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Quercia delle Streghe (Oak of the Witches)By Anthony Parente
The legend that spurred the name la Quercia delle Streghe tells us that this is where witches gathered to perform their rituals and ceremonies. The chants and incantations stunted the growth of the tree giving it the unusual appearance. The witches even danced on the branches during their ceremonies. This is not the only name that this tree is often referred to. Many call this the Quercia di Pinocchio (Pinocchio's Oak). It is underneath this very oak tree that Carlo Lorenzini (better known by the pen name Carlo Collodi) wrote part of his popular children's book The Adventures of Pinnochio. The oak tree inspired the scene where Pinocchio was being chased by two bandits who wanted to steal his gold pieces. They eventually caught Pinocchio and hanged him from an oak tree. Fortunately Pinocchio was saved by the Blue Fairy.
This enchanted tree has been officially recognized as a national monument by the Italian government and due to its size and shape it is a reference point on NATO maps.
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