The Bosco della Ficuzza, only about 40 minutes from Palermo, is an enchanting place for those who love nature and relaxation. It is a nature reserve, less known than the Nebrodi and at Madonie , but of great value. The forest is in fact among the most beautiful in Sicily and they are present 80% of the animal species of the entire region .
This place has remained intact over the years, since it was not possible to practice agriculture due to the rocky nature of the environment. Just think that once a large part of Sicily was covered by these woods, unfortunately unfortunately today. Let’s find out now what to see in Ficuzza, because there is not only a magnificent forest.
1. The Real Hunting Lodge
As a first stop you can visit the Royal Hunting Lodge (1803) . It is an imposing royal palace, built by King Ferdinand III of Sicily, to be able to spend the summer holidays and go hunting in the woods. It is surrounded by greenery, with a huge English lawn in front and a dense forest behind it. Thanks to European funds it was restored and reopened to the public in 2009.
Inside you can visit some rooms, even if they are unfortunately bare, due to the thefts that took place during the wars. The king’s bedroom, on the other hand, still preserves ancient paintings depicting hunting scenes. In addition, the naturalistic museum of the Ficuzza wood has been set up, which also houses stuffed animals.
The whole tour lasts about 45 minutes and the ticket price is only 2.50 Euros including the guide. Opening hours: Every day from 09.00 to 22.00.
Tip from Topsecretsicily: If you wish here you can book a guided tour of the Royal Palace of Ficuzza, nearby Corleone with lunch and wine included.
2. Wildlife recovery center – Lipu
On the right of the Real Casina there is the only wildlife recovery center in Sicily. Although funds are really scarce, here there are many people of good will, who take care of injured mammals (especially birds, including birds of prey and owls) and then set them free. If you go to visit this place leave a small donation, the volunteers will be happy. The center is open all year but it is better to book a visit by sending an email to [email protected] .
3. Walk in the woods in search of the King’s throne
If you go to Ficuzza you cannot miss a walk in the woods, even if it is short-lived. The path is simple and you can decide whether to do it all in an hour (there and back) or take a much longer tour of about 3 hours (round trip).
The short ride still allows you to see 2 of the park’s most beautiful attractions: The King’s throne carved into the rock, called the King’s Pulpit and the lookout point.
You can leave the car in the point marked with “P” on the interactive map that you find at the end of the article. From there, walk straight through the woods for 5 minutes, until you cross an uphill road. Then continue along this small street and after about 20 minutes you will find yourself in front of the king’s throne. In fact, it is said that King Ferdinand III of Bourbon had his throne excavated on this rock, in order to be able to comfortably position himself to hunt. In fact, some recent archaeological studies have shown that it is a place of worship of the protohistoric age, probably of Sican origin. Looking closely you will notice 2 other monoliths, which are also part of this real rock sanctuary. The monolith closest to the “King’s throne” has the shape of a resting eagle (seen from the side) and observes the third monolith. Looking closely at the throne and the eagle you will also notice the alphabetic signs left by these protohistoric civilizations, sometimes unfortunately mixed with modern writings of vandals.
From here, proceeding straight ahead, after just 5 minutes you will reach a splendid panoramic point, above a rock. At this point you can decide whether to return by car or continue with the walk.
If you decide to continue, you have to go back to the King’s Pulpit and from here take the path that climbs to the left. You will enter the woods and after about an hour you will find yourself in front of a drinking trough. Not far away is a centuries-old cork oak and further on, a beautiful pond.
4. Train ride in the heart of the woods
A small train often leaves near the town square, which takes you to the heart of the woods, retracing an ancient railway line dating back to the end of the 19th century and now in disuse. The train leaves approximately every hour, the ride takes 30 minutes and costs 5 Euros per person. Attention: The service is not always guaranteed.
Where to eat near the Ficuzza wood
Right in front of the Real Casina di Caccia there is a small bar where you can drink and eat a little something. For a more substantial lunch or dinner you can go to the splendid Antica Stazione di Ficuzza restaurant. As the name implies, the building was once a train station and has now been used as a restaurant. The food is very good, the prices are low and outside there is also a playground for children in the middle of the green.
Activities loved by tourists in the surrounding area or in Sicily in general
Interactive map – Points of interest in purple
What to see around the Ficuzza wood
The Madonie park is located in the province of Palermo. Here you will find listed the places to visit in Palermo and surroundings .