Tucked away in the Tuscan woods, there lives a 600-year-old oak tree. This tree is a recognized National Monument, and, because of its size, is used as a reference on NATO maps.
However, this tree’s significance goes beyond its age and size. Its mysterious history began many years ago with a local legend. This tree, referred to as the Oak of the Witches, was said to be the gathering spot for the nearby coven of witches. The tree’s stunted trunk and outward growing limbs are also attributed to these magical meetings. Supposedly, the witches’ rituals, where they danced on the top of the tree, prevented the tree from growing tall.
Although this tree has a dark past, its more recent history is significantly brighter. It was underneath the tree’s shady limbs that author Carlo Collodi wrote the first chapters of the Adventures of Pinocchio. The tree also features in scenes in the story, including Pinocchio’s meeting with Cat and the Fox. The tree is also located within a few miles of the Tallest Wooden Pinocchio in the World and Pinocchio Park.
Keep in mind the way to the tree is not marked and many visitors have lost their way. However, they all say it is worth the search, and your best option is to talk to the local people about finding this ancient tree.
Despite this tree’s more sinister beginnings, it has now grown into a cultural landmark for Pinocchio fans as well as those wishing to explore its witchy beginnings.
- Oak of the Witches [Atlas Obscura]
- Oak Tree Becomes National Monument [Italy Magazine]
- Feature Picture [Instagram]