Ficuzza (PA)

"Gli alberi, gli alberi!" (The trees, the trees). The excited shout that opens chapter 2 of the Leopard (with its echoes of Xenophon's thalatta, thalatta) indicates the rarity and the importance of trees in western Sicily (even if the Leopard's trees turn out to be the ubiquitous but dismal Australian import, the eucalyptus). But the Bosco della Ficuzza is a real forest, with real trees. It was once the exclusive hunting reserve of the Bourbon king, Ferdinand IV - and still includes the palatial hunting lodge built in the style of an English country house for him and his English cronies, for the pursuit of boars, wolves, wildcats and probably anything furry that moved.

Later it was a Mafia resource - a place for murder, corpse disposal, and hiding out - as well as the profit from the timber itself, and exploitation of water from the numerous springs.

Today the Bosco della Ficuzza is a park once more - this time for the public - a communal resource for fresh air, exercise and natural history. Dominated by the mighty Rocca di Busambra to the south, it's an area of outstanding natural beauty by any standard. The walk from the Rifugio Alpe Cucco up and then along the ridge of the Rocca is fantastic, but also fantastically dangerous - alas only for experienced alpinists.

Ficuzza orchids
Ficuzza view northwards


Use the table below to find your way around Sicily:

Printer friendly page: click to print

What's new? Search the site? Main Index? Bookshop? Top of Page?
The Classics Pages are written and designed by Andrew Wilson
Comments, questions and contributions welcome.