The enormous woodland estate of the "Altopiano of Asiago 7 Comuni" hides a
further treasure, its Alpine flora and fauna.
A territory to be protected and respected, a big open book to be handled with care, without damaging its precious pages.
Our guests will certainly be silent and discreet when they find a chamois or a squirrel.
They will certainly avoid picking edelweiss.
Whoever comes up here will enjoy wonderful walks on millions of paths which wind througt meadows and woods.
The yellow dandelion or the snow-grouse will be the ideal frame which will turn your holiday into an unforgettable picture.
The Nature and Freedom of the "Altopiano" is here waiting for you.
Maybe behind an old larch tree could be a a gnome peeping at you!
The landscape of the Altopiano, visible almost from every rise, is very rich and varied.
There is a wide range of colours : different shades of green, lighter in the pastures and the grasslands, darker and at times deep in the woods, and then the grey of the rocks which become white where the snow remains untill summer.
According to the type of landscape we will find different kinds of vegetable species.
The typical flowers which from spring to autumn alternate in the fields are : the Crocus and the Spring Gentianella, the yellow and light-blue Woodruff, the poets' Daffodil, the Primrose, the Hellebore, the Globe-Flower and the Meadow-Saffron.
In the mixed woods we find many different types of trees: the Beech, the Laburnum, the Scotch Pine, the Larch, the Wild Cherry.
With these live bushy and shrubby plants, the Juniper, the Hazel, the Blackthorn, the Heather and other protected flowers of great value like the Turk's Cap Lily, the Yellow Gentian, the Sowbread, the Wood Lily, the Wild Gillyflower.
In the Fir-woods, which differ from the mixed woods because of the 'monotony' of the forest tree vegetation (only the White-Deal and the Red-Deal), there are only a few bushy and shrubby plants, but there is a lot of undergrowth vegetation where you find the Ferns, the Mosses and the Lichens.
It is also possible to find the Bilberries, the Cranberries, the Lily-of-the-Valley or May-flower, the Wood Sorrel or Cuckoo-Flower, the Wood Lily and even certain types of Orchids.
The fir-woods push on as far as the Dolomitic rocks, in the kingdom of the Mountain Pine (Pinus Mugo), the Green Alder, the Dwarf Juniper, the Great Laurel, the Alpine Edelweiss, the Dryad.
There is also a large variety of mushrooms to which we dedicate a separate paragraph.
The meadows, the pastures, the mixed woods, the fir-woods and the beech-woods are populated by very different animal species.
A multitude of insects fly over the flowers of the prairies : Lepidopters, Pollinator Bumblebees, Beetles, Buprestids and Chrisomelids ; among the umbellifers, the leguminous plants and the lilyplants, the Larks, the Tree Pipits, the Saxicola Rubetra and the White Wagtail make their nests.
Here the Hare and the Roe find their food and it is here that the Fieldmouse and the Mole live.
The mixed woods of the Altopiano are very rich in fauna.
Above all we find an extraordinary vartiety of invertebrates like the Stag Beetle, the May-Bug, the Oak Eggar, etc...
The birds are the most common type of vertebrates : the Tit, the Blackcap, the Bullfinch, just to name a few well-known.
There are mammals such as the Fox, the Dormouse, the Squirrel, the Badger and a few reptiles like the Aesculapius' Snake, the Asp and the Austrian Horned Snake.
The Fir-woods represent the ideal habitat for Golden-Crested Wrens, Tree-Creepers, Finches, Woodpeckers and Crossbills.
It is the quiet and shady habitat of the Cock of the Wood.
Higher up the mountain lives a very precious fauna : the Ptarmigan, dweller of the windy hights, the Black Grouse, the Alpine Swift, the Alpine Accentor, the Crow, the Golden Eagle, the Raven and the Ermine.
In the last few years the Comunita' Montana (A Consortium of communes in mountain areas) has started up a restock programme of the woods of the Altopiano.
A number of Chamois and Rock Whistlers were freed not too long ago (now there are about two-hundred of the former and one-hundred of the latter).
A few months ago eight deers were released in the wild.
RULES FOR MUSHROOM PICKING
The regulations for mushroom picking in the Altopiano are based on the regional instructions given by the jurisdiction of the 'Comunita' Montana dei Sette Comuni'.
The corporation has predisposed a 'Vademecum' which indicates the different types of authorisations which are necessary and obligatory for everyone, the costs and the formalities to obtain them, the days in which mushroom picking is allowed - this year it is on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday.
For further information about the permits apply to the 'Comunita' Montana' 0424/63700 - 462502.
The 'Vademecum' also reports the sections of statute which regulate mushroom picking.
Overall one should remember that :
The Nettle, which loves the sites of ruins, is a strong anti-anaemic, rich in
iron and chlorophyll.
Very good also at table in the 'Kraut', in risotto, soups, pies and omelettes.
The Dog-Rose, which invades abandoned meadow-pastures, in autumn shows scarlet berries which stay on the plant until spring, it represents a valid nourishment for our wild fauna and also for man during the winter season.
It contains a lot of vitamin C, capable of fighting efficaciously infections and diseases produced by overindulgence.
The Birch, correctly defined the European anti-nephritic tree, is used in the disorders of the kidney and the bladder, as well as in dermatosis.
The sap, which is collected in spring, contains many minerals such as: calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, but also sugar, which with its fermentation can produce a typical sparkling wine.
The Juniper is a pioneer shrub of abandoned pastures.
Its fruits (berries) are used for flavouring eau-de-vie, meat, sauerkraut and chees.
In phytotherapy they are used in the disorders of the kidney, against rheumatism and diabetes.
The Hawthorn is useful in heart diseases; the flowers and fruits are used in infusion or tincture against hypertension, tachycardia, insomnia and chest disorders.
The Scotch Pine and the Mountain Pine are conifers with great balsamic and antiseptic properties, capable of helping us during the cold season, when we are affected by diseases of the respiratory apparatus.
With the young strobiluses (cones) of the mountain pine and sugar we can prepare a very good syrup, very efficacious in the case of coughs, catarrh and bronchitis.