The Monterano Nature Reserve, established in 1988, protects one of the most representative and intact corners of Tuscia Romana, between the Tolfa Mountains and the Sabatini Mountains, protected by another protected area. The Nature Reserve, today a destination for thousands of visitors from all over Italy and Europe (attracted by its natural landscapes and the ruins of ancient Monterano where dozens of films have been set), after an expansion of its borders in 1993, today it covers just over 1,000 hectares of land, which preserve a great variety of environments and an exuberant biodiversity. Hilly woods, volcanic gorges with typical vegetation and very rare ferns, meadow-pastures with their typical flora and fauna; all crossed by a stream, the Mignone River, included in the Sites of Community Interest which constitute the heritage of the entire European Union within the Natura 2000 Network. Of great historical and archaeological interest, but also a source of continuous panoramic suggestions , the "dead" city of Monterano, with its ducal palace, the aqueduct on bold arches, the splendid Berninian lion fountain, the Convent of S. Bonaventura and the fabric of minor buildings that often have their roots on ancient pre-existences Etruscan. Today this rich cultural heritage, thanks to the presence of the protected area, is subject to careful conservative restorations that contrast the incessant demolition work of the time.
Visiting the Monterano Natural Reserve means immersing yourself in a journey through time: man's time with its ancient events of over 3,000 years, but also the much longer times of Nature, which has shaped this extraordinary landscape. A visit that must be made taking the necessary time, calmly, dwelling on the spectacular landscapes but also on small details: the flight of a dragonfly over the water, the bubbling of a pool of sulphurous water hidden in the vegetation, the stealthy passage of a woodpecker or the search, observing the sky above all after the rising of the wind, of the great birds of prey in flight. Take a moment for an exchange of impressions with one of the many elderly people of Canale who will be happy to recall facts and events that took place in that territory to which they feel, so strongly, they belong.
Francesco Maria Mantero
Director of the Monterano Natural Reserve