Do you ever feel like escaping city life and immersing in nature? Muflone Maggiociondolo shares his experience going from an urban environment to doing bio-restoration in the Sacred Woods of Damanhur. Part one in a two-part series.

How did you learn to grow and care for plants?

I learned everything that I know about plants here at Damanhur. Before, I was living a city life in Turin! Here in Damanhur, I did a kind of apprenticeship with plant experts in the community, helping out in Naiade and Barbagianni’s plant nursery. We have a group of experts who do this work, collaborating together to plan and realize projects related to plants, woods and nature restoration. My mind and heart are open to the plant world because these people helped me to see the beauty and recognize the value of it all. It passes through others. It’s a dream for me to be involved in this, it’s like a movement of the Popolo of Damanhur, so many are participating.

How are the people of the Sacred Woods getting involved?

There is the possibility for everyone who lives here in the Sacred Woods to raise a plant and introduce it to the woods, taking care of its growth over the years. Caring for the woods is part of everyone’s daily life here. Having a specific task helps people to get closer to this world.


What was it like for you, going from an urban life, pretty disconnected from nature to being immersed in the world of plants and forests?

It’s not easy to recognize plants if you’re not accustomed to identifying them. When I first started working with them, I would look at a field and everything seemed like an indistinguishable mass of green, everything looked like grass to me. Little by little, I learned to recognize plants and see their diversity. Things that seem invisible at first began to manifest before my eyes, and now I can identify each of the plants, see their individual shapes, colors, characteristics. It takes time…