PICKING WILD MUSHROOMS IN ITALY
LEGAL ASPECTS OF PICKING WILD FUNGI IN ITALY
KNOWLEDGE OF ITALIAN MUSHROOMS~FUNGI LAWS
MUSHROOMS TIPS AND TRICKS
KNOWLEDGE OF ITALIAN LAWS wild mushrooms in Italy
HOW WE OUGHT TO BEHAVE INTO AN ITALIAN FOREST? WHAT WE CAN DO AND WHAT'S PROHIBITED? WHAT THE ITALIAN MUSHROOMS & WILDLIFE LAWS SAYS?
The growth in foreign travel and exposure to foreign foods on television has opened the English public’s eyes to the fun of hunting out the Porcinis or others fungus for cooking
LEGAL ASPECTS OF WILDLIFE IN ITALY
- ► Trespass on private property
- ► Picking mushrooms without a License
- ► Picking flowers, berries or protected plants
- ► Regulations affecting habitats and wildlife - Wildlife destruction
- ► Public Disturbance Law and Legal Definition - Disturbing the peace
- ► Acts of vandalism - Outdoor fire restrictions
- ► Camping into the wild
- ► Driving on a road forbidden to motorized vehicles
- ► Indecent exposure in a public place
• TRESPASS ON PRIVATE PROPERTY IN ITALY
Ignorance is no excuse!
Trespass is the wrong (known as a tort in legal terminology) of illegally entering another person's property.
In some cases, the act of entering the property may have been lawful if permission was given originally, but subsequently become trespass if that permission ends or is withdrawn.
The word trespass covers much more than people usually realise.
All land in ITALY belongs to someone. Great part of the woods~forest are public and belongs to the State, they are State Property "Proprietà Demaniale", and belongs to the community.
You can go everywhere into a public forest or State Property but you cannot enter a private wood or forest, whitout a owner's permission. If you go on to land without the owner's permission, you are trespassing unless there is some right of access for the public, or for you specifically (for example, if you have acquired a right to pass over the land to reach some land of your own).
In Italy, most people use to protect their gardens, vegetables gardens, fruits crops, chestnuts or similars trees crops, and woods/forest, by building a fence.
Signs that reads: "Keep out - Private property. You are trespassing." in Italy are translated as:
► "Proprietà privata~ Private Property" - the most common, the most used
"Stare alla larga~Keep out" - the least common, least used
"Vietato entrare~Forbidden to enter"
"Bosco privato"~Private wood"
• The ownership of the property must always be declared with any type of signs.
• If no prohibition sign, Eg "Keep-out"-sign or "No Trespass"-sign, or no fence, keeps us away from a woodland~bush~coppice, here we can safely pick up mushrooms, berries, raspberries, sea of rovo, and others wild fruits including acorns, hazelnuts and chestnuts, we can safely pass the private property without fear of being taken back by the legitimate owner of the property.
As it is not always possible to fence each or all private properties - especially if those are located in areas not easily accessible, unclosable - where are located Eg chestnut trees crops, vineyards, or fruit trees such as apples, ornamental plants etc, the common sense must suggests us that, if an area close to the forest is in some way cultivated or if the trees are well kept~well cultivated, groomed with cutted grass, almost certainly we are faced with a private property, so it is good to avoid collecting~harvesting what might not belong to us.
It is forbidden to cut woods~trees~shrubs~bushes in the Public woods~State Property, without a specific permission, it is as much forbidden to do it in a private forest.
Private property allows the forest owner to harvest mushrooms. He doesn't own a license and doesn't need one. He can harvest mushrooms as much as he can without any quantitative limits.
Generally in Italy each licence holder will be allowed to collect no more than 3 kgs of fungus but this maximum amount may vary from region to region, from 1 to 3 kilos.
• PICKING MUSHROOMS~FUNGI WITHOUT A LICENSE
ON THIS PAGE YOU CAN DEEPEN YOUR KNOWLEGDE ABOUT LEGAL ASPECTS OF PICKING WILD FUNGI IN ITALY. Eg HOW TO HARVESTING MUSHROOMS ~ PORCINIS IN NORTHERN ITALY. HOW MUCH IT COST A FUNGUS HARVESTING LICENSE FOR THE NORTH WESTERN SIDE OF ITALY AND HOW TO HAVE IT PICKING MUSHROOMS~FUNGI IN NOTH WESTERN ITALY
In Italy mushrooms~fungi~fungus are widespread, well-known and available in plenty. Fashion for wild mushrooms, inspired by chefs, has led to a increase in the number of foragers, and a worrying decline in fungi. Mushroom picking is a national pastime.
