Ciciu del Villar, the Stone Mushrooms Nature Reserve
Wildlife

Ciciu del Villar, the Stone Mushrooms Nature Reserve

Ciciu del Villar,Italia

Ciciu del Villar, the Stone Mushrooms Nature Reserve

Tucked away in the Piedmont area of Italy, just within the Ciciu del Villar Nature Reserve is a site of ??great historical and geological value. This Nature Reserve is more precisely located in the Costa Pragamonti area (Val Maira) in the municipality of Villar San Costanzo in the province of Cuneo just near Dronero. The Nature Reserve is home to a "rock garden" established in 1989 to protect an army of stone sculptures shaped like enormous mushrooms.



These incredible formations are called "ciciu ‘d pera” (a term that in Piedmontese means "stone puppet") and they are also sometimes called "earth pyramids" or "erosion columns". The so-called stone mushrooms are natural morphological sculptures composed of magmatic materials. They are the result of the slow process of river erosion, presumably having started towards the end of the last ice age. This phenomenon is still active, though today is much slower due to the reduced flow of water courses. There is still a threat of the collapse and perhaps even inevitable disappearance of the pinnacles.



Today there are about 479 "ciciu" all concentrated in an area of ??about 0.01 m². All the formations are of different sizes. The largest measures up to 10 meters high, with a "stem" that can vary from 1 to 7 meters, decorated with a sort of "hat" that reaches 8 meters in diameter. The Nature Reserve is equipped with public services as well as picnic areas for visitor nature stops. It is accessible all year round. Guests can also book excursions with a nature reserve trained guide who will walk you through the forest paths and paths, allowing you to admire the majestic natural giants up close.



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