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Circeo National Park, third in Italy, after the Gran Paradiso and Abruzzo Parks, it was established in 1934 to preserve, protect and enhance the natural heritage. Not only that, also to promote tourism and all those activities that facilitate its development.
A bit of fear, then, was also in those times for the cutting of the forest, an act that could have marked the beginning of the disappearance of one of the most beautiful and interesting natural areas in our country. Fortunately, the institution of a National Park. Benito Mussolini authorized it, also associating the foundation of the city of Sabaudia with it, on purpose so that it could become the hub of a nascent and promising tourist area.
Circeo National Park: where it is located
The Circeo National Parkit is located in the area along the Tyrrhenian coast of historic Lazio, in particular it extends along the stretch of coast between Anzio and Terracina. The total protected area is 8,917 hectares, including that of the promontory that gives the Park its name.
Over time the Circeo National Parkit has certainly not changed place but perimeter has. For example, in 1979 the l'Island of Zannone, belonging to the archipelago of the Pontine Islands, but in general in the 1970s there were changes in the perimeter following some illegal building interventions which unfortunately had compromised a section of the Lido di Latina.
The ruined area was "removed" from the territory under the protection of the Circeo National Park but a few years later the lakes enriched it. The coastal ones of Fogliano, Monaci and Caprolace: their annexation has prevented us from witnessing a speculation that would have covered their coasts with terraced houses and parallelepiped hotels.
From the institutional point of view, until 2005 to manage the Circeo National Park was the State Forestry Corps, starting from 2005 following the Framework Law of 1991, the Managing Body was established according to the criteria indicated, in 2007 the President and the Board of Directors also arrived.
Circeo National Park: flora and fauna
Both on the one hand, the flora, and on the other, the fauna, the Circeo National Park it proves to be very rich in different realities but which often contribute to each other's survival. For example, there are the dunes along the coast that protect the hinterland and make it an area where thousands of migratory birds find pleasant refuge.
Inside, in fact, there are popular wetlands and the forest can proliferate without being reached by the salty winds that blow in other parts. THE raptors, for example, inhabit the Promontory: the perfect place to observe how they love to do, the whole Circeo National Park up to the Island of Zannone, located in the Pontine Archipelago.
One of the oldest territorial nuclei of the park is the "Forest of Terracina" , a small portion that at the time of its constitution had survived a wicked work of deforestation. Today in its place and more extensive, there is what is called Selva di Circe. It is one of the few best preserved and most extensive examples of lowland forest existing in Italy. In total it has 3,300 hectares and retains many characteristics of its historic “Terracina” core.
In Circeo National Park there are three areas of the Integral Natural Reserve: the Piscina delle Bagnature, the Piscina della Gattuccia and the Lestra della Coscia. It should be noted that by swimming pools we mean the marshy areas that are formed with the accumulation of rainwater and theoutcrop of the strata, always in a natural way. We also talked about Lestra, it is an area that in the past hosted villages, today it hosts few ruins.
A particular wealth of flora and fauna of the Circeo National Park is the one accessed by visiting the Forest, a very rich and extremely varied ecosystem, declared "Biosphere Reserve" by Unesco. It can be visited all year round along the numerous paths, both pedestrian and bicycle, that cross it. In particular in spring you can enjoy the flowering but not only.
To accompany it, also the birdsong. In the "Piscine", on the other hand, butterflies reign, in the same summer, while in autumn we expect the wild boars that are the masters among wild berries plants and blooming cyclamen.
Circeo National Park: visits
In visiting the Circeo National Park there are some points of particular interest that cannot be given up. At least, let's select a few to alternate with walks. There is Cerasella, for example, in the heart of the forest, also useful as the most convenient starting point for most excursions.
Before leaving for one of them we can visit the equipped area, with fallow deer and wild boar. Cocuzza is the headquarters of the Documentation Center on School Education and Health Work in the Pontine Marshes, the Villa of Domitian instead, on the east shore of Lake Sabaudia, it is the largest monumental complex in the entire Circeo area: it dates back to the 1st century AD.
On the banks of the Fogliano lake there is also the village of Villa Fogliano, needless to say, within the municipality of Latina, appreciated by nature lovers but also by those looking for destinations with historical and architectural value. It also has a beautiful botanical garden from the late nineteenth century with typical plants of the Mediterranean scrub (holm oak, dwarf palm, laurel) alongside palm trees, eucalyptus and araucarias.
At the level of accommodation facilities, to visit the Park we can count on the presence of Visitor Center of the Circeo National Park in Sabaudia, with a reception and orientation structure for visiting the Park, as well as the Naturalistic Museum, the Information Service, the Library, the Audiovisual Room and a Conference Room.
Circeo National Park: itineraries
Right next to the Circeo National Park Visitor Center, in the nearby strip of forest, an educational path has been set up with information tables and reconstructions of charcoal pits and lestre, example of a pre-reclamation village. An interesting and formative itinerary, to then dedicate yourself to one of the 6 recommended, along the paths of the park.
You can stay at the Visitor Center, reach the Lestra Cocuzza or "get lost" in the State Forest. If we prefer another type of landscape, try the itinerary to the Coastal Dune or the two existing alternatives that explore the Circeo Promontory. There is also an itinerary that leads to the Zannone Path.
Circeo National Park Authority
Established in 2005 but obeying the 1991 framework law on parks, theCirceo National Park Authority has the task of protecting the natural and environmental values as indicated in the Plan for the Park. This means, for example, organizing the territory by dividing it into areas that have different uses or characteristics, paying attention to vehicle and pedestrian accessibility, without forgetting the routes reserved for the disabled, the handicapped and the elderly.
Always theCirceo National Park Authority he must look after the various equipment and services for the management of museums, visitor centers, information offices, camping areas, agro-tourism activities. These mentioned are just some of the tasks of the Circeo National Park Authority.
Circeo National Park: map
(I found a big one: I'll take care of inserting it adapted and which is displayed in its original size with a click)
Circeo National Park: timetables and prices
The Circeo National Park is open all year round, special times have rightly been a structure like the Park Museum, open from 9 to 13 and from 14 to 16.30, except Sundays. All updated information can be found on the official website of the Circeo National Park, including directions on how to get there. Possibly using public transport.
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