The ancient Forest of the Doges of the Republic of Venice represents one of the most interesting natural resources in Veneto. It surrounds the Cansiglio plateau that extends between the provinces of Belluno, Treviso and Pordenone, where the Biogenetic Nature Reserve Campo di Mezzo – Pian Parrocchia is located.

Located between the 1000 m of the Plateau and the 2250 m of Monte Cavallo, this natural lung made up of 7000 hectares of beech, white and red fir forests, is part of the SIC areas – Site of Community Interest – and is a Special Protection Area – SPAs – included in the Natura 2000 Network and therefore enjoys a special protectionist regime that provides very strict rules and accurate controls on the cutting of timber. 7,000 hectares of forest crowning the plateau of the same name from 1000 meters upwards, thanks to the mountainous group of the Horse that rises imperiously at 2000 meters above the density of beech and fir trees.

Cansiglio is a plateau covered with a natural grassland. The particular climatic conditions have influenced the flora and fauna over time. Walking through the paths and itineraries that go through the plain, you may be lucky enough to spot the Cedroni roosters and the deer that have long been inside this area.

When the day is particularly clear, from the top of Monte Cavallo, you can see the Venice lagoon.

Hiking in the Cansiglio Forest in search of the deer

In September and October, Cansiglio welcomes numerous visitors who come to watch the traditional roaring of the deer. This is the marvelous natural spectacle of deer in love, whose typical mating ritual is made up of particular references, the characteristic roaring, and strong physical clashes from sunset to sunrise.

The ideal is to witness this spectacle of nature with mountain guides. In fact, excursions are organized that offer a theoretical overview of the characteristics of the deer, and then the outdoor setting. The best moments for the sighting of deer in love are the sunset and the dawn.

The Cansiglio charcoal burners

Cansiglio presents some unusual semi-circular open spaces. These open spaces were used in the past, to set up the bunkers for the production of sweet coal.

This activity was carried out until the middle of the last century, until other energy sources, more economical and functional for the modern society, took over and put an end to the charcoal burners’ trade.