Known today as “Selva di Circe”, this is a rare example of a large and well preserved flatland forest in Italy. It has an area of about 3,300 hectares, and keeps many of the characteristics of Selva di Terracina, the ancient coastal forest which, before the draining works carried out in the 1930s, covered around 11,000 hectares.
Within Circeo National Park’s Forest there are three strict nature reserves: Piscina delle Bagnature, Piscina della Gattuccia, and Lestra della Coscia.
“Piscine” (pools) are swampy areas forming as a consequence of rainwater accumulation and aquifer outcrop. “Lestre” are instead areas where seasonal dwellers once used to build their villages, of which only few ruins remain today.
The Forest is an extremely rich and diverse ecosystem, therefore declared a Biosphere Reserve in the framework of the UNESCO Man and Biosphere (MaB) Programme in 1977.
The Forest can be visited all year round, on a dense network of cycling and hiking trails.
Its face varies according to the seasons, offering ever-changing sights. Wonderful blooming in the spring, when birds sing and the “Piscine” are visible, or pleasant coolness in the summer, when butterflies silently fly. Wild boars roaming about in autumn, in a colourful scenery of berries and blooming sowbread, or blackthorns magically blossoming in the winter.