THE BEECH FOREST
Immersed in the green countryside of the Cimini Mountains, beyond the height of 1000mt and extended in a 50-hectare area, the Beech forest represents one of the most beautiful natural resources of Lazio region. It is made up of about 10.000 adult trees, most of which are more than 200 years old and beyond 30-metre high. Together with the Fogliano and Venere Mountains (which given the peculiar microclimate, in some areas extend until the Vico lake), it represents a unique example of “old forest” in Europe. The peak of the hill was once inhabited by a large settlement tracing back to the late Bronze age whose outer limit fortification from the final bronze age (about 1150 b.c.) has been almost completely preserved and which encompasses a 50.000 square metre area; the vast artificial stone fence, presumably divided into two sectors, one of which includes a smaller, fortified area of 5.000 square metres (next to the modern tower) was identified by the archeologists around 1890, although its scietific exploration only began in 1976. Over the last years, the Ministry of Culture and Tourism together with the University “La Sapienza” of Rome, supported by the municiaplity of Soriano, have been conducting summer excavation campaigns in the prehistoric villages. The first impression that tourists get when they come visit, is the sense of peace they enjoy when they cross these beautiful paths rich in century-old beeches which provide shade and refreshment during the summer and a stunning landscape in winter times. On site there is also a rest-stop open all year around. Recently the Italian Alpine Club (“CAI”) of Viterbo inaugurated the first official CAI path present in the Province: n. 103 – 13km long – starting point in Poggio Nibbio, close to the Vico lake and arrival in Soriano, crossing the beech forest.
RUPE TREMANTE (or SASSO NATICARELLO)
It is a huge trachyte stone almost 9-metre long, 7-metre wide and 3-metre high, created by the hardening of the lava erupted from the Cimino Volcano, that one can admire by walking inside the woods close to the Beech Forest parking lot. Although it weighs about 250 tons, the stone which is positioned at a slant over a rock ledge created by the erosion of the base’s remaining portion, can actually swing with a simple wood stick used as leverage. Thanks to this characteristics, two thousand years ago, Varrone spoke about it as the “totius mundi portentum”; Gallo as the “terrestre navigium” while Plini the Elder described it as “naturae miraculum”. A little further down, following the path, it is possible to behold the Acquagrande source.