/ / Ficuzza: photos, description (Ficuzza)

Ficuzza: photos, description (Ficuzza)

Ficuzza, is one of the largest nature reserves in the Western part of Sicily in the mountains South of Palermo in the territory of which is located the former Royal hunting residence, which bears the same name.

The ruler of the Kingdom of the two Sicilies, Ferdinand I in the years of his domination he was twice forced to leave his Palace in Naples and settle in Palermo: the first time during the Republican revolution in the late 18th century, and then, a few years later, during the French occupation of much of southern Italy. Ferdinando loved the power, but I think the hunt he loved even more.

The king commissioned the architect Giuseppe Venanzo Marbule to design two Royal residences in the neighbourhood of Palermo, each of which would be located on the hunting grounds. One of these residences was the Chinese Palace, built in the style of Chinese spawn on the outskirts of Palermo. But the hunting Lodge of ficuzza was built in a more simple, one might even say, Spartan style, but with elements of classic Baroque, typical of English country estates of the period. The house was provided by a wine cellar and a secret exit, which the king could use in the event of having to leave their possessions unnoticed. For the construction of Ficuzza was used local stone. The British, who were kept in Sicily and thousands of its military, of course, influenced the architectural design of the Palace, at least culturally. The English officers extremely loved to hunt in the land of Ficuzza: their prey was wild boar, wolves, hares, rabbits, birds of prey and wild cats.

Today, this huge protected area is open to the public only partially (fortunately, access to the Palace, tourists are allowed). Here you can see an artificial lake fed by the waters of the river Torre Argentina, which is used for water supply of Palermo. Vast forests surround Rocca Busambra - a mountain ridge overlooking the reserve.

Now the territory of Ficuzza is in good hands, although more recently its natural resources threatened with serious danger from the destruction of natural ecosystems, and deforestation. The Palace was much damaged and looted by vandals. In addition to the local looters left their mark and German troops, who ruled here in 1942 and left Ficuzza in poor condition. In recent years, attempts have been made to restore the fauna that flourished in the reserve in the 19th century, in the first place - the population of wild boars, hares and birds of prey. Fortunately, these attempts were unsuccessful, and today, Ficuzza gradually returns to its former diversity and natural beauty.