Company Speciale Silvo Pastorale

About us

The mountain is life, Live it

Our history

ASSP of Nicosia and its territorial features

The Azienda Speciale Silvo Pastorale of the Municipality of Nicosia was established by resolutions of the Nicosia City Council No. 213/43 of 12.12.1953 and No. 237/45 of 13.05.1954, in harmony with R.D. No. 3267 of 30.12.1923 and L. No. 991 of 25.07.1952.

By the above-mentioned resolutions and exactly by Art. 4 of the Special Regulations forming an integral part of the same, the constituted Company was entrusted and handed over for management and protection all the land assets of the Municipality consisting of the lands of the seven municipal fiefs (Giumenta, Sambughetti, San Martino, Graffagna, Campanito, Ciarambellieri and Casaleni), the lands located in the Casale and Altesina districts, as well as all the pieces of land located in the immediate vicinity of the inhabited center and located in the districts Crociate, Castello, Peschiera and Itria.

In short, all the rustic properties registered in lot 1725 of the N.C.T. of the Nicosia census municipality were handed over and entrusted. Right the above, the Company, for over forty years, has been managing and protecting a heritage that represents an ancient resource, in many ways yet to be discovered, certainly to be protected and enhanced: a tool, ultimately, of both economic and cultural growth.

The entire farm territory covers a total of Ha 3051.18.16: ha 2998.61.83 located on the slopes of the Nebrodi mountain range, ha 52.56.33 located instead near the town of Nicosia.

The area located on the slopes of the Nebrodi constitutes a single land complex of a shape assimilated to an oval bounded to the north by the Province of Messina (Municipality of Mistretta), to the west by the “Regia Trazzera delle Montagne,” to the south bordering on private property in the territory of Nicosia and to the east with the Municipality of Cerami; it falls in the northern part of the Nicosian municipal territory and of it at the highest altitudes.

Of the aforementioned area of about 3,000 hectares, Ha 1899.93.03 are characterized by natural or artificial tree stands; Ha 1095.85.70, on the other hand, are affected by bare or bushy pastures; Ha 2.00.00 is the area occupied by the former Forestry Administration nursery, located in contrada Campanito; finally, Ha 0.83.56 is affected by buildings of significant importance and areas of their appurtenance, shepherd’s refuges, sheepfolds.

This mountainous territory includes the highest peaks in the Province of Enna (Mount Campanito, Mount Sambughetti, Mount San Martino); the mountains follow one another in an east-west direction along the major axis of the farm territory, which results from them divided into two slopes respectively tributary, from the hydraulic point of view, the northern one of the Tusa River that flows into the Tyrrhenian Sea, the southern one of the River of Cerami, the Fiumetto and the River of Sperlinga, all tributary of the Simeto, which flows into the Ionian Sea.

Altimetrically, the territory lies between 800 and 1558 meters above sea level. The average slope of the two slopes is around 32% with minimums of 15% and maximums around 90%.

Geologically, the area under consideration participates in the vast Tertiary formation of the mesoautoctonous complex that characterizes the Nebrodi chain, better defined as “numidic flysch.”


This is a formation of nonmarly brown clays, rich in iron oxides,

with subordinate intercalations of layers or banks of quartzarenites with calcareous cement, more often siliceous, characterized by rather rounded and unclassified granules, so as to reach up to types with quartz elements in fine pure quartz matrix.

Pedologically, the soils in question belong in the area at the highest altitudes to that association called “regosols from sandy rocks,” while in the lower part we are instead in the presence of “regosols from clayey rocks.” For such soils, both sandy and clay soils, the central concept is fixed on young soils at early stages of development, evolving on soft rocks or loose substrates. Because they are young soils, their physicochemical-hydrological properties are strongly conditioned by the substrate on which they evolve but, on the whole, given their characteristics, the productive potential of these soil associations can be judged as fair or good.

Phytoclimatically, the area under consideration falls within the Castanetum and Fagetum zones. Given the altitude, during the winter months rainfall takes on a snowy character with persistence of the mantle for several days.

Prior to the establishment of the Farm, the area in question was divided according to three basic types of crops: arable land, pastures and forests.

Arable crops, pushed up the slopes beyond all reasonable ecological, technical and economic limits, represented the most degrading extensive cereal farming.

Pastures, confined to the stony and steepest slopes, burdened by excessive livestock loads, were reduced to the extremes of degradation.

The forests, consisting of mixed coppices of various broadleaf trees, were reduced to the most severe deterioration by illegal cutting and uncontrolled grazing pressure.

Following its establishment, the Company oversaw the compilation of a plan intended for the technical and economic reorganization as well as rational use of its territory. Thus, arable land was eliminated first, almost totally, and transformed into pastures, while the most uneven slopes already subjected to grazing were reforested.

At the same time as these measures were taken, an extensive program of grazing slopes was begun by reintegrating the grass sward in order to completely eliminate the then considerable erosion.

Thus on the one hand the grassed slopes underwent a certain contraction to make way for newly planted forests, and on the other hand their effectiveness was gradually increased through improvement works that helped to restore the hydro-geological order without, however, disturbing the existing economic balance.

Special mention should be made of the natural tree stands that cover the northern slope of the Nebrodi chain for an extension of about 300 hectares, consisting of a centuries-old cerreta at the lower altitudes and almost pure beech near the peaks, with an undergrowth very rich in species among which Ilex aquifolium, Rubens fruticosus, Sambucus nigra, etc. stand out. The amenity of the places meant that this entire area was included in the Regional Plan of Parks and Nature Reserves, with the designation of “Campanito – Sambughetti Oriented Nature Reserve,” for the conservation and protection of an important relict of beech forest with aspects of hygrophilous vegetation related to the Campanito pond.

The areas closest to the town of Nicosia, on the other hand, present pushed forms of anthropization; Ha 30,65,85, located in contrada Casale and qualifying as arboreal pastureland, are granted to civic use and regulated by special regulations established by the Nicosia Town Council, while another 20 hectares or so, highly fractionated and qualifying as pastureland, are leased to very small agricultural-livestock farms of residents in the municipality.

What do we do

Business development and increasing agricultural-naturalistic tourism

Within the scope of development, the Company that is promoted as a driving force not only for animal husbandry, local agriculture and activities for the enhancement and promotion of the mountain territory but also the increase of agricultural-naturalistic tourism (ecotourism), in relation of the forest and structural heritage, as drawn from the large extension of the S.I.C. (Site of Community Interest) Mount Sambughetti, Mount Campanito COD ITA060006, from the Oriented Nature Reserve of Mounts Sambughetti and Campanito.

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