Bosco Selva is the “green heart” of Alberobello (literally meaning beautiful tree), and is situated 800 metres from the town which borders with Trulli del Bosco (in other words “Trulli of the forest”). Its coverage is of about 45 hectares, releases yearly into the atmosphere more than 920 tonnes of pure oxygen thus turning out to be a unique natural oasis across the entire territory for the flourishing and developed biodiversity that inhabit it.
In addition, Bosco Selva presents itself as a proper park with numerous accessible walking and cycling paths, open spaces and recreational grounds.
Renamed “Oasi di Protezione della Flora e della Fauna Bosco Selva” in 1985, the history of this clod of green land has been surprisingly linked right from the beginning of its origins to that of Alberobello. Proof of this are the “parieti” antique dry stone walls, the“carbonaie” craters (ancient coal-making tecnhique often used in the past to convert to convert wood into charcoal), and the “jazzi” dry stone fences used by the shepherds to tend to their flock. But the origins of this region go way back in time. While walking through the paths leading through the vegetation, try to imagine come those hills Alberobello would have been like before its foundation. A densely-forested woodland of limestone conformation, rocky, and dotted with green paths used to connect with neighboring towns. The same Etymological roots of the name “Alberobello” could take its roots from an ancient panorama made of beautiful imposing oak trees, the : “arboris belli”.
FLORA AND FAUNA
It’s the particular microclimate of the oasis “Bosco selva” that makes for an ideal environment for many flora and fauna species which are typical of this side of the Mediterranean.
The surrounding green lands are composed mainly of trees like Macedonian oaks, Holly oaks and Downy oaks (typical elements of the Apulian landscape) but also European Wild Pears, wild olive trees, bay trees and plum trees. Meanwhile, amongst the low lying shrubs you can find arbutus trees, common spindles, fragrant mastics, rockroses and in spring the blooming hawthorns. And also further down in the midst of colorful lichens grow asparaguses, mashrooms, blackberries, butcher’s brooms, crocuses and wild strawberries.
If someone amongst you is fond of herbs and natural decoctions, it won’t be hard to identify the lemon balm, rue, myrtle, wild thyme, chamomile, cardoon and many other varieties once a frequently visited site by the local healers for curative remedies and fragrant infusions.
In-between the branches and bushes you can listen to the sound of 37 species of birds living in the woods and maybe get the chance to see a flying hoopoe, a magpie, a jay, a kestrel, a hawk or the night owl.
Equally numerous are the land animals who find refuge in the surrounding woods such as: foxes, hedgehogs, moles, weasels, stone martens, toads splashing in small basins, wary and harmless reptiles like: Montpellier snakes, water snakes, sandfishes, and peaceful lizards. You only have to be wary of the coy viper snake, though they also contribute to the biodiversity of this small oasis.
David Le Breton
Bosco Selva has up twelve different long, short distance, dirt and shaded guided paths.
- those who choose to have a relaxing walk alone or with somebody.
- those who love to run and don’t want to miss working out during the holidays.
- for those who love mountain bikes who want to venture into new adventurous dirt tracks.
- for those choose to discover the secrets of the woods by learning the name of the plants and recognizing the tracks left by animals, we can be your guides.
Meanwhile, families with children will find a recreational ground in the shade, not far from the woods with different kinds of carousels and tables, very handy for having a picnic in the open.