Nevertheless most of the edible fungi are still widespread, and every region of Italy has its characteristic~specific and most widespread ones.
The forest authorities have become so alarmed that in almost all the italians regions~districts a licensing scheme was introduced, restricting foragers to harvesting fungus no more than up to 1 to 3 kgs per person and per visit each day.
The Fungi harvesting of edible or even toxic - for mycological purposes - is subjected to a licensing scheme which is issued by each Region and it is valid only in this area. Local authorities such as Mountains Communities, Consortia of Municipalities or even Private Consortia (in Liguria) can issue that licensing scheme too. In Italy you really need to have a license to pick mushrooms, so really the best way to be able to pick them is to accompany someone who does have a license. However, if you have your license, or can accompany someone who has a license, then the pickings you can expect are indeed tasty.
Woodland, forests as well as some of the areas close to hills but also in the Po Valley, or close to the mountains are all very fertile picking grounds.
But remember that it is an offence to pick mushrooms without a licence and that if you are seen picking mushrooms, you may well be asked to show your licence. Failure to produce one simply results in a bureaucratic headache, so it isn’t worth it.
Stick to the rules and go on an organised trip, or simply as a ‘helper’ to a license owner. Moreover, license owners will know where the best spots for collecting are, saving you potentially hours of looking round for the ideal locations.
Unfortunately, it does not exist a valid nationwide license but there are only locals or regional licenses. This license will only allow you to collect mushrooms on this Region.
Some Regional authorities in order to issue permission to harvest mushrooms - licensing - even require attending a mycological training course that gives you a specific mycological patent.
For example, the Sicily Region, requires to foragers the possession of that patent. Who doesn't have it can't be a license holder.
Although, as stated above, it is generally legal to collect wild mushrooms on any land not fenced, exceptions may be made via local bylaws. Some nature reserves and SSSIs - Site of Special Scientific Interest - have bylaws banning the collection of forest produce, which includes mushrooms.
In some areas of the Piedmont region, license holder who doesn't have a registered resident in protected areas, is not allowed to collect Fungus. Here are some of the Protected Areas:
► the Baraggia Parks
the Special Reserves or in the Ticino Nature Park
the hilly areas of Bessa & Serra in the Biella districts
► the Savanna grass and Oak woodland of Candelo
► the Rice filds and the Oak woodland of Rovasenda in the Vercelli district
► The PROTECTED AREA IN THE PIEDOMONT DISTRICT
Into some municipalities, Eg on the right bank of the lower Sesia river, there are some week's days when collecting Fungus is reserved to residents of these places only: Serravalle Sesia, Romagnano Sesia, Prato Sesia, Lozzolo etc
Not all the fungi are protected and need a license to collect them. In Italy are known as valuable: Porcinis/Boletus and Amanita Caesarea
☺☺ TIPS AND TRICKS ► You have to know that every forager can collect fungi not valuable as much he wants. Eg:
Fistulina hepatica (beefsteak polypore or the ox tongue)
Pleurotus ostreatus, (Oyster Mushroom)
► The Chanterelle
► Clitocybe nuda, Blewit (or Blewitt)
► Cortinarius caperatus, the Gypsy mushroom (recently moved from genus Rozites)
► Craterellus cornucopioides, Trompette de la Mort or Horn of Plenty.
