© Jeff Matthews entry July 2015
The Campania Region of
The WWF Oases in Campania
The WWF (formerly World Wildlife
Fund, now, in some countries, World-Wide Fund for
Nature) is a large non-governmental organization founded in 1961 and present in the Campania
region of Italy since 1970. It works for the preservation,
conservation and restoration of the natural environment.
To that end, the organization has established a number of
"Oases" in the world. There are about 100 of them in
Italy. Twelve such oases are in Campania. Many of the
areas had interesting histories before becoming WWF oases
(ex. the Astroni crater in Naples was an old Bourbon Royal
Hunting preserve). Some are bigger than others, but, big
or small, they all specialize in making the public aware
of the need to preserve nature. In many cases they are not
totally separate entities but may find themselves within
the confines of—and collaborate with—regional parks or
nature preserves. Some require stamina to walk through and
some are easily accessible for all. They have trained
staff and are equipped with instructional material and
visual aids that explain the flora and fauna. They are
generally well-equipped to handle such things as school
field trips. Entrance fees are quite reasonable. These are
the 12 WWF Oases Campania:
The Astroni Crater (photo, upper
right), in the city limits of Naples in the suburb of
Agnano. It's part of the Campi Flegrei, the Fiery Fields. Everything is an
extinct volcano—or at least we hope they're extinct.
The San Silvestro Woods (image,and now accessible from—the grounds of the
massive Caserta royal palace. Details here.
Lake Campolattaro, located 20 km
/12 miles north of the city of Benevento.
The area of the lake is 1000 hectares/2500 acres.
The lake is an artificial body of water created on
the alluvial plain of the Tammaro river. It has
been a protected area since 2003. Details here.
Woods, located in the town of Albanella, on the
western side of the Alburni massif
in the Cilento region of the province of Salerno. The
oasis was established in 1999, covers 100 hectares (250
acres) and serves as a display of Mediterranean flora.
Sopra, in the province of Benevento. It is a
mountainous area in the heart of the Partenio Regional
Park, described here. The
WWF oasis is 312 hectares/770 acres and presents a variety
of Mediterranean as well as Apennine flora.
Lake Conza, located
in the province of Avellino and accessible from the town
of Conza di Campania. The lake is an artificial basin
created in the 1970s by damning the Orfanto river for
hydroelectric purposes. The WWF lakeside oasis (pictured)
is 800 hectares/2000 acres in area. The old town of Conza
di Campania was destroyed in the 1980 Irpinia earthquake.
The new town of Conza was rebuilt a short distance away.
The Oasis is a recent addition to the premises of the lake
area; it offers a variety of recreational and educational
activities for visitors
The Bussento Caves at Morigerati
are a series of karst caves
along the Bussento river in the southern part of the Cilento and Vallo di Diano
National Park before that river then flows down into
the gulf of Policastro. The WWF oasis is 600 hectares
(1500 acres) in area. [main article here]
Persano (photo right),
in the province of Salerno down south in the Cilento as
you approach the Alburni massif.
TheOasis was opened in 1980 and
is recognized by the European Union as an
"internationally important wetland."
Complete details at this link.
The Blue Oasis "La Punta" is
located in the town of Pollica between Acciaroliand Pioppi
Cilento area of Italy; it is a coastal town just
south of the gulf of Salerno. The Oasis
consists of a 600-meter stretch of beach with an area
of 156 hecates/385 acres.
of the Hunt) of Senerchia (image, left), in the
mountains east of Salerno. A friend of mine
just came back from this one. It's one of those
easily accessible to all —one
km in and one out. It was established in 1992, covers an
area of 450 hectares (c. 1100 acres) and is an integral part
of the Monti Picentini Regional Park. My friend wrote on his
Underground, "The oasis is a splendid natural
jewel laid out along a single trail flanking the
Acquabianca stream and leading to a spectacular natural
waterfall. Along the trail for all to see and enjoy, the
watercourse bounces and jumps along as it approaches the
deep gorge near the Grotta del Muschio (Moss Grotto).
Truly a fantastic scene." Details, photos and video at
his website (link above). photo,
left, Napoli Underground
Diecimare Nature Park, 440 hectares/1100 acres in the
terrain that separates the Lattari mountains from the
Picentines; that is, near the towns of Cava de'Tirreni,
Mercato S. Severino and Baronissi (roughly, the gap behind
the Sorrentine peninsula as you go from Naples to Salerno.
Croce Park, including the Croce Woods,
located at the foot of Mount Falerio at the eastern
beginning of the Amalfi coast in the town of Vietri sul Mare. In part, the oasis
holds Mediterranean flora and, in part, is an example of a
typical terrace found along the Amalifi coast, cultivated
with grape vines and fruit trees. The name of the oasis comes from the fact that Silvia
Croce, daughter of historian and philosopher, Benedetto Croce, donated
the property with the intent of establishing a WWF
center for the Amalfi Coast.