A BIT OF HISTORY
Monteluco encompasses millennia of religious history. The name of the Mountain (lucus=wood) show the importance and sacredness of the place, reaffirmed repeatedly over the centuries. Its geographical features, like the richness of the forest cover, the widespread presence of water and the very nature of the soil, make Monteluco a privileged place for life of prayer and meditation. The mountain was made inviolable in pagan times by the “Lex Spoletina”, and, from the fifth century, the forest became home to one of the largest movements of the hermit time.
The spiritual experience of St. Francis of Assisi found fulfillment in these same places. In the tradition of the Order, in 1218 Francis found a primitive coterie in Monteluco, second in order of time to that of Sant'Apollinare. Some of the greatest Franciscan representatives lived and prayed here inheriting the sacredness of the mountain.
The Franciscans were also the protagonists of the last gasps of mysticism when, in the late eighteenth century, Blessed Leopold de Gaiche tried to bring away the French troops, which wanted to plant the tree of liberty on the mountain.
In the sixteenth century, even the artist Michelangelo briefly stayed in these places for recreation.
For more information: http://www.comunespoleto.gov.it/it/storia
Monteluco constitutes the northern end of the mountain and it is located at 780 m above the sea level. It is a limestone ridge stretched from north to south, extending about 7,000 acres, between the Flaminia SS and the Valley of the river called “Nera”. The area is mostly occupied by forests of deciduous and evergreen sclerophyllous: formations of black hornbeam and flowering ash, oak-wood of durmast oak, chestnut, some core beech at higher altitudes, the pine forests of Aleppo pine and holm-oak woods. The secular holm-oak wood of Monteluco stands between them. The composition of the forest is very diverse;
in addition to the dominant tree species it is possible to find also maples, turkey oaks, white hornbeam, hazel, apple and wild cherry, rowan, laburnum, strawberry trees and many shrubs such as viburnum, mock privet, buckthorn, multiflora heather, cornel tree, blood orange, hawthorn, euonymus, juniper, broom and blackberry. In some places there are the rare yew and holly. On some sunny sides, there are olive groves while, around small settlements, even in the mountains, it is possible to see meadows and sowable land. The fauna of this Mountain is rich and diverse, with at least 134 species of vertebrates: 10 of amphibians, 10 of reptiles, 89 of nesting and / or wintering birds (the nesting one are 79) and 25 of mammals. The 37% of these animals are considered of great scientific and environmentalist value, because they are rare and / or threatened often at national and European level.
The importance of the environmental characteristics of Monteluco is ratified by the identification of Monteluco as a"site of Community interest" (SIC), according the EEC directives and the Bioitaly Project, and as a"special Protection Area '(SPA).
Monteluco is also part of the "Natura sites 2000" of Spoleto Local Governmnet, which aims to catalog the rich natural heritage of Spoleto area.
For more information:http://www.natura2000spoleto.it/monteluco.html