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No 30 - Historical and naturalistic trail “Roccolo Bonato”

On foot         Great Interest: Bird Watching Great Interest: Hystory 
  • Departure: Loc. Chiesa di San Sabino (Torreglia)
  • Arrival: Loc. Chiesa di San Sabino (Torreglia)
  • Duration: 1 hour
  • Difficulty Level: Easy
  • Length: 1,1 km (Road ring itinerary: 3,1)
  • Difference in height: Uphill 180m
  • Involved Municipalities: Torreglia
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  • Difference in elevation: about 155 m
  • RECOMMENDED PERIOD FOR THE VISIT: Throughout the year

REACHING THE POINT OF DEPARTURE

From Torreglia town centre, follow Provincial Road No. 43 and leave your vehicle at the cemetery parking lot by the church of San Sabino. Take via Monte Rua; near the juncture to Villa Immacolata, turn left and follow the main road until Roccolo Bonato. It is also possible to reach the place from the centre of Torreglia, following the streets that join the red ring on this brochure's map.

Roccolo Bonato
Roccolo Bonato
(photo by PR Colli Euganei)
 

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Roccolo Bonato is situated in the municipality of Torreglia, in the Pianzio valley at the border with the municipality of Galzignano Terme, and stands as the last vestige of an activity which, until recently, was very common in the Euganian Hills. In this site the "roccolari" (men who carried out this activity) would capture birds that they used as decoy for hunting. The "roccoli" were normally placed in strategic spots, like mountain passes along the migratory routes, and consisted of a small tower and a circular hedge. 

Birds were lured within the hedge by the call of other birds kept in small cages. The hedge hid a coarse mesh net along with a finer one. Once the birds were inside the "roccolo", the "roccolatore" would frighten them by throwing a "spauracchio" (usually a sort of small shovel made of intertwined twigs) at them;  at the same time, he would emit a hawk-like whistle. Birds, believing that a bird of prey was approaching from above, would try to escape by flying close to the ground and through the trees, and got caught in the nets.

Recently, the whole area of Roccolo Bonato has been restored by creating a path in the woods, that leads to a "calto" where water is constantly present, and by cleaning out the chestnut wood, that weather and chestnut blight had damaged. Along the Roccolo trail there are some narrow terraces, where vines were grown until recently, and that have been restored by clearing locusts, brambles and other invasive weeds. Thanks to these interventions, visitors - and especially children - can now appreciate the work of man in a place where land was conquered inch by inch, through strenuous efforts to adapt sloping, wooded ground for cultivation. In addition, about 40 olive trees have been planted (they were 2-3 years old at the moment of implanting, in 2016), along some terraced surfaces near the Roccolo and the main trail.

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