Ambiente> Colli Lanuvini
Woods and Parks
Fosso di S. Martinella


The classical destination and symbol of the Castelli Romani can be considered the public houses with their typical signs realized with bay's branches, a small evergreen tree survived in this area only in shelter point, such as the “Fosso di S. Martinella” ditch, because of the cool and the abundant water.
The Fosso della Martinella was described and reported by important botanists in the 30s and 40s as a particular point for the growth of the bay within cool and shadowy woods. Unfortunately, as a consequence of excavation works, the topography of the original ditch has been completely transformed, so that only in some places it has preserved its natural dimension and where it is still possible to see evergreen exemplars of bay. This area belongs partially to the Parco Regionale dei Castelli Romani as a Botany Reserve (11 hectares). The bays of the Fosso della Martinella should be added to the habitat of the European Union according to the directive 92/43/CEE, and its protection requires the designation of particular areas for conservation.

Area's Natural Characteristics
At the Fosso della Martinella there are groups of bay-trees (Laurus Nobilis), whose presence has been reported fifty years ago, by the botanist Giuliano Montelucci and more recently by the botanist Paolo Bassani. In order to admire its flowering, visit this place during the spring. The yellow flowers are small and sweet-scented, in clusters, around the leaves' axil. In the ditch there are bushes of viburnum, rooted in the rocks and near to the water, and of stracciabraghe, with numerous interlacing branches, creating a barrier of trunks and thorny leaves. During summer the thick clusters of elder's black berries characterize this place with their particular colour.
The fauna of this place has been impoverished by the human intervention. The mammals are represented by the fox, an almost nocturnal animal, and the weasel, that can be watched during the day, even if not very often. Among the birds there are a lot of passerines' species, such as: robins, sylvia melanocephala, blackcaps, blackbirds, great titmice, and wrens, whose chirping is very lively and cheerful if compared with its small size.

The ditch finds near the “Castellaccio”, between Lanuvio and Velletri, along via appia vecchia (SP 95/a).
Roads and Public Transports
By car: From Rome cross via Appia nuova (S.S. 7 – slip-road 23 G.R.A.) following the road signs towards Albano and Velletri. Before reaching Velletri turn to the left on via appia vecchia following the road signs towards Lanuvio.
By train: Rome-Velletri. There is a train starting each hour from Rome. It will take you an hour to reach Albano Laziale. For information on train timetable call the phone number 848888088 or visit the web page The station finds at a distance of 6 km from the railway station.
By Bus: Rome-Velletri. (Cotral bus service phone number 800431784, phone number 067222153) from the underground station ‘Anagnina' of the Linea A. It will take you an hour to reach Velletri (Piazza Garibaldi).


For information phone to the Azienda di Promozione Turistica, Piazza Garibaldi, phone number 069630896 - 069633367.

Tourist signs

Further Information
Books: Bassani P., Cantiani G.P., 1997. L’ambiente naturale del Vulcano Laziale. Ed. XI Townstà Montana del Lazio “Castelli Romani e Prenestini”, Rocca Priora (RM); Bassani P., Lotti L., 1992. Alberi e arbusti del Parco Regionale dei Castelli Romani. Casa editrice del Parco dei Castelli Romani, Rocca di Papa (RM).

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