Riserva Regionale Zompo Lo Schioppo


Protected Area

Identity Card

  • Land Surface Area: 1'025.00 ha
  • Regions: Abruzzo
  • Provinces: L'Aquila
  • Municipalities: Morino
  • Establishment Measures: LR 24 29/05/1987
  • PA Official List: EUAP0249



Zompo lo Schioppo Nature Reserve

With this name we identify a protected area of 1,025 hectares, established through the regional decree L.R. n° 24 of 29.05.1987 and lying in the territory of the Municipality of Morino (AQ).
The name of the Reserve derives from Zompo lo Schioppo waterfall, which is without a doubt the most representative element of the landscape of the reserve, situated at the bottom of a large amphitheater between the Monti Simbruini and Ernici, in Val Roveto.


Photo by Zompo lo Schioppo Nature Reserve


The mainly mountain territory is characterized not only by the water element, in which the reserve is rich, but also by the presence of a luxuriant forest extending itself on almost the whole protected area. This kind of natural characterization is the direct consequence of the temperate climate, where warm and fresh sections coexist in order to favor the growth of a luxuriant vegetation with both Mediterranean elements like the ilex and others typical of colder climates, like the beech and the yew.
Another factor influencing the natural landscape is the altitude which, going from the 600 to 2,000 meters, favors the presence of various environments: from the cultivated and urbanized landscape situated at lower altitudes to the mountain grasslands going through oak woods, centuries-old beech woods, the variegated rupestral environment and, at higher altitudes, the mixed wood and the beechwood.
Above the 900 meters of height, the high-trunk beech tree dominates the forest, which is entirely covered by a beechwood, with a few specimens of other species. In the small clearings within it, the presence of an incredible variety of orchids has been discovered, more than 20 different species which make the environment of the beechwood even more magic.



The variety of the natural landscape favors the settlement of several animal species: from the most typical of the reserve like the woodpeckers to the most interesting from a scientific point of view like the Brown bear and the Apennine wolf, and the rarest ones, like the Eagle owl, the Peregrine, the Chough. Moreover, the roe deer has come back to populate steadily the Reserve and the surrounding areas since a few years ago.
A unifying element in this complex landscape is the water, which crosses it in its different forms, from the most spectacular one, the waterfall, to the smaller ones, such as the net of ponds and streams which gradually grow and feed the main course: the stream Lo Schioppo. The presence of other animal species is also linked to water: they are joined by a very interesting alimentary chain based on a great variety of invertebrates, which represents the main resource for the Dipper and the Brown trout. Moreover, water influenced in the past some of the main human activities, from the settlements situated along its route to the productive activities, both as far as agriculture and the production of electric energy is concerned.


The Territory

A Reserve of… Water
Concealed to the eyes, the water runs inside the mountain, trickles in karstic valleys, gorges, and dolines, among the fissures of the calcareous rocks forming these mountains. It fills caves, dugs channels, and outcrops in rich springs.

From the mountain ridges of the cultivated bottom of the valley, the vegetal landscape is varied and rich in rare and precious species. Willows and Poplars, together with Black Alders, grow along the banks of the stream, while Moss and Livewort form a soft carpet on the cliffs near the waterfall.

One hundred ways of thinking, talking, listening... one hundred ways of smiling and discovering.

Further information (Italian text)

Photo by The Territory

Man and the Reserve...

The presence of man in Val Roveto since the Bronze Age has been of great importance to better understand the main events linked to the history of Central Italy. From the battlements previous to the 6th century BC to the arrival of the "marse" populations, from the invasion of the Romans to the medieval events, from the brigandage phenomenon to the earthquake in 1915, the history and the town planning of this part of Abruzzi live through considerable architectural evidences, which are examples of the evolution of the whole Italy of the Central Apennines. The Reserve can only be visited through excursion and didactic paths and it is favored by the presence of three rest areas and three mountain huts. Moreover, there are a welcome center, a camping, and hotels situated in Morino and Civitella Roveto, as well as many refreshment points.

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