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The enchanted Sant’Antonio woods

Hiking in Abruzzo

The enchanted Sant’Antonio woods (Hiking in Abruzzo)

The Sant’Antonio woods seem to come out of a fairy tale.

In the Classical period they were considered a ‘lucus’, meaning sacred woods dedicated to Jupiter, and in the Middle Ages were consecrated to Saint Anthony. The woods cover an area of 550 hectares in an area where felling is prohibited to ensure shelter for livestock and grazing for sheep.

The district is similar to the wooded pastures found in Spain, whose main function was to provide shade for the livestock pastures pasturing nearby.

Thanks to this ban and a special pruning technique called ‘topping’, trees reach monumental proportions and have an unusual candlestick shape.

In addition to beech, we find maple, oak, wild pear, yew, holly, turkey oak, the rare Plymouth pear, not to mention the very rare violet helleborine orchid.

The superb fauna includes the white-backed woodpecker, Lilford’s white-backed woodpecker, collared flycatcher, as well as wolves, bears and wildcats.

The trail (Trail 10 of the Park) is an enjoyable experience if this unique habitat, starting from the Bosco di Sant’Antonio forecourt, proceeding a few metres past the fence and turning right along the path that enters the beech grove for about 800 m.

Then the route bears left and is more or less flat, stretching about 700m to the Sant’Antonio hermitage.

If we continue on the path to the left, we will be back in the woods and find our starting point.

Unspoiled landscapes for all strides

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