MONTAGNE DELLA DUCHESSA REGIONAL RESERVE
OFFICIAL WEB PAGE
The "Montagne della Duchessa" regional reserve is located in the hearth of central Apennines. It is in the Lazio region, just along the Abruzzo border, and it belongs to the administrative province of Rieti (http://www.provincia.rieti.it ), to the communes consortium in montane areas named "Salto-Cicolano" (http://www.saltocicolano.it) and to the commune of Borgorose (http://www.comuneborgorose.ri.it). The reserve covers about 3500 hectares of montane environment, from 800 to 2200 m. It was created in 1990 with a specific regional law (no. 70/1990), which protected all the massif named "Montagne della Duchessa". In the last few years, the reserve has been entirely recognized as a Special Protection Area according to the European Directive 79/409/CEE for the protection of birds IT6020046, (Natura 2000: Sites - Birds Directive" ); in addition, parts of the protected area have also been recognized as Sites of Community Importance according to the European Directive 92/43/CEE ( Natura 2000: Sites - Habitats Directive ); the IT6020021 site includes oak and beech woods from 1300 to 1700 m above sea level, the IT6020020 site spreads above 1700 m and covers heathlands, upper grasslands and rocky slopes.
Habitats Fauna and flora
We strongly believe that our mission is not purely nature conservation, but is also education: if we don't educate people to respect the biodiversity, all our efforts will be fruitless because people will always overuse and destroy it. In the last four years, we actively worked with alumni coming from the nursery to the secondary schools of the Borgorose commune. Our activities with youngest children focused on basic knowledge of the reserve and its ecosystems: using specific childish game techniques, we explained some very complicate concepts as habitat, ecological niche, trophic networks and prey-predator relationship; children were absolutely enthusiastic and actively participated to the games. On the other hand, the activities with teenagers focused mainly on ecosystem services, overexploitation of natural resources, waste recycling and energy saving. All the activities were carried out both in the classroom and in the field, with many daily visits to Cartore. We occasionally do some activities with other groups: schools from Rome and surrounding areas, disabled persons, scout groups, which during summer establish themselves in Cartore.
Enjoying the reserve
There are opportunities for everyone in our reserve: hiking, mountaineering (including also some wonderful trails from the Duchessa massif to the neighbouring Velino massif), mountain cycling, hill walking, picnicking, horseback riding; in winter you can do ski-touring and snow-shoeing. Camping is allowed with permission of the reserve (ask to the central office). There are no proper campgrounds, so if you want to camp in private properties in the lowlands, you will also need the landowners permission; but don't worry, we can help you to get in touch with them. Over 1600 m above sea level there are two refuges that you can use: they are not maintained by us, so there is nothing inside, apart from a fireplace. If you love beautiful landscape, strong colours, strange shapes of nature, the reserve is just for you, and you can enjoy it making pictures or videotapes. Also bird watching and wildlife watching will capture you eyes and your ears. If you want to visit the reserve with park keepers or biologists, or if you just want to have some information about habitat, species and so on, you can call us at the central office.