Do See Eat Drink in Italy

Old Beechwoods

Le Faggete Vetuste

There are 10 “Old Beechwoods” rich with ancient trees recognized as “World Heritage” by UNESCO. They extend from Tuscany to Calabria and, with a total area of over 2,000 hectares, represent one of the major areas of that large “widespread site” including secular beech reserves from 12 countries, and exactly: Austria, Belgium, Slovenia, Spain, Albania , Bulgaria, Croatia, Germany, Romania, Slovakia and Ukraine. Almost all the Italian beech-woods are found in protected areas such as the Tuscan-Romagnolo Apennines (Sasso Fratino reserve, in the National Park of the Casentinesi Forests, Monte Falterona and Campigna) or the two beech-woods of Lazio, in the province of Viterbo (one in the district of Monte Cimino, in Soriano del Cimino, and the second on Mount Raschio, in the Natural Park of Bracciano-Martignano). Among the centuries-old beeches that have become World Heritage Sites, we also find those of the Abruzzo, Lazio and Molise National Park and, in Puglia, those of the Umbra Forest, where plants up to 50 meters tall are grown in the heart of the Gargano National Park. In the area between Basilicata and Calabria there is also the Old Beech Forest of Cozzo Ferriero, in the Pollino National Park, with an extension of about 70 hectares and plants that are up to four centuries old. That of Italian secular beech forests (and that of 11 other countries) is an important recognition, the result of a process started ten years ago by Italy, Ukraine and Slovenia. In 2007 UNESCO decided to extend the site’s to Slovakia, Germany, Hungary, to the Carpathians and Albania, Austria, Belgium, Romania, Italy and Spain. Now it is up to this important widespread site the coordination aimed at the management of secular beech forests such as – in particular – those of the three nature reserves of the State of Sasso Fratino (Forlì-Cesena), Foresta Umbra (Foggia) and Forest of Falascone (Foggia ) for now under the control of the Carabinieri Command for the Protection of Biodiversity and Parks: this is an area of over 1,200 hectares of “exceptional universal value” with a dominant vegetation represented by a venerable beech forest with thousand-year-old examples of yew.

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