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Wood of Sasseto: guide to the wood of Whitesnow

bosco sasseto

The Wood of Sasseto, named by the National Geographic “wood of Whitesnow”, is included in the list of the twenty enchanted spots of Italy. It’s located in the municipality of Acquapendente (Viterbo) and more precisely in Torre Alfina, along via Francigena.

The reason why is included in the list of the twenty enchanted spots become clear once you’re there: the nature takes over the landscape and the time seems to stop. The twisted branches, the evocative shaped trunks of the centuries old trees, the mosses and lichens that cover the fragments of igneous rock that sedimented over 300.000 years ago after the eruption of the volcano Volsino. Among all this a maze of trails unwinds totally harmonized with the surrounding natural environment.

The interference of mankind, solely with artistic purposes, is signalled by the neogothic mausoleum wanted by the Marquis Edoardo Cahen as final and eternal dwelling. The Marquis was the owner of the wood and the Castle of Torre Alfina that stands tall a few steps away from this magical and fairy-tale place.

A fantastic wood in the pure nature

The nature extreme takeover, in its full wild majesty, yields a soil with a high degree of biodiversity: beeches, maples, ashes, lindens, elms, chestnuts, holm oaks, hazel trees and oaks ‒ sometimes so big in size that they can be considered monuments in their own state ‒ sit next to original arboreal formations of holly, ferns, mosses and lichens and next to beautiful spring bloomings of snowdrops and anemones.

Because of the massive presence of bright lichens that cover the rock formations the clearing is called “clearing of the white rocks”. When the huge trees fall to the ground – the trees can reach up to 25 metres in height and 1 meter of diameter – they go back to where they came from rounding up the lifecycle. At this point the fallen trees turn into a shelter for animals. They hide several species of insects, reptiles, small mammals, amphibious and several kinds of birds.

So it’s no wonder that the film director Matteo Garrone used this scenery to shoot his “Il racconto dei racconti” ‒ screen adaptation of a collection of posthumous fairytales by Giambattista Basile published in the XVII century ‒, whose fantastic characters and several spells are perfectly embedded in this evocative background that makes you daydream.

If your guide through the maze of trails won’t be the light of the fairies or the tricks of an elf or the voices of the Seven Dwarfs, then we recommend you to get in touch with the local organizations to set up a nice walk. There aren’t many road signs in the wood so it’d be easy for you to miss out on the hidden astonishing gems of this magical place.

The guide will help you find your way and will let you experience the magic of the nature to the fullest to make it unforgettable. The wood of Sasseto is considered today Natural Monument of Lazio. Also according to the rules and regulations of European Unioni it’s been declared special protection area. The wood of Whitesnow is a place to love, preserve and protect.

All grown-ups were once children… but only few of them remember it

“The little prince”, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry


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