No 30 - Historical and naturalistic trail “Roccolo Bonato”
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(photo by: PR Colli Euganei)
The “roccoli” were normally placed in strategic places, as mountain passes, where the migratory fluxes were concentrated and they were made of a small tower and a circular hedge. The birds were attracted by the delimited area of the hedge by the recall of birds imprisoned in small cages. The hedge hid a large mesh net along with a smaller one.
Once the birds went inside the “roccolo” they were frightened by the “roccolatore” using the “boogeyman”, usually a sort of small shovel of intertwined twigs. The use of this tool and the emission of a whistle, that recalls the cry of a hawk, frightened the birds. They thought that they were chased by a predatory bird and tried to escape flying low by passing inside the trees, in this way they were trapped by the nets.
Recently, also the area of Roccolo Bonato has been restored through the creation of a path in the woods, that brings to a calto with the presence of permanent water, and with cleaning operations of the chestnut woods, that was degraded due to the weather conditions after the disease of the cortical cancer. Along the Roccolo trail there are some narrow terraces, until recently they were vine cultivated, and they have been saved by preserving them from the Robinia invasion, brambles and other scrubs; these interventions allow the visitors, mostly kids and youngsters, to appreciate the work of man in a place where in the past, with difficult manual interventions of agrarian organization of the sloping grounds, the cultivation of areas stolen by the rising of the forest was possible. In addition, about 40 olive trees have been planted of 2-3 years old in the implantation moment (2016), along some terraced surfaces near to the Roccolo and to the main trail.