupo and the Lago della Ninfa, a ring-route of about 40 kilometers that offers the most complete scenery of the na tura of this Apennine area.
But it is the excursions starting from Montese that put trekkers in direct contact with the most solitary nature, such as the Iola Montese ring and the Woods that anticipate the Gothic Line. The itinerary Lingua di cervo (Deer tongue), and the toponym that hints at the presence of entire communities of ungulates along the route that winds through beautiful forests and rock formations with the most evocative names: Munch's Scream, the House of Fairies, the Gorge of Gea and Sassomolare. Some of these itineraries, included in the Campex Valley, can be covered following the "intelligent signage". The signs along the route not only indicate the directions to viewpoints and wildlife observation sites, but through a QR Code inserted in the sign itself you can listen to the voices of the environmental guides who have walked these trails dozens of times.
The starting point for the excursions from the "base" of Casellacce offers the opportunity to rent, with the formula Bino Rent by Swarovski Optik, binoculars more suitable for the planned trekking.
Check out the routes on it.wikiloc.com in Explore: Fanano and Montese tested by our trekkers: Luca Berni, Eric De Groot, Jumbo Jack, Sergio Nanni, Alessandro Rinaldi.
Campex Valley is in the heart of the Modenese Apennines where one of Italy's most interesting and appreciated regional cuisines is celebrated. The showroom of Swarovski Optik Le Casellacce, with the adjoining "country restaurant", interprets at best the cuisine of these places based on local products and their seasonality. The game dishes, proposed in the menu, strictly respect the selected and controlled slaughtering and then be proposed in the preparation of the chef Be-nedetta Samorì reserving great care in maturing and marinating.
But it is above all the varieties of ancient cereals cultivated in the countryside around Fanano and Montese that provide the basis for soups that are combined with vegetables from organic production. An icon of the sustainable agriculture of Montese is the potato of this area with its high nutritional value that Benedetta interprets in her menus without forgetting another authentic must of the area: the mountain Parmigiano Reggiano. Attention to new eating lifestyles pervades the entire menu of Casellacce, which, while preserving traditional dishes, has also reinterpreted them from a nutritional point of view thanks to the collaboration with Dr. Serena Missori for a time to feel good in the Campex Valley destination.