Earlier in the month, my family and I were fortunate enough to visit Italy. Our itinerary started in Rome, continued to Naples and down to the Amalfi coast and finished up in Tuscany, the area of The Gifted Tree’s tree planting project. As we drove north into the Tuscany hills, as well as spending the day traveling around the Tuscany countryside, it became readily apparent why the area has the reputation it has. It is well deserved. The central Italian region of Tuscany is known for being one of the most beautiful areas of the country, and it does not disappoint. In addition to its scenery – the rolling green hills, olive groves, vineyards, and wide-open skies – Tuscany is famous for its charming, rustic villages which reflect the history of the region.
World War II and Italy
Unfortunately, part of that history also includes World War II. Due to movies and books, most people remember the war taking place in France, England, and eastern Europe. The fact is, however, since the beginning of the war, Italy, like other European countries, was the victim of numerous airborne attacks. It wasn’t only cities to be in danger, but also specific locations of strategic relevance in the countryside. Germans occupied numerous towns and villages in the area around Florence, and the area was subject to many allied bombing sorties which were quite damaging to the countryside. Besides damage to the buildings and infrastructure of Tuscany, the forests in the area were majorly damaged and areas that used to be tree covered were left bare and in ruins.
Our Planting Project in Tuscany, Italy
Located in one of the most beautiful regions of Italy (Tuscany), the Pomino Forest borders the Casentinesi National Forest Park. Tuscany is one of Italy’s most visited regions because of its architecture, land, gastronomy, and also its preserved natural areas. The area is full of protected green spaces surrounding small villages that are popular among tourists from all over the world, including my family.
The village of Pomino is located 7 kilometers away from the town of Ruffina. This village of 228 inhabitants is particularly known for its production of white and red wines. Around the vineyards, the forest offers unique landscapes to all who visit. Following the destruction of this forest in the Second World War, it was totally replanted in Douglas pine, significantly reducing the former biodiversity of the site. Additionally, this barely diversified stand was thus particularly sensitive to climatic hazards and biological attacks. But thanks to The Gifted Tree, and its non-profit tree planting partners, the forest of Pomino is being restored through its tree planting project in Tuscany. Trees are being planted and the natural regeneration of the existing plants is supported to ensure the future of the forest.
To fortify the forest, Douglas firs are being planted alongside new species including pine, birch, chestnut, beech, pedunculate oak, sessile oak, hornbeam, hops, ash, maple, limewood, and cherry trees. The strategy is starting to pay off as the forest is diversified and strengthened. Today, it is home to a rich biodiversity of animals including wolves who have returned to the area and are now permanently present.
By the end of the project in a few years, two thirds of the land area around Pamino and the Casentino National Forest Park will be converted into a diversified mixed forest, composed of species perfectly adapted to the site’s climatic conditions. Ultimately, the balance between the environmental, social, landscape and economic functions of Pomino’s forest will be restored to what existed before the tragedies of World War II.
Planting Gift Trees in Tuscany, Italy
The Gifted Tree make it easy to plant a memorial or celebration tree in Tuscany, Italy or one of 80 locations in United States National Forests or many countries around the world. Choose the tribute design option you like from one of the six hand-crafted choices. Customize and personalize the message you want to include on the tree planting certificate, and let us know the address where we should send the tribute card. The tribute is sure to show you care as well as help reforest areas that are devastated by fire and climate change, and world war.