Discovering the Montedimezzo State Nature Reserve
An ideal place to relax amidst the greenery, a reserve for the whole family, where children can experience nature and animals: the Montedimezzo nature reserve is a MAB (Man And Biosphere) reserve superbly managed by the State Forestry Corps.
It is just a 30-minute drive from the Cipriani Park Hotel, in the area of Vastogirardi, in the province of Isernia. Walking through the reserve you will be surrounded by a magical silence: all you will hear is the sound of your footsteps and birdsong, while you can see animals such as fallow deer, wild boar and fawns up close, protected by light fences.
The fauna and flora
The unspoilt environment of Alto Molise provides a natural and peaceful habitat for many species of mammals in the Montedimezzo Reserve: wild boar, hares, badgers, roe deer, martens, weasels, beech martens, foxes and squirrels. But that' s not all: the state of conservation of the woodlands means that wolves can also be found here. Bird species include woodland nesting birds such as the honey buzzard, collared flycatcher, wood pigeon, wood thrush, greater spotted woodpecker and lesser spotted woodpecker. These are joined by buzzards, owls, barn owls, jays and many passerines.
The Reserve is entirely wooded: the forest consists of Turkey oak in the lower part and beech in the upper part. Numerous other indigenous species enrich the botanical composition, such as Lobelius maple, sycamore, field and hedgehog maples, hornbeam, ash, hazel, rowan, cherry, wild pear and apple trees, blackthorn and many others, which are important for feeding wildlife.
The Montedimezzo Visitor Centre and the Nature Museum
In the Reserve you will find the Visitor Centre and the Nature Museum, two places to visit in order to better discover the area. The centre consists of several facilities: a wildlife area dedicated to wildlife in difficulty, two multimedia rooms, a rest area and a series of signposted and mapped trails. The visitor centre is open daily from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. with free admission. The Nature Museum consists of three sections: a collection of rocks, minerals and fossils embedded in stone that date back to the emergence of the Molise territory from the sea; wood from the Montedimezzo and Upper Molise forests, as well as forestry tools from the past and other objects relating to forestry culture and tradition; and a collection of local taxidermy fauna.
The history of the Montedimezzo Nature Reserve
As early as 1200, Montedimezzo was part of the Montedimezzo-Feudozzo-Pennataro forest complex, owned by the Angevins. In 1606 it was entrusted to the Carthusian monks of Naples, who kept it until 1799, when it became part of the royal patrimony of the Bourbon family, becoming the Royal Hunting Reserve. Since the unification of Italy, it has been entrusted to the State.
The reserve offers trails for the whole family and for anyone who likes to explore nature by walking through the woods.
Colle San Biagio Trail
Length: 2060 metres (smaller ring-route: 940 m)
Altitude: departure altitude 925 m - arrival altitude 925 m (maximum altitude 965 m)
Duration: 1h 50 min (smaller ring-route: 50 min)
Approximately 2060 metres of marked trail, mainly made to be accessible to people with disabilities: the Colle San Biagio trail is located in the lower part of the Reserve and winds through the Montedimezzo forest. There is a safety handrail on the lower side of the trail with 32 information tables illustrating, also in Braille, the ecosystem, geological, historical and naturalistic information about the area. A Braille guide, audio guides and two electric scooters for mobility-impaired people to get around on the improved trail are available free of charge.
Length: approx. 4700 m
Altitude: departure altitude 960 m - arrival altitude 960 m (maximum altitude 1060 m) Duration: 3 hours
The Faione trail, which winds in a loop along signposted trails shown on the trail map, starts from the area in front of the visitor centre: it gives an insight into the forest formations of the protected area until it reaches the Celano-Foggia sheep trail, the ancient grass road, symbol of the "Transhumance civilisation". Along the way, you can admire one of Molise's monumental trees, the 'Re Faione' beech. The trail ends with a visit to the wildlife enclosures and aviaries that house wildlife in difficulty.
For more information:
Ufficio Territoriale per la Biodiversità di Isernia
Via Bellini 8/10 86170 Isernia