For the inhabitants of Appiano, Caldaro and Bolzano, the area of Monticolo on the Monte di Mezzo is considered a popular excursion destination.
About 100 hectares of the forest of Monticolo is under natural protection and is the largest protected area of South Tyrol. Also the famous Valle della Primavera, in which flowers such as spring snowflakes, liverwort and primroses cover the ground in the first months of the year, are included in the forest of Monticolo.
Pines and other trees such as spruces, firs, beeches, chestnuts, limes and sweet cherries confer a particular and unique atmosphere to this forest. Great hiking trails traverse this fantastic landscape. The lakes of Monticolo, located in the heart of the forest, as well as further wetlands in the surroundings (Langmoos and Purzelmoos) originate in the Ice Age. In Riva di Sotto, there are remnants of the former Adige meadows, that are called “Fuchsmoeser” (biotope of about 6 hectares).
The forest of Monticolo is controlled considering the aspects of the PEFC seal, which stands for a responsible, sustainable forestry as well as a controlled processing of the natural product of wood. Appiano has set its sights on preserving this forest for the oncoming generations. The cultivation of the forest and the processing of wood are tightly controlled in order to meet the high standard set by the seal of approval.