► Grifola frondosa, known in Japan as maitake (also "hen of the woods" or "sheep’s head")
► Gyromitra esculenta, this "False morel" is prized by the Finns. This mushroom is deadly poisonous if eaten raw
Hydnum repandum, Sweet tooth fungus, Hedgehog mushroom or Hedgehog Fungus, urchin of the woods
► Lactarius deliciosus, Saffron milk cap
► Tricholoma matsutake, the Matsutake
► Agaricus arvensis (Horse Mushroom)
► Calocybe gambosa (St George's mushroom)
► Macrolepiota procera (Parasol Mushroom)
► Sparassis crispa also known as "cauliflower mushroom"
► Armillaria mellea
Each licence holder is allowed to collect from 1 to 3 kg of these valuable mushrooms:
► Boletus edulis or edible Boletus, known in Italian as Fungo Porcino (plural 'porcini') (Pig mushroom), in German as Steinpilz (Stone mushroom), in Russian as "white mushroom", in Albanian as (Wolf mushroom), in French the cèpe and in the UK as the Penny Bun lately as Porcinis
every kind of Boletus ◄ on this page the Boletus of the Alps
► Leccinum aurantiacum (Red-capped scaber stalk)
► Leccinum scabrum (Birch bolete)
► Leccinum versipelle (Orange Birch Bolete / Boletus testaceoscaber)
► every kind of Leccimun
Boletus badius (Bay Bolete)
Boletus pinophilus - pinewood penny bun, pine cep
► Boletus regineus - queen bolete
► Boletus aureus - queen bolete, bronzy bolete, bronzos vargánya
► Boletus erythropus here: on this website
► Boletus xerocomus
► Suillus ~ Tylopillus
A person who picks mushrooms growing wild on any land, or who picks flowers, fruit or foliage from a plant growing wild on any land, does not (although not in possession of the land) steal what he picks, unless he does it for reward or for sale, or other commercial purpose, or if he picks much more then he could. This means that you can collect wild fungi on any land for your own use without it being classed as theft. This is true even if collecting whilst trespassing! A land owner (if the land is not fenced or properly signed as a Private Property) who confronts you whilst trespassing on his land has no right to ask you give-up any mushrooms you have collected - they are yours.
In Italy even wild fruits, tubers and / or mosses and lichens are subject to harvesting~collecting limitations as follows:
► Juniper berries: 200 grams maximum per person/day
Strawberries: 500 grams max p.p./day
Raspberries: 1 kg max p.p./day
Blueberries: 1 kg max p.p/day
Musk: 300 grams max p.p/day
• PICKING FLOWERS, BERRIES OR PROTECTED PLANTS
There's no substantial difference between the spontaneous flora of the Alps and Great Britain wild flora.
There are around 52 different species of wild orchid in Britain. Many of these species are incredibly rare and can often only be found on nature reserves that have special protection for the orchids. These 52 species of wild orchid are among the same ones that can be found in Italy in the Alps.
Wild flowers. According to National or Regional laws for wild plant protection, "it is not normally an offence to pick the 'Four Fs' – fruit, foliage, fungi or flowers – if the plants are growing wild and it is for your personal use and not for sale."
There are dozens of rare or endangered flowers and plants that are considered near or at risk of extinction Eg from the Lady’s slipper orchid (Cypripedium calceolus), Daphne cneorum, wild Narcissus Flowers and Leontopodium nivale, to Gentiana genus and Galanthus nivalis or Snowdrop – are, however, protected under the Regionals Wildlife and Countryside Act (in the Piedmont Region, Regional Law no. 32 of 2 November 1982) so pick those and you could face fine (though you're unlikely to stumble across too many of them).
Whatever you do, don't drag up the whole plant to resettle it in your own garden – the law firmly forbids the uprooting of any wild plant.
For example, there are many Alps species (including flowers and plants) that it is useless to force planting in our gardens because the cities climate will certainly not be adequate for those ones, besides it will be extremely difficult to reproduce the same mountain ecosystem with the same land, same shading or sunshine and the same humidity of the places of origin.
If you see a strange flower that you have never seen before, common sense must always suggest you that, regardless of the knowledge of all protected species, any flower or plant that is uncommon or never seen before could be a species protected or next to extinction, so you should avoid collecting or shredding these flower stems, seeds or roots-tuber-bulbs.
There are common flowers, such as Lily of the Valley, Cyclamen, every kind of Lily, wild Narcissus and every kind of wild Orchids, that are becoming more and more rare because of the bad habit of trying to plant them in the home gardens. Here you have.
