La Quercia delle Checche (Checche oak) is located in the Municipality of Pienza, in the province of Siena, in the heart of the Val d’Orcia. Its age is around 370 years old, and it is the first green monument in Italy. About 20 meters high, with a crown of over 34 meters in diameter which in summer boasts a thick and beautiful crown, a refuge for many birds.
History has seen it as a protagonist at various times, the last of which was during the Second World War when it was chosen as a shelter for the partisans’ ammunition. The tree is also known as the Oak of the Witches, because according to an ancient legend in the past it was the place where they met on the occasion of the Sabbath, a convention during which magical practices and blasphemous rites were performed.
Following a shameful act of vandalism in 2014, after a bureaucratic process that lasted 3 years, the Ministry of Cultural Heritage recognized the Quercia delle Checche as a property to be protected. It has been classified as a monumental tree because it is “of particular public interest”. In fact, in June 2017 it obtained the MiBACT recognition becoming the first Green Monument in Italy.