NATURE AND ENVIRONMENT
Nature and the Environment
The Costa Argento is a fascinating and sought-after territory, not only for its coast and the sea which laps against it, but also because of the extraordinary panoramas which you can enjoy while you wander down country lanes, over hills which man has fashioned into orderly vineyards and, in flatter areas, through veritable masterpieces illuminated by vast fields of sunflowers. Hence, it is easy to see why nature and the environment represent an immense wealth and asset which must be kept alive and protected in Costa d’Argento. There are many areas under environmental protection, veritable green lungs as well as an important tourist attraction.
The Maremma Regional Nature Park
Both the town of Orbetello and the town of Magliano in Toscana, together with Grosseto, are characterized by the largest Green Oasis of the Maremma: The Maremma Regional Nature Park. Also known as the Uccellina Park, so named because of the mountains which are a part of it, the park extends for 9,800 acres which range from inaccessible and remote hills and descend to the Tyrrhenian Sea over bluffs, beaches, pinewoods, farmlands, grasslands and swamps. The main park entrance is located in Alberese but there is also a door in Talamone for some itineraries. The whole area is rich in the typical flora of swampy areas and Mediterranean scrub. Amongst the great variety of fauna, the leading protagonist is surely the boar, which is the symbol of the park itself. Foxes, fallow deer, roes and porcupines are other animals you may come into contact with during the various operational itineraries. Some itineraries may be undertaken autonomously, while for others it is imperative that you go with a guide. For those who wish to become acquainted with and experience this fascinating nature spot, we suggest you contact the park directly at www.parco-maremma.it, to find out about the available itineraries (some may be temporarily closed due to fire hazards), the rules of conduct and suggestions for getting the most out of your visit.
Western Orbetello Lagoon Natural Reserve
The Orbetello Lagoon is the most important lagoon in the Tyrrhenian Sea. It is composed of two parts, the Eastern Lagoon, between the Feniglia Dune and the town of Orbetello, and the Western Lagoon between the same town and the Giannella Dune. Instituted in 1971, it is a historical WWF oasis and one of the few places where you can catch a glimpse of the Black Winged Stilt which prefers swampy and humid areas. The 300 acres of which it is composed are mostly made up of a brackish lagoon where you may, from time to time, glimpse small silt islands dense with swamp vegetation. The area near the Giannella Dune is covered with luxurious Mediterranean scrub while the inner shore of the lagoon is clothed with glasswort. Within you will find groves of poplars, cork, ash and elm. Descending south we find the Patanella Wood which is also connected to the oasis: 850 acres characterized by a large area covered with heather. The lagoon’s strategic position along migrating routes makes it the ideal place for many birds. Besides the Black Winged Stilt, there are flamingoes, grey herons and ospreys. The oasis may be toured both with a guide as well as autonomously. The “A. Peccei” Environmental Education Center was instituted for school children near the Casale della Giannella on the Dune by the same name. Here both teenagers and younger children can have fun learning about and respecting the environment. For precise and detailed information regarding directions, opening times and tours: http://www.wwf.it/oasi/toscana/laguna_di_orbetello/
Burano Lake – State natural reserve
In the past the Burano Lake was a game preserve. The environmental policy which was enacted later on ensured that today anyone can enjoy an interesting area. Without a doubt its coast, the sandy dunes rich in Mediterranean scrub and the brackish lake constitute a unique environment. Two kilometers of sand bars connect the coast and swamp and, along the itinerary, you can discover the area’s environmental characteristics, identify its plants, its birds and the invertebrates which populate the oasis. The oasis of Burano Lake is located in the town of Capalbio and you may visit it both with a guide as well as autonomously. To obtain all the necessary information: http://www.wwf.it/oasi/toscana/lago_di_burano/