Bosco Alcamo Nature Reserve

With its 314 hectares, the Riserva Naturale Orientata Bosco di Alcamo is a small area that lies on the limestone complex of Mount Bonifato. During the nineteenth century the area was deforested, and then it was part of a reforestation program which started just at the beginning of the twentieth century and lasted for about six decades. A special curiosity linked to the Riserva Naturale Orientata Bosco di Alcamo: the previously removed trees were mainly a deciduous forest; later, other different species were planted, but they were joined by a new spontaneous deciduous forest, which now merges with them.

The attempt of reforestation conducted by man has led to the presence of exotic plants such as the domestic pine, the Aleppo pine and the cypress; the original plants that occupied the area had an high capacity of regeneration, and their presence on the territory actually would indicate that within a short time they will be fully reintegrated into the local vegetation: among these plants, worth noting the holm oak, the ash and the oak.

The vegetation of the land gave birth to a rather isolated area; this led to the spread of a very particular fauna, mainly composed of a great variety of birds, reptiles and even small mammals. The most important species of birds which can be found in the Riserva Naturale Orientata Bosco di Alcamo are the Serin and the Greenfinch; reptiles are mainly colubers, the most common snake in Sicily, and even tailed lizards, which can be found in open areas; in the small mammals category there are some really unusual species, such as the dormouse, which differs from its peers because of a small tuft of black hair at the end of its tail.

Apart from its wonderful natural elements, the Riserva Naturale Orientata Bosco di Alcamo stands out also for some human work, such as the castle of Ventimiglia, a building with Arab origin restored to its original splendor by Enrico di Ventimiglia; another element that must be seen is the Funtanazza, a tank located outside the city walls, whose task was to collect the waters from a source located above the village. The Funtanazza, dating from the fourteenth century, has a very advanced architecture for its time, a factor that all art lovers will certainly appreciate.

Tourists who want to hike amidst the nature can choose between three itineraries, namely the Trail of Saint Nicholas, the Trail of Orchids and the East Overview. Each of these are well developed within the Riserva Naturale Orientata Bosco di Alcamo, and each offers a particular vision of the reserve, very different from the one which can be seen walking on the other paths.

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