Taburnus

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Taburnus
Mount Taburnus.jpg
Highest point
Elevation 1,393 m (4,570 ft)
Coordinates 41°6′30″N 14°36′30″E / 41.10833°N 14.60833°E / 41.10833; 14.60833Coordinates: 41°6′30″N 14°36′30″E / 41.10833°N 14.60833°E / 41.10833; 14.60833
Geography
Location Province of Benevento, Campania, Italy
Parent range Campanian Appennines

Monte Taburno, or Taburno Camposauro is a massif located in the Apennines, to the west of Benevento, in the Campania region of Southern Italy. Its highest peak is the Taburno, at 1,393 m.

History[edit]

Known as mons Taburnus to the Romans, the mountain lies in the territory of Samnium. The Samnites scored a famous victory over the Roman army in the nearby Caudine Forks in 321 BC.

Geography and geology[edit]

The Taburnus as seen from the South

Taburno Camposauro is an isolated calcareous massif in the Campanian Apennines whose formation dates back to the Mesozoic, and lacking superficial waters. Karst phenomena are frequent on the massif, including hollows and caves.[1] It is located west of Benevento, and it falls wholly within its province. It is composed of two group of mountains separated by the Prata Plain. The Valle Telesina separates the Taburnus from the Matese mountains, while the densely settled Valle Caudina separates it from the Partenio massif. The highest peaks are: Taburno (1393 mt a.s.l.), Camposauro (1390 mt a.s.l.), Alto Rotondi (1305 mt a.s.l.), Sant'Angelo (1189 mt a.s.l.), Gaudello (1226 mt a.s.l.) and Pentime (1168 mt a.s.l.), which are placed in a semicircle thus shaping the Vitulano Valley in the center.

Its territory is shared by fourteen comuni: Bonea, Bucciano, Cautano, Foglianise, Frasso Telesino, Melizzano, Moiano, Montesarchio, Paupisi, Sant'Agata de' Goti, Solopaca, Tocco Caudio, Torrecuso and Vitulano. The tallest peak is in the comune of Bonea. As seen from Benevento the profile of the mountain resembles a sleeping woman; for this reason it is referred to as the “Samnium’s Sleeping Beauty”.[2] The massif is protected as part of the Regional Park of Taburno-Camposauro, which extends for 12,370 hectares, with a total population of about 25,000.[1]

Fauna[edit]

The fauna of the massif is varied. Although the pressure from human activities led to the disappearance of rare species from the area, and the lack of water courses limits the variety of species, the Taburnus hosts the most diverse fauna in the province of Benevento, due to the many different environments.[3] Because of this diversity, bird species are abundant: 94 species have been observed, of whom 75 nesting species. The common raven, the common buzzard, the Eurasian nuthatch, redwings and several Passerine species can be seen on the massif.

Mammals are affected by human encroachment and extensive road infrastructure. Most common are rodents, bats, European hedgehogs, moles and foxes. The presence of wolves is uncertain: they probably pass in the area during their movements, but no stable population seems to be present. Hares and boars found on the Taburnus were originally introduced for hunting reasons.

The number of amphibians is affected by the lack of water. The common toad and, more rarely, the European green toad can be found in the gullies, while near the springs at a lower altitude is the Italian tree frog and the Italian stream frog. The presence of two snakes is known, the four-lined snake and the Aesculapian snake, while several smaller reptiles inhabit the massif, among which the Italian wall lizard and the gecko.[4][5]

Flora[edit]

In the lower places the vegetation is made up of roverella oaks, above 700 meters’ height it is constituted by maples, hornbeams and ash trees, above 900 meters the beech is the most common tree while, between 1000 and 1100 meters we find the holm oak.

Landmarks[edit]

The Santa Maria in Gruptis abbey

The ruins of the abbey of Santa Maria in Gruptis are located in the Camposauro part of the massif, on the side of a gorge overlooking the Valle Telesina. It was founded in the 10th century and used by several monastic orders, before being deconsecrated in 1705.[6]

On the southern slopes of Mount Taburnus, in the comune of Bucciano, is the Sanctuary of the Virgin of Taburnus, built at the end of the 15th century and used by Dominican monks. The complex includes a church, a convent, a cloister and a bell-tower. After falling into disrepair, it was slowly restored starting in 1892.[7]

In the northeastern part of the massif, high above Vitulano, is the Hermitage of Saint Mennas built in the 9th century.[8] On the exact point of the tallest peak of the massif is a large cross with a CAI summit book.[9]

Taburno DOC[edit]

Italian wine, both red, white, rose and sparkling, under the Taburno DOC appellation comes from vineyards in the foothills around the mountains in Campania. Grapes destined for DOC production must be harvested up to a maximum yield of 13 tonnes/hectare with the finished wines fermented to a minimum alcohol level of 11%.[10] The Taburno DOC is currently a subzone of the Sannio DOC label.[11]

Red and rose Taburno is a blend of 40-50% Sangiovese, 30-40% Aglianico with up to 30% of other grape varieties (both red and white), such as Barbera del Sannio, permitted to fill in the remainder of the blend. The whites are made from 40-50% Trebbiano, 30-40% Falanghina and up to 30% of other local white grape varieties. A sparkling spumante is produced under the Taburno DOC from a minimum 60% blend of Coda di Volpe and/or Falanghina with other local white varieties permitted to fill in up to 40% of the blend. Taburno wines labeled as Riserva must attain a minimum alcohol level of 12% and be aged for at least three years prior to release.[10]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Nazzaro, R.; Petti, C.; Taddei, A.; Taddei, R.; Varriale, A. (2005). "La vegetazione del Parco Regionale del Taburno-Camposauro (Campania)" (PDF). Delpinoa (in Italian). 47: 27. Retrieved 24 November 2017. 
  2. ^ "Guida" (pdf). enteparcotaburno (in Italian). Retrieved 24 November 2017. 
  3. ^ "Taburno-Camposauro" (in Italian). WWF Sannio. 1 May 2011. Retrieved 24 November 2017. 
  4. ^ "La Foresta Demaniale del Taburno" (pdf) (in Italian). Regione Campania - Assessorato all'agricoltura. p. 9. Retrieved 24 November 2017. 
  5. ^ "La fauna del Parco del Taburno" (pdf). enteparcotaburno.it. Retrieved 24 November 2017. 
  6. ^ "Montagne e non solo" (pdf). comunevitulano.it (in Italian). Retrieved 17 November 2017. 
  7. ^ Carofano, Claudio (November 2008). Il santuario del Monte Taburno - Storia, fede e tradizioni (in Italian). KAT. 
  8. ^ "Guida" (pdf). enteparcotaburno.it (in Italian). Retrieved 17 November 2017. 
  9. ^ Ardito, Stefano (2017). Cammini e sentieri nascosti d'Italia da percorrere almeno una volta nella vita (in Italian). Newton Compton Editori. ISBN 9788822706874. Retrieved 23 November 2017. 
  10. ^ a b P. Saunders Wine Label Language pg 136 Firefly Books 2004 ISBN 1-55297-720-X
  11. ^ "Disciplinare di produzione dei vini DOC "Sannio"" (pdf) (in Italian). Regione Campania - Assessorato all'agricoltura. Retrieved 24 November 2017.