Imagine you are Alice in Wonderland, surrounded by gicantic trees and you only hear the crackling of the leaves beneath your shoes as you skip from one boulder to another. Now open your eyes. You are in the Ancient Beech Forest of the Cimini Mountains, World Heritage Site 2017!
We can choose to explore the enchanted Ancient Beech Forest of Soriano nel Cimino on foot, on horseback or by mountain bike. Gigantic trees stand 50-metres tall, the diameter of their trunk measuring over one metre. They have a two-centuries-old story to tell, or rather to whisper in the silence of the forest.
The ancient beech forest of the Cimini Mountains is one of the ten beech forests extending from Tuscany to Calabria. They are part of the “scattered century-old beech forests” of the 13 countries of the European continent (Germany, Croatia, Italy, Bulgaria, Spain, Slovakia, Hungary, Austria, Belgium, Romania, Ukraine and Albania). It became World Heritage Site in 2017 and it is the first acknowledgement of its kind in Italy. The criteria to qualify as one of these scattered beech forests are the substantial natural aspects of their ecosystem, typical of the diversity of the environmental processes in the Region and in the Central Mediterranean, and the uniqueness of the ecological and structural aspects of the 50-metre-tall trees.
The World Heritage Site acknowledgement will guarantee a highly-valuable natural wealth to future generations.