The Umbra Forest and the Gargano National Park

Located in the deepest part of the Gargano National Park, the Umbra Forest is one of the last few traces that help us to trace back to when this part of Italy was an island. The name of the forest comes from the dense vegetation that characterizes this area, that is quite impenetrable even for the sun, that creates a shady environment, almost dark.

The area is divided into 4 parts: the A area, that represents the real core of the forest and that is off limits for visitors: the B area, that is also uncontaminated, but that can be visited, even though people must follow strict rules to be admitted into it; the C area, characterized by free access, even for cars, and the D area, which represent the external ring of the forest and that consist of all the small towns that are part of the Gargano National Park.

The Umbra Forest keeps growing stronger than ever thanks to the special terrain that characterize it: the land is made of substances that derive from the decomposition process that began millions of years ago and that involves organisms such as mushrooms and larva, which eat, among the other things, the wood.

Local flora and fauna

The forest is home to many plant and animal species, some of which are rarer than others. Strong and mighty, the beech is the most common tree in the area (unmissable is the Patriarch of the Forest) but the real symbols of the forest are the turkey oak of Vico, a tree that is hundreds of years old that was planted in 1719, and the Zappino Dello Scorzone, a pine that is more than 700 years old. During the year, the undergrowth flourishes with orchids, ferns, violets and cyclamens, and during fall mushrooms are everywhere.

When it comes to animal species, one of the most important ones is the Garganic roe deer, a quite shy animal, that you can see only if you are very lucky, and that can’t be found anywhere else in the world. The forest is also populated by badgers, owls, wildcats, and many types of reptiles.

Discover the Umbra Forest

The Umbra Forest has many different naturalistic itineraries created specifically for tourists, that can be either covered by foot or by bikes. The forest is also full of areas in which travellers can seek refreshment that is equipped for picnics. We suggest to visit the lake area and to join guided tours if you can.

This place is perfect for those who seek peace and quiet: visitors must follow some strict rules so not to disturb other people and, most importantly, the flora and fauna that has been living in the area for hundreds of years.