Endangered species of the Alps
List of Endangered, Threatened, and Special Concern species
List of Plants and Flowers:
► Osmunda regalis L. (fern)
► Dafne superbus (wild clove)
► Lychnis alpina
► Aconitum anthora or Aconite
► Delphinium dubium
► Aquilegia alpina or Alpine columbine or breath of God
► Aquilegia vulgaris
► Trollius europaeus or globeflower or bots
► Caltha palustris var. palustris or Caltha alpestris or C. asarifolia
► Pulsatilla montana or Mountain Pasque-flower
► Pulsatilla vernalis
► Paeonia officinalis or Rubra plena
► Papaver rhaeticum o Papaver alpinum
► Saxifraga oppositifolia or Purple mountain saxifrage 'Splendens'
► Saxifraga florulenta
► Dictamnus albus or Dittany or buring bush
► Daphne mezereum or Mezereon or February daphne
► Daphne cneorum or Garland flower Eximia
► Eryngium alpinum or Alpine eryngo
► Cyclamen purpurascens or Purple cyclamen
► Cortusa matthioli
► Primula auricula or Auricula
► Primula pedemontana
► Gentiana purpurea
► Gentiana asclepiadea or willow gentian or milkweed gentian
► Gentiana brachphylla
► Centranthus ruber or Red Valeriana or Fox
► Eritrichium nanum
► Campanula thyrsoides
► Campanula alpestris o Campanula alpestre
► Aster alpinus or alpine aster or blue alpine daisy
► Convallaria majalis or lily of the valley or May lily
► Bulbocodium vernum
► Lilium martagon or Turk's cap lily or martagon lily
► Lilium bulbiferum var. croceum
► Lilium pomponium
► Fritillaria any kind
► Tulipa Australis and any kind of wild Tulips
► Galanthus Nivalis or Snowdrop
► Leucojum Vernum or spring snowflake or spring-flowered snowflake
► Stipa Pennata
► Ophrys any kind
► Orchys any kind
► Nigritella or black vanilla orchid and any other kind
► Cypripedium Calceolus or yellow lady's slipper orchid
► Serapias and any other kind of orchid
► Cephalanthera and others
► Epipactis o Elleborine e tutte le specie affini
List of local endemic flora with special and total protection
► Chamaecytisus hirsutus Subsp. Cytisus Proteus Zumaglini (very rare, uncommon flower of Biella mountain areas)
► Dafne cneorum L.
► Scopolia Carniolica jacq.
► Drosera Rotundifolia
► Allium Narcissiflorum
► Euphorbia Carniolica
► Centaurea Bugellensis
► Asplenium Adulterium
► Osmunda Regalis
► Phyteuma Humile
► Anemone Narcissiflora
► Sedum Villosum
► Eriphorum Vaginatum
• REGULATIONS AFFECTING HABITATS AND WILDLIFE DESTRUCTION
Italians Regions are responsible for many of the regulations that protect the natural environment, including the management and licensing of wildlife.
European Protected Species (EPS)
Several of the species covered by the Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2010 are found in woodland, Parks or Protected areas.
In Italy, all wild birds and their nests are protected – though the nests of only some birds are protected when not in use.
Wild animals that are protected and which may be found in woodland include:
Bats and their roosts – these are European Protected Species.
Purple emperor butterfly.
White letter hairstreak.
Duke of Burgundy.
Red squirrels and their drays.
In Italy you need a special license to be able to hunt. Only in certain periods of the year and in limited quantities, you can kill roe deer, deer, chamois, pheasants, coturns and wild boars.
If you are not a hunter, you can hardly violate the rule prohibiting hunting, but this type of breach is far more common than you think.
Drowning birds or other small wild animals with slings, compressed air rifles, bows and arrows or other more or less rudimentary weapons such as traps or nets are prohibited by law and in the event of a violation a fine or denunciation applies. Even some Vipers fall into the list of protected species.
You can find out which vipers, bites or snakes live in italy through this page in our website. Discover: Vipers, Bites and Snakes. Remember: in Italy it is forbidden to kill snakes.
• PUBLIC DISTURBANCE LAW AND LEGAL DEFINITION - DISTURBING THE PEACE
Although onto a meadow or into a wood we may think we can do whatever we want, for example, screaming, playing bongos or listening to music at full volume, let me remember you that the Public Disturbance law firmly forbids doing that.
