WWF Wildlife Sanctuary, Val Predina
Cenate Sopra | Itinerari e percorsi
A green oasis where birds, mammals and reptiles cohabit
At residents’ meetings in the WWF Wildlife Sanctuary situated at the foot Mount Misma, the residents are many and diverse: sometimes they do not agree and feathers fly, but normally all is as calm as the river Predina that crosses these 37 hectares of nature reserve. Since 1983, this sanctuary has provided a refuge for dozens of animal species in their natural environment, constituting one of the most unspoilt environments in the Bergamasque Pre-Alps. Also situated at the reserve, but not open to the public, is the Centro di Recupero (Recovery Centre) for wild animals.
Valpredina, which means valle delle Pietre (valley of stones), is a protected area within the municipal district of Cenate Sopra, an area famous for the quarrying of the stone used for sharpening utensils. The bergamasco word for pietre (stones) is ‘prede’. Following the unmade path that enters into the WWF Wildlife Sanctuary, one discovers rare examples of biodiversity.
Between the altitudes of 380 and 1,100 metres the Valpredina sanctuary is covered in woodland, with common oak and chestnut trees, an environment that the tawny owls, little owls and barn owls find perfect for nesting. Close by is also the peregrine falcon, perfectly accustomed to sharing his habitat here with his other night-time hunting colleagues.
Beneath the trees, the river Predina hosts extremely rare examples of the crested newt and fire salamander, the latter of which has become the official symbol of the reserve. Alongside these live a further twenty different mammals: from foxes to pine martens, stone martens, badgers and roe deer.
Close your eyes and allow nature to let itself be heard
In this unspoilt environment where we humans are just guests invited in to admire the splendour of nature, our absence has allowed the undisturbed growth of hawthorn, broom and the cornel tree, as well as periwinkle, natural orchids and cyclamen.
Planning your visit
During the year, along with pre-booked guided visits, there are also numerous activities for adults and children, centred around themes such as recycling, energy saving and other environmental issues.
In each of these places and also along the path there are educational noticeboards that illustrate various aspects of the wild fauna present in the protected area.
Following a path through the woods, the visitor can go on to reach the little church of Santa Maria (dating from the 14th century) and following it on even further, the summit of Mount Misma (1,156 metres above sea level).