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Woods and Parks
Monte Cavo


The climb till the peak of Monte Cavo can be very interesting as it can be done crossing the via Sacra, an ancient road built by the Romans and consisting of paving stones and flanked by peperino stones. Crossing this path on foot can offer the possibility to observe numerous very suggestive panoramas: the lakes Albano and Nemi, the surrounding woods, and the Thyrrhenian flat land. This hill was characterized by the presence of numerous beeches, of which there are only a few ancient and mighty trees left. This place probably was splendid during the Feriae Latinae, during the celebrations of the battles' conquerors, which were borne in triumph along the via Sacra, in a long procession till the temple consecrated to Juppiter Latialis, situated on the peak of the hill.

Area's Natural Characteristics
The few beeches on the peak of Monte Cavo (949 m above the sea level) are very ancient and of large size. They reach an height of 20 metres, and represent a sort of patriarch trees of the Monti Albani and have to be protected. There is also the holly, which very often blows near the beeches, and notwithstanding the Law 61 of the 19-09-1974, during Christmas period its branches are broken off, as their red berries are used as decoration. Near the parking area on the peak there is a plant of holly with leaves characteristics both of young and old plants of this kind. The oval nesting cavity along the oldest trunks mark the presence of the dendrocopus major; there is also the tree-creeper, a little bird with a curved beak, that seeks its food by climbing the tree's trunk following a spiral movement. Among the passerines: the tit, the wren, and the regulus ignicapillis, three kinds very little, weighing 10 grams each. In the thick wood there are owls and jays.

To reach Monte Cavo cross via dei laghi (S.S. 217) till the crossroads at the 12 kilometres, turn to the left towards Rocca di Papa. After one kilometre turn to the right on the private street leading to Monte Cavo. At the entrance you have to pay a toll (1000 Lire per person). After 1.2 kilometres there is the crossroads with the Via Sacra. On foot you can reach a viewpoint (45 minutes) where you can observe the lakes Albano and Nemi, the surrounding woods and the Thyrrhenian flat land. On the summit there are antennas for the radio and television broadcasting.

Roads and Public Transports
By Car: From Rome cross the S.S. 7 Via Appia Nuova (slip-road 23 of the G.R.A.) following the road signs to Via dei Laghi S.S. 217, till the crossroads (12 kilometres) with Rocca di Papa (on the left). It is possible to park along the private street leading to the peak.
By Bus: Rome-Rocca di Papa-Via dei Laghi. (Cotral bus service phone number 800431784, phone number 06722215.) from the underground station ‘Anagnina' of the Linea A. You will reach the entrance to the private street after about an hour.

Landscape, botany, fauna, geology.
Visits: For information phone to the seat of the Parco Regionale dei Castelli Romani, at villa Villa Barattolo, via C. Battisti n.5, phone 069495253/5,fax 069495254.

Tourist signs
There are tourist signs to reach the via Sacra. There are not explanatory boards along the path.

Further Information
Web sites:,
Books: Bassani P., Cantiani G.P., 1997. L’ambiente naturale del Vulcano Laziale. Ed. XI Townstà Montana del Lazio “Castelli Romani e Prenestini”, Rocca Priora (RM); Bassani P., Lotti L., 1992. Alberi e arbusti. Casa editrice del Parco dei Castelli Romani, Rocca di Papa (RM); Marciano M., 1991. Guida archeologica del Parco Regionale dei Castelli Romani. Edizioni del Parco, Rocca di Papa (RM); AA.VV., 1993. 14 Routes - Lazio. Guide geologiche regionali, vol. 5. Società Geologica Italiana, Roma; AA.VV., 1996. Quattordici sentieri tra natura e archeologia dei Castelli Romani e Prenestini. Editore XI Townstà Montana del Lazio Castelli Romani e Prenestini, via della Pineta 69, Rocca Priora (RM).

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