The offense of public disturbance is usually defined as a misdemeanor. State and local laws governing public disturbances vary, so local laws should be consulted for specific requirements in your area. Some of the activities which may constitute a public disurbance include: loud noise, creating a noxious and offensive odor, Being in a public place or on private property of another without consent and purposely causes inconvenience to another person or persons by unreasonably and physically obstructing: vehicular or pedestrian traffic; or the free ingress or egress to or from a public or private place.
The following sounds are public disturbance noises:
► The frequent, repetitive or continuous sounding of any horn or siren attached to a motor vehicle, except as a warning of danger or as specifically permitted or required by law;
► The creation of frequent, repetitive or continuous sounds in connection with the starting, operation, repair, rebuilding or testing of any motor vehicle, motorcycle, off-highway vehicle or internal combustion engine within a residential district, so as to unreasonably disturb or interfere with the peace and comfort of owners or possessors of real property;
► Yelling, shouting, hooting, whistling or singing on or near the public streets, particularly between the hours of eleven p.m. and seven a.m. or at any time and place as to unreasonably disturb or interfere with the peace and comfort of owners or possessors of real property;
► The creation of frequent, repetitive or continuous sounds which emanate from any building, structure, apartment or condominium, which unreasonably disturbs or interferes with the peace and comfort of owners or possessors of real property, such as sounds from musical instruments, audio sound systems, band sessions or social gatherings;
► Sound from motor vehicle audio sound systems, such as tape players, radios and compact disc players, operated at a volume so as to be audible greater than fifty feet from the vehicle itself;
► Sound from portable audio equipment such as tape players, radios, and compact disc players, operated at a volume so as to be audible greater than fifty feet from the source, and if not operated upon the property of the operator;
Into the wild, make repetitive noise can annoy hikers but even more could scare the local wildlife that might attack us.
• ACTS OF VANDALISM - OUTDOOR FIRE RESTRICTIONS
It is forbidden to vandalize property, public parks, woods, forest, plants and flowers, and any kind of road signs and park illustrations.
Unless you are in an adventure park, it is forbidden to emulate Tarzan or the man of the caves.
Except for particular cases - such as camps as a result of a lost in the forest when the darkness comes, perhaps turning on a fire to be heated overnight - it is forbidden wherever it is not properly specified "camping allowed", to camp and light a fire into the wild.
No outdoor fire. By law, you need a fire permit to burn wood, brush, leaves and grass outside during the hot seasons (April 1 – October 31).
• CAMPING INTO THE WILD
In Italy, wherever it is not properly specified "camping allowed", it is forbidden to camp into the wild and in every other place. It is forbidden to camp along watercourses, also because a thunderstorm and a sudden flood could put us in serious danger. Camping on a meadow or in a forest is prohibited due to the high risk of atmospheric events, animal attacks, thefts or malicious people.
• DRIVING ON A ROAD FORBIDDEN TO MOTORIZED VEHICLES
Americans or English driving in Italy need to become comfortable with roundabouts, which are traffic circles where traffic moves in one direction. Although they aren’t that common in the U.S., they are quite popular in Italy. Drivers seeking to enter roundabouts must yield to cars that are already in them. The real problem can come when you want to exit. Knowing your exit the first time you drive a roundabout isn’t always easy, but don’t panic. You can stay in the circle, continuing to drive it, until you learn which exit is yours.
In Italy you can drive with your car or motorcycle, wherever it is not specified that motorized vehicles are prohibited. Access to protected areas or naturalistic constraints such as certain S.I.C (Community Sites of Interest), nature reserves and SSSIs - Site of Special Scientific Interest or Parks / Nature Reserves is generally prohibited.
• INDECENT EXPOSURE IN A PUBLIC PLACE
Perhaps not everyone knows that peeing along a path in nature can be liable to denounce if someone in the woods, watching us, feel his sense of shame offended.
► A recent Italian State norm~rule, has established that it isn't forbidden to approach your car along any road, to carry out an irrepressible need to pee providing you are certain there's no public bath/bar/refreshment nearby, provided the pee is done with the utmost discretion.
Article written by Giovinazzo Angelo for www.trivero-italy.com/www.trivero-italy.it
Last update: November 2017
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