Cipresso di San Francesco

This post is also available in: Italiano (Italian)

Cupressus sempervirens (Cupressaceae)


According to the legend, while Saint Francis was walking in the forests of the Apennines, a small branch got caught in his clothing, he picked it up and made a cane of it for his peregrination till the convent of Verucchio (RI), here he burnt it, but the wood did not burn down, so Francis planted it and this started to blossom and to grow into an enormous cypress.

Its esteemed age is  800 years and it is probably the biggest cypress in Italy, with a Turk circumference of 6.50m and a height of  25 m. The specimen is located in the cloister of Verrucchio’s convent,  where it is present a painting representing the Saint while planting the tree.

The phytosanitary conditions of the cypress are discrete and it requires careful and continuous cures, in the 2000-teens it has been placed also a support structure.

During the centuries, various unfavourable conditions have put to a hard test the life of the old cypress; in 1798 it survived a fire started by some French soldiers, in 1810 it got over two knocking down attempts and then in 1980 it resisted to a whirlwind which broke 4 meters of   his Lima.

The majestic tree is unique and it looks like a sculpture, whose artist is nature.


How to reach it:

Exiting  at Rimini Sud follow the highway towards Verucchio, from here a 5 km road leads to the convent.


Botanical characteristics:

They are evergreen trees from Eastern Mediterranean and they have been present in Italy from ancient times, since it was probably brought in our Peninsula by Phoenicians or Etruscans.

Nowadays, the species is spread all over the Mediterranean both as spontaneous and ornamental plant.

They are able to adapt to various types of soils, because of this they are used as ornaments and to strengthen rocky and steel soils. The species has a high resistance to aridity, but they are not able to bare long freezing times, so they are present till  800 m of altitude.

The wood presents itself as stout, compact, water resistant and woodworms attacks, for these reasons it considered as a precious material in furniture and window fixtures constructing.

From their branches grow leaves and fruits (galbuli), which contain scented essential oils used in pharmacy and in perfume making.


This post is also available in: Italiano (Italian)


47826 Verucchio(RN)

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