THE NATIONAL PARK OF CIRCEO The National Park of Circeo, established in 1934, is one of the oldest natural protected areas in Italy. It is extends from Anzio to Terracina.
HISTORY The park was established in 1934by Benito Mussolini to protect the Pontina plain. It is the only Italian and European national park whichextends completely in a flat and maritime environment.Apart from this, it is also a natural reserve of theUNESCO since 1997.
THE TERRITORYThe Park consists of five fundamentalhabitats:-The forest-The promontory-The littoral dune-The wet zones-The island of Zannone
The Forest represents the most extensive plain in Italy. It is a varied and rich ecosystem covered with Mediterranean macchia, pine trees but also turkey oak, evergreen oak, laurel, cork and flowering ash which can be seen as you walk or cycle along the different footpaths. You can admire different species of The vegetation belonging to the different climatic conditions.Forest
The promontoryIt is the highest part of Monte Circeo , 541m, According to the Odyssey, on the Circeoa witch called Circe lived and transformed Ulysses and his companions into pigs. From a distance the Circeo looks like a sleeping woman which gave origin to the legend of Circe. The promontory of the Circeo is famous for its numerous and beautiful caves and the most famous is the Guattari Cave.
LITTORAL DUNE In the park there is a long coast which consists of about 22 km. The beach is formed of thin sand and is the ideal habitat for small plants and numerous animal species. The environment is rather harsh becauseof the high temperatures and the long droughts, the infertile land andthe strong winds make the survival of the vegetable species difficult to adapt.
WET ZONES There are four coastal lakes: Paola,Caprolace, Monaci and Fogliano, that is what remains of the old " pontine marshlands", small basins of nipper water and the ideal refuge for many species of aquatic birds even because the water is not very deep. On thesides of the lakes there are different types of flora like saltworths whilethe other areas are used for fishing.
Zannone island Zannone is a small island whichbecame part of the Park in 1979and it is uninhabited and covered with woods full of oaks and evergreen oaks.