Guardiaregia-Campochiaro (english version) | WWF Italy

Guardiaregia-Campochiaro (english version)

© N. Merola
The second largest WWF nature reserve
Guardiaregia-Campochiaro Oasis was created in 1997.
In 2010 it became a regional nature reserve  and was extended to 3135 hectares, protecting a unique biodiversity.

Flora and Fauna

Guardiaregia – Comapochiaro regional nature reserves protects mountain and forest environments with an altitude variation between 600 and 1823 m.a.m.s.l.
Spectacular karst phenomenon such as the Quirino stream Canyon, the San Nicola fall (a 100m ) and the caves of Pozzo della Neve (depth -1048 m.) and of  Cul di Bove (depth -913 m.) are among the deepest abysses in Europe.
On mount Mutria, high altitude pastures with multiple and interesting species such as the mountain cowslip and the Androsace villosa; at lower elevations are beech woods with century-old trees. Holm oaks grow along the Quirino gorges while century-old yews grow on the canyon floor; noteworthy is the Strawberry Tree, an isolated element of the Mediterranean maquis located only on the eastern side of the Matese mountains.
At lower altitudes many arboreal and shrub-like species can be observed, such as holly, Lobel's maples, common laburnums, South European flowering ash, European cornel, and the wonderful blossoms of fire lilies, European columbines, windflowers and the common hepaticas.
The fauna of the reserve is well worth noting. Among mammals the wolf is the most noteworthy species along with the wild-cat and the badger. Amphibians include the spectacled salamander (symbol of the nature reserve), the fire salamander and the yellow-bellied toad. Birds include: lanner falcons, red kites, common buzzards, peregrine falcons, and white-throated dippers. Among insects noteworthy is the Southern festoon.

Visiting the nature reserve

The tour takes place along “San Nicola” nature trail and lasts about one hour and a half: the first part runs up a slope while the second part levels off. The view from the trail is breathtaking as it runs along the edge of the Quirino gorges and the San Nicola fall. With a bit of luck it may be possible to see diurnal birds of prey.

Alternative trails include: the “Tre Frati” path in the beech wood of mount Mutria to discover the century-old beeches (about 2-3 hours) and the “Sentiero delle grotte” to visit the abysses of “Pozzo della Neve” and of “Cul di Bove” (about 2-3 hours) and the presence of the Southern festoon, a diurnal butterfly.


Management is by WWF Oasi in agreement with the Guardiaregia and Campochiaro municipalities and the Molise Region. There is a Visitors Center equipped with a multimedia classroom, a nature trail equipped with educational panels and boards, and a bird of prey observation point.


conctat information and opening times

Open all year on Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday.

Tours are on reservation and only guided, starting from the Visitor Centre.

Phone: -  +39 3383673035 (Ranger)




Guardiaregia-Campochiaro Oasis is in Molise, on the eastern side of the Matese massif, across the Guardiaregia and Campochiaro municipalities, in the province of Campobasso.

Take the Isernia-Campobasso highway and at the Guardiaregia o Campochiaro fork, then follow the directions for the nature reserve.

Places to visit

- At 10 Km from the Natural Reserve, the excavation of the ancient city of Saepinum, first a Sabellians   center risen on a Transhumance path and then a noteworthy historic and commercial Roman Town.

- At Campochiaro  the Italic Temple consecrated to Hercules (II century B.C.) deserves a visit.


Overnight stays and restaurants

- "Le Coccole" farmhouse, in C.da Riponi next to the town of Guardiaregia (CB) ph. +39 33404954937. Restaurant, typical products, rooms with en suite bathroom.

- Azienda zootecnica agrituristica "Il Rifugio del Massaro" zootechnical farm and farmhouse, located in a wonderful mountain flat, it offers tasting of dairy products and own made cold cuts. In Località Campitello under Guradiaregia (CB) ph. +39 3333621149 - +39 0874785231. Restaurant, trailer court.

Moderate prices if you say that you have been sent by WWF.