Brich di Zumaglia and Mont Prève Regional Green Facility

This post is also available in: Italiano (Italian)

Established in 1995, this Regional facility covers an area of about 108 acres, in the Municipalities of Ronco and Zumaglia, a few miles east of Biella. Its average altitude is 1.968 ft above sea level, with a maximum height of 2.195 ft on the top of “Brich di Zumaglia” relief, while Mount Prève is slightly lower (2.165 ft).

In the local dialect, “Brich” means “hill” or “high ground”, while the toponym “Zumaglia” comes from “zumaja”, a term used in Biella to describe a breast and, in our case, referring to how the two twin hills appear from afar.

On the top of the Brich, there is the castle of Zumaglia: dating back to 1291, but almost completely destroyed in 1556, it was only rebuilt in 1937 by Count Vittorio Buratti. Today, it is used for events, exhibitions, receptions and cultural initiatives, including the summer festival of the travelling theatre, organized by “A.R.S. Teatrando”.

The area includes some restored rustic buildings like the Guard House, once used to house the caretakers and the gardeners, which will soon host a terracotta workshop and culture events; then, there’s “Cascina Alè”, a farmhouse once surrounded by a model vegetable garden, an orchard and a vineyard planted to make “Alè” wine: this structure will be turned into an accommodation facility in the near future.


The Brich Zumaglia castle is surrounded by a park with heterogeneous wooded vegetation, in which native forest species are mixed with ornamental species introduced over time in order to transform the pre-existing forest into a romantic garden.
There are trees of rare or exotic species, even of considerable size: conifers are the most important when it comes to ornamental plants, including firs (Abies and Picea), cedars (Cedrus), cypresses (Cupressus sempervirens), larches (Larix decidua), junipers (Juniperus spp.), yews (Taxus baccata), sequoias, and hemlocks.

Among the broad-leaved trees, native species prevail like field maples (Acer campestre), Sycamore maples (Acer pseudoplatanus), beeches (Fagus sylvatica), English oaks (Quercus robur), sessile oaks (Quercus petraea), downy oaks (Quercus pubescens), holm oaks (Quercus ilex), grey alders (Alcnus incana), black alders (Alnus glutinosa), silver birches (Betula pendula), ashes (Fraxinus spp.), chestnuts (Castanea sativa), and field elms (Ulmus minor).

Mount Prève, on the other hand, is covered by thick chestnut woods (Castanea sativa), typical of the hills around Biella.

This post is also available in: Italiano (Italian)


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