Cuturi and Rosamarina

Among the few well-preserved woods of Apulia, even if not that wide, but hosting many different vegetable and animal species are the Cuturi and Rosamarina. The two woods are what it remains of the wide Oria forest owned by Frederick II. Rosamarina and Cuturi are located at about 6, 00 km from Manduria on the B road towards San Pietro in Bevagna.

The Cuturi wood is about 37, 5 hectare wide and is fenced by dry walls. The wood surface is not completely homogeneous because of the presence of calcareous rocks glade that can reach 2m (6ft) in height. Evidences of the presence of man since ancient times are the Messapian tombs, the cartways left by old carts, the animals drinking trough, the wells and the many cut and uprooted trunks. In the past the woods used to host very many animal species (hares, foxes, fallow deer, wild boars, wolves, porcupines, badgers, wild cats, stone martins, polecats, weasels, squirrels, deer, roes, etc.).

Although, the faunal environment faced major changes in the last years numerous birds, foxes, hedgehogs and some rare mammals still inhabit the wood. From a botanic point of view both woods are really interesting. The Cuturi wood has old holm oaks, wide Mediterranean maquis areas and grassy clearings. In the low maquis deforested areas there are many different botanic species, such as mastic trees, mock privets, Montpellier cistus , the myrtle, the wild olive, etc.

The Rosamarina wood is formed by maquis (2-3 m tall) and many holm oaks. In the low vegetation areas there are shrubs and small trees typical of the Mediterranean maquis, such as mastic trees, spiny brooms, mock privets, strawberry trees, the myrtle and the rosemary, from which the wood takes its name. In both woods, at the foot of the Montpellier cistus grows a delicious mushroom of a bitterish taste known as “Mucchialùru” (amarello) which is really appreciated by gourmets.