Silence: sometimes rare and coveted, sometimes feared, sometimes absurdly deafening. The forest is the perfect place to experience this, to listen to silence. The birds chirping, the leaves rustling in the wind, the water flowing, the sound of footsteps in the undergrowth, our breath.
Like all memorable adventures, this is done with the right people, in this case you, and in the right place, the Regional Natural Park of Bracciano – Martignano.
Established in 1999, the Bracciano – Martignano Park covers nearly 17,000 hectares between Tuscia and Rome, nestled between the villages of Anguillara Sabazia, Bassano Romano, Bracciano, Campagnano di Roma, Manziana, Monterosi, Oriolo Romano, Rome, Sutri and Trevignano Romano. Among the volcanic lakes of Bracciano and Martignano stands Mount Rocca Romana, the beech forest of Mount Raschio in Oriolo Romano, a World Heritage Site since 2017,
and two natural monuments, the Caldara di Manziana, with pools of sulphurous water between the birches of the Macchia Grande forest, and the wetlands of Pantane and Lagusiello in Trevignano Romano, the refuge of aquatic birds.
The name of the Manziana forest derives from Mantus, the god of the underworld (Manth in Etruscan) to whom the Etruscans consecrated this grove. At the time dark, impenetrable and dotted with pools of sulphurous water, considered dangerous emanations from the Underworld, even today, the forest makes the almost 600 hectares of the Grande Macchia Forest the largest flat expanse of tall trees in Europe.
Edged by a stretch of the ancient Via Clodia, within it lies the ruins of the 17th-century Mola di Manziana and the Caldara, a wide depression linked to the volcanic events of the Tolfa area. According to legend, in this natural monument there is the recipe for the philosopher’s stone that turns lead into gold. Among the birches, a typical Nordic tree, witnesses to the last ice age, we can hear the gurgling of a geyser, the intermittent bursts of sulphurous water at 27°C generated by the evaporation of the water that comes into contact with the hot underground magma.
The lakes of Bracciano and Martignano occupy the bottom of a basin linked to the activity of an ancient extinct volcano of Sabatino, in a landscape of wooded hills that reflect sinuous shadows on the water. And the slight and constant noise of the rocking motion of the sailboats and canoes on the water accompany lovers of birdwatching, ready to spot coots, ducks, red-crested pochards, smews and black-throated loons, and even birds of prey such as black kites, owls, hawks, vultures and eagles.
Can you imagine yourself there? Go and see it for yourself and, above all, listen!
There are some great events on in the first weekends of June 2019:
– Saturday 1, “I suoni della faggeta” (The sounds of the beech forest), free guided tours and a musical concert in the beech forest of Mount Raschio;
– Sunday 2, “La faggeta di Bassano Romano” (The beech forest of Bassano Romano), guided tour of the ancient trees in the beech wood of Bassano Romano, with tastings of local products in the picnic area. Starts at 10.30 am in the Stracciacappello picnic area. Cost: 18 euros (incl. lunch). Duration: 5 hours;
– Sunday 9, “Ascoltare il bosco” (Listening to the forest), a quiet walk through the woods and along the shores of Lake Martignano, with stretching and loosening exercises, while listening to your own breath. Lunch on the lake shore. Cost: 5 euros Duration: 3 hours.
– Sunday 9, “La caldara di Manziana”, lunar landscapes, geysers, sulphur mines and bogs, the memory of the ancient volcanoes of Lazio are not yet completely extinguished. Lunch with local products. Starts at 10.30 am at the Caldara di Manzanita car park. Cost: 18 euros (incl. lunch). Duration: 5 hours.
For further information, www.parcobracciano.it.
Per maggiori informazioni, www.parcobracciano.it.