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Parco Regionale del Matese

This post is also available in: Italiano (Italian)

Matese National park develops itself around the Matese massif, which is between Campania and Molise including 4 of their provinces (Caserta, Benevento, Isernia and Campobasso). The park unifies different territories: the calcareous one, which is uneven and resplendent, composed of deep canyons and crests; the clayish one with sinuous and soft shapes on the Adriatic side. The continental climate at the highest altitudes and the Mediterranean one in the valley favour the development of biodiversity. The lakes are a peculiarity of the park: Matese at 1000 metres, the highest in Italy, Gallo and Letino which are used for the production of electric energy. Lete’s caves are full of surprises: the waterfalls of the upper gallery, stalactites and stalagmites and much more.

The Matese area emerged from the sea, a nephritic and hot sea, more than a hundred million years ago. The presence of the sea has been proved by the presence of fossil deposits. The geo-paleontological site of  Pietraroja (province of Benevento) is in a state of natural emergency. It is possible to find here traces of life dating back to about 110 million years ago with a one of a kind patrimony of vertebrate fossils such as fishes, amphibious, reptiles, crustaceans and a young specimen of carnivorous dinosaur belonging to the first evolution like of the most specialised Velociraptor and Tyrannosaurus.
The Matese massif is one of Italy’s principal naturalistic areas and an ecological corridor of pivotal importance for the conservation of priority species living on the Apennine ridge like bears, wolfs and Apennine chamois. It has been selected as priority area for the conservation of biodiversity by the Ministry of the Environment. At the same time, it is an area rich in historical, social and cultural value. The Matese park is suitable for excursionists and sportsmen: not only mountain biking, trekking, grass and alpine skiing, hang-gliding, but also horse riding and speleological excursions. There are interesting towns and historical villages surrounding the park: San Lorenzello, Cusano Mutri, Cerreto Sannita and many more which offer interesting cultural, artistic, food and wine and craftsmanship itineraries.

Culture and traditions

The Matese area is also a historical patrimony formed by traditions and legends. Most of them are still remembered and are an expression of local traditions, which are strictly connected to the daily life of farmers and shepherds.
It is possible to walk through narrow stone roads in the perfectly preserved villages, where it is possible to live in an environment of quietness and serenity, even though the difficulties of the life in the mountains are present. These places are full of history, which is mainly related to transhumance and pastoralism, to the brigandage after Italy’s unification and to the cycles of nature .

This post is also available in: Italiano (Italian)


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