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RISERVA MONTE BONIFATO

 
  • RNO Mount Bonifato, Funtanazza
  • Ventimiglia Castle
  • RNO Mount Bonifato
RNO Mount Bonifato

Alcamo Wood Oriented Nature Reserve.
Founded in 1984, it is managed by the Provincia Regionale di Trapani and covers an area of 280  hectares on the summit of Mount Bonifato.
The original vegetation made up of thick evergreen scrub and oak, and ash, forests has almost disappeared due to frequent felling of trees by man and numerous fires. The slopes have been colonised by ampelodesma, more commonly known as “Disa”, a species resistant to grazing and fire, which forms extended meadows along the most eroded sides together with euphorbia dendroid, the dwarf palm, smoke-bush, broom and ferula. Repeated reforestation has created a thick wood made up mostly by conifers, now in maturity; careful programs of gradual thinning out have allowed the replanting of the original vegetation of the site. The undergrowth is made up of plants like blackberry bushes, butchers broom, ivy, wormwood, blackthorn hawthorn, bramble rose and broom.
The wood, despite being a reforestation with exotic species, is, however a habitat of a certain importance for a community of animals which includes: various finches like the serin and the greenfinch, tree creeper and titmouse and mammals like the dormouse. The birdlife is rich: birds of prey like the buzzard, kestrel, the Peregrine falcon, the Lanner falcon, the owl, the barn owl, and the horned owl  make their nests here.

La funtanazza
To the north-west of the inhabited part of Bonifato, near one of the two mountain springs, there is a large reservoir for the harvesting of water coming from the springs above, known as La Funtanazza, a rectangular building (17x8m), from medieval times, which could contain about 1200 cubic metres of water. The walls were about 2,20 metres thick and its waterproof ness was assured by a layer of  clay and malt mixture. It was entered on the southern side; the remains of a door and markings made by the door on the ground are visible.

The ex-hotel “La Funtanazza” is currently home to the CELT, a centre of environmental education created by the province of Trapani in partnership with boards and associations including the LIPU, which has made a bird watching hut and developed a school awareness campaign about the birdlife.
Alcamo wood, therefore, represents a green area of particular interest for the development and balance reached by the arboreal vegetation, and for its recreative and cultural functions.
The summit of Mount Bonifato was inhabited in pre-protohistoric, archaic, classic and medieval times. A primitive settlement is indicated by the remains of a necropolis with about 50 tombs in a “grotticella artificiale” (small artificial cavern). The medieval village was to the north-east of the castle, and was surrounded by strong walls laid out in a semi-circle.

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