The beech (Fagus sylvatica) is a tall, typically European, tree. It flourishes in mild to cold temperatures and fair humidity. These climate conditions are met in Italy between 900 and 1500 m above the sea level, where beeches form magnificent forests (see below). So, when beeches are in sight, the air gets thinner and fresher and I feel that I have finally reached my beloved mountains. Young leaves are tender green, turning darker as they grow older. The trunk is smooth, gray with white patches and, frequently, pretty straight. The timber is an excellent fuel, also used to make charcoal. The beech fruit is a small, triangular nut, shut in a tiny husk, which, although not prickly, resembles that of chestnut. In fact, the chestnut and the beech belong to the same family (Fagacaee).

Beech Home Elm


Beech and beech woods


Colle del Melogno
"The most beautiful beech wood
in Europe"


State Beech wood
on Monte Penna


Monte Antola
The wood in winter


Passo del Faiallo
The bare beech


Val d'Aveto

The old and the new:
dry leaves and leaf-buds


The fruit of the beech


Under the beeches:
Amanita muscaria
(poisonous mushroom)

Beech Home Elm