The landscape and environmental restoration project of the San Francesco wood in Assisi, designed by the FAI and the CultLab, is one of the first examples of recovery of the historical Italian agro-forestry-pastoral landscape. The wood of San Francesco is a predominantly wooded area where the influences of two important religious orders are historically present: the Franciscans and the Benedictines. Currently the forest complex of San Francesco extends over an area of about 70 hectares included in the last stretch of the valley of the Tescio river, on steep slopes located under the Basilica of San Francesco and the Rocca Maggiore. The altitude varies between 250 meters above sea level of the Tescio river and 470 meters of the western side of Col Caprile, on the eastern border of the property. The first stretch of wood, bordered by a high wall, is owned by the Sacro Convento and is called the “Selva di San Francesco”. The second section is owned by the FAI (Fondo Ambiente Italiano) and is characterized by forest stands attributable to aged coppices of black hornbeam in the central part of the slope and adult-mature coppices of downy oak with ash and hornbeam along the eastern slope.

San francesco FAI San francesco FAI 2

In order to draw up a plan of landscape restoration interventions, a cognitive framework was developed by applying the VASA methodology (Historical Environmental Assessment Approach ), which allows the comparison between the same landscape in different eras, in order to observe the transformations that have affected a specific area and to understand the identity characteristics of the traditional landscape. In the case of the Bosco di San Francesco, the VASA methodology was initially applied on an area of 304 hectares which includes the 68 hectares owned by the FAI and the object of the environmental-landscape restoration. Thanks to the multitemporal analysis of a buffer zone around the study area, it is possible to have a better view of the transformations that involved the study area in relation to those that, instead, affected the surrounding area. The analysis considered three dates: 1955, 1988 and 2010. In consideration of the data coming from the cognitive framework, physiognomic-landscape units have been identified, on a historical-environmental basis. These represent the elementary units into which the landscape of the area under study has been divided, taking into account the morphology of the territory, the vegetation characteristics and the historical dynamics. For each physiognomic-landscape unit, after analyzing the single unit and the whole complex of the San Francesco wood, a management approach has been identified that takes into account the previous use, the current situation, the management vocation, the protection of the landscape history and fire risk. In particular, the identified crop objectives include the recovery of tree pastures, grazing woods and mixed crops, characteristic elements of the local historical rural landscape.

Go to the FAI page relating to the Bosco di San Francesco .

BSF Carta interventi