Dwarf palms, eagles and orchids, protagonists of the Reserve

A wonderful variegated landscape, with its soft and subtle tones. An explosion of colors that portends animal and plant worlds of unimaginable beauty, every season.
A luxuriant Mediterranean spot, fertile and sacred place for the species that live there. Six hundred species of plants between which they move raptors, mammals, reptiles and insects. The original landscape of the Riserva dello Zingaro it consisted of an evergreen Mediterranean forest (xerophilous forest).

Nana palm in the Riserva dello Zingaro
Dwarf palm. Plant symbol of the Riserva dello Zingaro

Riserva dello Zingaro: the vegetation

Above all, it dominates Palma Nana which, despite the name can reach even three meters in height. Thanks to the presence of numerous specimens, the dwarf palm has been consecrated as the undisputed symbol of the reserve. Its leaves have in the past been used by local artisans to make bags, baskets, brooms and hats.

All around an alchemy of smells: almond trees, ash trees, olive and carob trees, wild figs and fennels, lemons, ferns and cyclamens, butcher's broom, myrtle and agave, thick bushes of rosemary, and in a rupestrian grit, the vegetation it widens, showing enchanting gardens.
Prickly pears and yellow daisies, violet acanthus flowers, iris, cornflower and broom.

Enchanting and spontaneous the orchid, present in the reserve in 25 different species, whose blossoming manifests itself in Spring in all its splendor. During this period, beautiful walks are organized in the reserve to admire "the flower of the gods", but also to discover the medicinal plants.

Cisto typical flower in the Riserva dello Zingaro
Flowering of Cisto, with its generous flowering that goes from April to June

The vegetation changes continuously.
Areas of holm oak and fragments of cork oak, the wormwood and the grass of St. John that smells of incense, verbena and ivy plants. The thyme, the mallow and the caper.

Riserva dello Zingaro: fauna

Cross the Riserva dello Zingaro ... to be in front of terrestrial caves, between steep slopes and stones, is to admire the oaks, and with their noses upwards, full of wonder, to see pass the falcons pilgrims, who come and go from the nests.
Watch the sky above you, flocks of seagulls and lower down, where watching is less tiring, butterflies of many colors.

But the sky above the Zingaro belongs to'Aquila del Bonelli which, pride local fauna, spawns, punctually, ensuring new lively generations.

Bonelli's eagle in the Riserva naturale dello Zingaro
Aquila del Bonelli on a rock of the Reserve. Ph. Biagio Barbera

However, the Eagles are not the only species to nest in the reserve.
At least 39 bird species have decided to stop in this natural paradise, including also, the magpie, kestrel, blackbird and goldfinch.
The fauna of the skies and that of land, mammiferous. The hiding of weasels and wild rabbits, of hedgehogs and foxes, at dusk. And minor fauna, grasshoppers and bats, mantis, lizards and lizards. Among the reptiles, the viper and the snake.
Instead, we expect the return of the Monk Seal in the underwater caves of the Zingaro that, up to 1972, were frequented by splendid specimens.
The gaze cuts the earth below us and moves away towards the sea.

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