Bosco del Sasseto – Acquapendente, Italy - Atlas Obscura

Bosco del Sasseto

Acquapendente, Italy

A magnificent Neogothic tomb hides within this Italian fairytale-like forest.  


Moss and lichens carpet the twisting trees and stones within this forest, creating a fairy-tale ambiance. An eerie Neogothic mausoleum is nestled among the trees, adding to the area’s otherworldly atmosphere.

In the late 19th century, a banker named Edoardo Cahen purchased the castle of Torre Alfina and the surrounding forests. It’s rumored that his family obtained titles (marquis) and royal support for having supported King Victor Emmanuel II during the key period of the Italian Risorgimento.

Cahen spent significant sums on restructuring the castle, which still dominates the town’s skyline. He also poured funds into designing paths throughout the dense forest that lies at the foot of the village, the so-called Bosco del Sasseto, which he turned into his own private garden.

Now, a number of trails lead through the forest, where you can experience a sense of timelessness and peace. Volcanic stones from the eruption that shaped nearby Lake Bolsena litter the ground. The forest is dominated by secular trees such as durmast and turkey oaks, beech trees, and holly.

Upon his death in 1894, Cahen was buried in the majestic mausoleum, which emerges as the only large human-made structure in the forest. It stands as a lasting testimony to his memory in Torre Alfina.

Know Before You Go

Although historically open to the public and to the people of Torre Alfina, the Bosco del Sasseto may be temporarily closed to individual visitors. For more information and for guided visits, please contact the cooperative L'Ape Regina or the local Museo del Fiore.

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