Passions & Places

Eremo dei Frati Bianchi

Eremo dei Frati Bianchi
White friars wood

The wood situated half way between Cupramontane and Poggio Cupro, covers 20 ha of land. It is very rich in water. 

There are in fact about nine spring, three wellsprings and ten streams that flow into Fosso del Corvo, that in turn flows into Torrente Esinante, an Esino River affluent. 

The wood is crossed by three pathways that lead to the Eremo delle Grotte o dei Frati Bianchi (Caves hermitage or White Friars Hermitage).

The wood is one of the last few examples of the forests that would cover Le Marche in land in the past. It preserves rare wildlife and even species that risk extintion. 

The preservation of those has been possible thanks to the Camaldolesi Monks (white friars) and monks of the Romita monastery (black friars) that were careful in exploiting natural resources. 

The wood waseven named after them fora while. It was in fact known as Romitella or Hermit wood.  

The wood has been lately affected by human interventions. 254 different plants still survive: centuries old Downy Oaks (Quercus pubescens), European turkey Oak (Quercus cerris), Black Alder (Alnus glutinosa), English helm (Ulmus minor) and also Holm Oak (Quercus ilex), Poplar (Populus ssp.) White Hornbeam (Carpinus betulus); flowers such as snowdrop (Galanthus nivalis), Wild Violet (Viola reichenbachiana), Cyclamen (Cyclamen repandum), Fern (Polypodium vulgare), English Holly (Ilex aquifolium), Butcher’s broom (Ruscus aculeatus), Common St.Johnswort (Hipericum androsaemum) and “fegatella” (Concephalum conicum). 

The presence of rare plants such as Maidenhair (Adiantum), Red Lylium  (
Lilium bulbiferum subsp.), “arisaro codato” (Arisarum proboscideum) Pyramidal Orchid (Anacamptis pyramidalis) have earned the wood the global safeguard that is typical of Protected Floristic Areas.  

The wood can be divided in layers: moss-herbaceous layer and bush-tree layer. 

A lot of animals live in the wood, but they are distributed non homogenously in the strata. 

Their favourite habitat is in fact the safest for them, where they can easily hide. Foxes (Vulpes vulpes), Wild Cats (Felis sylvestris), hares (Lepus europeus) and badgers (Meles meles) live the herbaceous stratum. 

The bush stratum is instead populated by birds such as Red-Backed Shrike (Lanius collurio), blackbirds (Turdus merula) and wrens (Troglodytes troglodytes)

The inhabitants of the tree strata are mostly mammals: Loirs (Glys glys) and squirrels (Sciurus vulgaris) but also woodpeckers, (Picus viridis), wall creepers (Sitta europea), coal tits(Parus sp.), cuckoos (Cuculus canorus), goldfinches (Carduelis carduelis) and nocturnal birds of prey such as little owls (Athene noctua) and barn owls (Tyto alba)


Eremo dei Frati Bianchi

History of Eremo dei Frati Bianchi
White friars wood
Hermitage restoration

Gloria Focante

per Paradise Possible

© 2007 Liberation Ventures Ltd.

 | Map  |  Print  |