What to do in the province of Caserta: 5 natural places not to be missed

by Maria Carmela Cato

What to do in the Province of Caserta? Of course, the activities are numerous and there is no shortage of natural places. The choice is vast as the Province of Caserta has a very varied ecosystem. The mouth of the Garigliano, the Domitian coast, the Volturno river, the Roccamonfina volcano, the Tifatini mountains and the Matese these are just some of the natural places that can be seen in the Province of Caserta.

1.What to do in the province of Caserta? Climb Mount Tifata

cosa fare in provincia di caserta? Scalare il monte tifata
Monte Tifata, a sacred mountain for the Romans and rich in game for Ferdinand IV

The province of Caserta is rich in mountains, one of the most important is the Mount Tifata. 603 meters high, this mountain was a sacred area for the ancient Romans. The presence of temples, such as the Temple of Jupiter Typhatine and the Temple of Diana Tifatina, above which the Benedictine Basilica of Sant'Angelo in Formis was later built.

Mount Tifata gives to the tourist who decides to climb it breathtaking views over the whole plain of Campania. In fact, the eye can sweep across the Gulf of Naples, from Capri to the green Ischia and Procida, from Capua and Caserta to the imposing Vesuvius and up to the giant Matese.

Legend has it that the Carthaginian leader Hannibal, during the second Punic war, camped on Mount Tifata.

In more recent times, this Mount sacred to the ancient gods hosted a battle between the Garibaldians and the Bourbon army. In fact, in Sant'Angelo in Formis, a hamlet of Capua, there is a Garibaldi cemetery. Furthermore, in these woods Ferdinand IV loved to hunt and there are numerous paths that cross it.

2. What to do in the province of Caserta? See the flamingos at the Oasi dei Variconi

Cosa fare in provincia di Caserta? Vedere i fenicotteri all'oasi dei variconi
Oasi dei Variconi - photo by Federico Quagliuolo

Little out of the ordinary of Castel Volturno, we find one of the most important wetlands of Campania, is there'Oasis of Variconi, a protected natural area that since 1993 has become part of the "Foce Volturno Nature Reserve". About 250 species of birds find refreshment in this oasis, which twice a year migrate between Europe and North Africa.

The oasis has an extension of approx 194 hectares which also include coastal lakes. The climate has favored the development of thick but low vegetation that is home to colorful birds such as flamingos, herons, cormorants, but also amphibians and reptiles like frogs, freshwater turtles and tree frogs.

There are also numerous species of flowers, including some very rare ones, which bloom in spring and create a suggestive atmosphere. In the Oasis there are various paths, of varying distances and which also lead to the sea.

3. What to do in the province of Caserta? Stroll through the Salicelle Oasis

Cosa vedere in provincia di Caserta: Oasi delle Salicelle - foto presa dalla pagina Facebook "Campania e dintorni"
Oasi delle Salicelle - photo from the Facebook page "Campania and surroundings"

The Salicelle Oasis is one humid area created by centuries of erosion by the Volturno. The river, in fact, passing between the Trebulani Mountains and the Tifatini Mountains, finds itself in a “bottleneck”. We are a few kilometers from the Hannibal Bridge and in this area the Volturno has created a leak in its left bank, flooding the surrounding fields and creating a unique ecosystem in all of Campania.

The Marsh straws and the Cheer they are among the most present tree species, while the fields surrounding the wetland of the Salicelle are cultivated with tobacco, corn, fruit trees and vineyards.

Among the fauna that is hosted, we certainly find migratory birds, such as tower crane, the Black kite, the Osprey and the Lodolaio. In the ponds, however, they find a safe refreshment amphibians, such as toads, tree frogs and newts.

There are numerous paths in the Oasis, which allow those who venture to be able to admire the various species of birds and amphibians more closely.

4. What to do in the province of Caserta? Walking on the Roccamonfina Volcano

 Vulcano di Roccamonfina visto dalla località Pratolongo- Foto di "ML Art's" dalla pagina Facebook "Roccamonfina"
 Snow-covered volcano of Roccamonfina seen from Pratolongo - Photo by “ML Art's” from the Facebook page “Roccamonfina”

In addition to Vesuvius and Campi Flegrei, the Roccamonfina volcano. Its eruptive activity dates back to 630,000-50,000 years ago. Born from a stratovolcano in the Garigliano depression, where the earth's crust layer was thinner and therefore favored the escape of magma.

At the foot of the Roccamonfina Volcano, near the villages of Tora and Piccilli, an ancient legend is told: a place haunted by evil spirits that in ancient times they lived on the volcano and walked on burning lava and who then drank from a nearby water source.

For those who are not superstitious, it can only be one of the many folk legends that are handed down from generation to generation, but we actually find strange footprints near the Volcano.

It is about large tracks and very deep that are visible on the rock and their shape immediately reminds us of the footprints of a hoof. Hence, the connection with demonic beings, which in some medieval bestiaries are represented with equine hooves.

In fact, this is about 80 footprints left by hominids that crossed this side of the volcano about 350,000 years ago. But how is it possible that our ancestors were able to walk on lava? The pyroclastic material, following the continuous eruptions, had reached plasticity and temperatures that over time allowed us to walk on it.

It is also possible to see a handprint left along the wall.

5. What to do in the province of Caserta? Visit the Matese Massif

Cosa vedere in provincia di Caserta: Lago Matese e Monte Miletto visti da Bocca della Selva - foto presa dalla pagina Facebook "Campitello Matese"
Lake Matese and Monte Miletto seen from Bocca della Selva - photo from the Facebook page "Campitello Matese"

Another natural place not to be missed in the province of Caserta is the Matese Massif! It is a mountain massif that has been inhabited since the dawn of time and is so vast that it falls into four provinces, namely Caserta, Benevento, Isernia and Campobasso.

The highest point of the Matese Massif is Monte Miletto, in the province of Isernia, which reaches a height of 2,050 meters.

Another peculiarity of the Matese is the Matese Lake, which is the highest karst lake in Italy and can be traveled by canoe. It is located more than 1,000 meters above sea level and has no natural tributaries but is filled by the melting of the snow from nearby Monte Miletto.

Among the bird species that can be seen, we find the mallard and the coots, while among the fish species we can see carp, perch, trinche and pike.


AA.VV., Tourist Guide of Caserta and its province, Guideslow, 2021

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