According to popular tradition St. Francis, the “Poverello”,  was caught in a storm on the mountains around Rivodutri and found shelter under a beech, which, by God’s will, bent its branches like an umbrella, hence the the peculiar shape of the tree of unusual beauty. The beech tree usually extends its branches upwards, whereas only three specimens in the world( England, North America and Cepparo in Italy) underwent a rare mutation.
Another episode concerns the beech of St.Francis. The Saint asked a blacksmith to shoe his donkey and paid him with a thousand thanks instead of money. After a moment of astonishment, the man reached the Saint by the beech and claimed back his payment. St. Francis asked the donkey to return the shoes and the animal  miraculously obeyed. The footprint of the Saint as he descended from the donkey can still be seen today.
The beech, estimated from 200 to 250 years of age, is eight meters high and has  a circumference of four meters.

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