Italian Gardens: Italian gardens Umbra Forest

Jul 20, 2019 167

In Puglia, inside the Gargano area, lies the Umbra Forest, the heart of the park, at 832 meters. According to some sources, the name derives from ancient Umbra populations who lived in the forest. Much more likely, however, the name is due to the fact that the vegetation is so dense as to let the sun's rays pass just, so the environment is full of shady areas. Shade is translated ”ombra” in Italian.

The Umbra Forest is divided into four zones. Zone A, is the most internal part, where you can not access and in which animals are reproduced. Zone B, uncontaminated, is where you can enter only by respecting strict rules, not to annoy the animals, reducing noise to a minimum. Zone C is where there is more freedom of movement, even with motor vehicles. Zone D is where there are the municipalities included in the territory of the forest.

The fauna, very rich, is characterized by the Gargano roe deer, the badger, the wild cat and many birds, including the peaks, the eagle owl and an infinite number of species of passerines. The Umbra Forest is an excellent destination for all those who love birdwatching or for all scholars and lovers of wildlife. The forest is also very popular with nature photography enthusiasts.

Botanical species include broad-leaved trees, beech forests and many species of flora in the undergrowth, especially orchids. An example of a tree to see is the Cerro di Vico, in front of a convent of Franciscan monks, which seems to have been planted by Fra' Nicola da Vico, who died in 1719; it is a centuries-old turkey oak, with a height of 50 meters and a circumference of 5 meters.

Another plant not to be missed is the Zappino dello Scorzone, a variety of Aleppo Pine aged 700 years and is located between Peschici and San Menaio. Finally, the Patriarch of the Forest, a beech (Fagus sylvatica) with a diameter of 2 meters and a height of more than 40 meters, which is located in Dispensa.

In Vico del Gargano, a village perched between the sea and the Umbra Forest, we recommend Il Trappeto, an ancient oil mill transformed into a restaurant without altering the old architectural structure, except on the millstones where today there is a crystal floor; you will dinner with typical dishes from Puglia.

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