The Witches’ Oak (La Quercia delle Streghe) If you happen to be near Lucca, to be precise if you are in the vicinities of the hamlet of San Martino in Colle – in the Villa Carrara park – you have to stop : here a majestic oak tree of extraordinary shape known as the Witches’ oak, can be found. 600 years old, 24 metres high, a tree trunk measuring five metres in circumference and a tree crown measuring over 40 metres in diameter, makes this tree the second most important oak in Tuscany.
Magic aside, the oak has many stories to tell! During the Second World War it was almost burned down by the Nazis. The German soldiers used the giant tree crown to hide their means of transport. When they left, a German captain intended to cut the oak down, to use the wood as fuel. It was the Villa’s owner, who thankfully spoke German, who managed to dissuade him and save the ancient oak!
We much prefer the magical legend surrounding the tree, compared to reality, and its beauty deserves a visit!