Destination of the fall outings par excellence, the perfect opportunity to collect mushrooms and chestnuts, the Bosco della Ficuzza Nature Reserve is a fascinating and evocative place a few steps from the city of Palermo.
If for those coming from Palermo it is precisely a place of the heart, for those who want to organize a trip to Sicily in autumn it is instead an excellent opportunity to discover a new and very different side, a glance studded with warm colors and enveloping, far from the blinding blue of the sea of our coasts.
The Bosco della Ficuzza Nature Reserve is a protected natural area 40 km from Palermo, 682 meters above sea level and with 7400 hectares of extension. The area covers the territories of Mezzojuso, Corleone, Godrano, Messineo and Monreale.
The birth of the reserve dates back to the early 1800s, when King Ferdinand of Bourbon moved from Naples to Palermo: here he built the Real Casina Cinese, inside the Parco della Favorita, and the Real Casina di Caccia inside the forest of the Ficuzza, where to exercise his passion, the hunting. From the unification of Italy until the 2000s, the forest passed from hand to hand to various entities, until it became a degraded area during the Second World War, a period in which it will be deforested to meet the needs of timber production. From 1948 the first reforestation activities were started and, finally, on July 26, 2000 the Nature Reserve will be established.
Today the Bosco della Ficuzza offers its visitors the largest wooded area in Western Sicily, hosting a wide variety of plants, shrubs and trees typical of the area. As for the fauna, however, the Reserve is home to about 80% of the animal species of the entire region, including large mammals, rodents, reptiles and birds.
For those who are more interested in architectural beauties, the Real Casina di Caccia is also worth a visit, with its imposing and severe exterior, which contains some of the best examples of Sicilian Neoclassicism.