The Natural Parks of Tuscany, for a holiday immersed in nature
Curiosity and information on the main Parks of Tuscany, near the Castiglione della Pescaia Camping Village
Tuscany is one of the Italian regions with the largest amount of parks and nature reserves: the main part is concentrated in the province of Grosseto, along the Maremma Riviera, right where the Castiglione della Pescaia Camping Village is located.
Natural Park of the Tuscan Maremma
The best known Natural Park in the region, also called the "Parco dell'Uccellina" because it is a destination chosen by many types of birds in the migratory season. The park also includes the Uccellina Mountains.
The Parco della Maremma Toscana winds south of the Maremma coast, from Principina a Mare to Talamone, in an alternation of heterogeneous natural environments between hills, Mediterranean scrub, cultivation fields, dunes, sand and rocks.
Not to be missed is the panorama visible from the top of its hills, which stretches along the entire Tyrrhenian coast to the spectacular Isola del Giglio, the Island of Elba and Corsica.
The park is home to many animal species - which you can easily meet during an excursion - such as foxes, porcupines, fallow deer and horses and cattle in the wild, protected by the traditional Maremma guardians, known as "butteri".
The Maremma Toscana Regional Park can be visited all year round, either alone or in a group, choosing whether or not to be accompanied by a guide along its suggestive routes.
To get to the park from Castiglione della Pescaia Camping Village, just reach Alberese (about 30 km north of the campsite) along the SS Aurelia until the junction at km 166: from here, continuing along the road that crosses a suggestive countryside, you will arrive at the Visitor Center where you can buy entrance tickets for the Park.
National Park of the Tuscan Archipelago
The Tuscan Archipelago National Park, the largest marine park in Europe, encompasses all the seven major islands of the Tuscan Archipelago:
• The island of Elba, the third largest island in Italy with an incredible hilly and mountainous panorama and a coastline made up of gulfs and inlets;
• The island of Giglio, the island with wonderful beaches and suggestive backdrops, ideal for diving enthusiasts;
• The island of Capraia, an ancient Roman settlement, today an island known for its fortress houses and pristine backdrops;
• The island of Montecristo, completely terrestrial and marine natural reserve, famous for being one of the places where the novel Il Conte di Montecristo takes place;
• The island of Pianosa, with its sandy and rocky coasts, with the suggestive white sand beaches;
• The island of Giannutri, a limestone island with abundant biodiversity;
• The island of Gorgona, the smallest of the archipelago, with only 2.23 sq km in size, chosen for human settlements since the Neolithic period.
Legend has it that the seven islands of the archipelago were seven pearls of a necklace that Venus, divinity of beauty and love, lost while swimming in the Mediterranean. And just like the pearls of a necklace, the islands appear unique, each different from the other, with the magic of the nature of the Archipelago and the crystalline sea that surrounds them in common.
The park is the largest protected area of the European seas and on its islands it is possible to spot some rare species such as the Corsican gull, the monk seal and some varieties of cetaceans.
In the main centers of some islands of the archipelago you can visit the "Park houses" for free: educational centers to discover the most suggestive corners of the territory through itineraries for images, open from March to September.
Official site of the Tuscan Archipelago Park
The island, protected by the largest marine park in Europe - the Tuscan Archipelago National Park - is simply reachable by a ferry that leaves from Porto Santo Stefano: it is recognized for the wonders of its unspoiled nature. The clean and emerald sea, with the rich and fishy seabed, frame an almost completely wild area, with an abundant Mediterranean flora that invites you to venture for the many paths and guided excursions.
The main places of importance on the island are:
• Giglio Porto is today a very charming small inhabited center, with colorful houses very close to each other, giving life to alleys and paths, arranged in a parallel way on the whole slope overlooking the sea; dominating the respective piers and the ancient Torre del Saraceno (1596) there are two characteristic lighthouses.
• Giglio Campese is a small town about 5 km from Giglio Castello, located on the western side and overlooking the Gulf of Campese and characterized by the well-known faraglione and the homonymous tower. Giglio Campese is above all in summer a seaside resort with a large and characteristic grainy beach, popular with visitors and diving enthusiasts.
• Giglio Castello, an ancient medieval village, fascinating for the grandiose structure of its walls (11th century), appears even more suggestive if you follow the itinerary along the walkways between the slits and towers, or explore its embossed alleys alternating with stairs and typical terraces with steps outside the houses. The characteristic main entrance, consisting of three doors leaning against cyclopean granite boulders, still testifies to the times of pirate raids and dominant lordships, as shown by the Medici coat of arms on the last arch.
The greatest spectacle, however, is the sea and its seabed, for an island that has always guarded its natural environment with particular attention, and the heterogeneity of its coast, which alternates cliffs overlooking the sea with more or less extensive beaches and that easily adapts to multiple types of visitors.
The points where to dive are located practically all over the coast:
• dry the Pignocchi
• tip of the shoals
• tip of the Fenaio
• Monella cove
• Punta del Morto
• shoal of the cross
• cove Cupa
• The Scole
• dry Cat's Paw
• rock of Pietrabona
• cala del Corvo
• tip of the Capel Rosso
• Alum cove
The largest and best equipped beaches with rental of umbrellas and deck chairs are, in the order of size, Campese, Cannelle, Arenella and Caldane. All the beaches are freely accessible without the obligation to rent equipment and can be reached by car, with the exception of Caldane which can be reached by sea or through an easy walking path of about 1 km.
Reachable by ferry from Porto Santo Stefano, Giannutri Island is an extensive natural park, a fundamental part of the Tuscan Archipelago National Park.
The two ports of the island, Cala Spalmatoio and Cala Maestra, have an origin of Roman origin, as can be seen from the ancient ruins as soon as you arrive on the island.
A few minutes from Cala Maestra there is the Roman building complex called "The rooms", inside which there is a tavern where you can have lunch. The most important historical testimony, however, remains the complex of ruins of the Roman villa which belonged to the Domizi Enobardi family of the second century. d. C. The entrance to the villa is embellished with a mosaic depicting the myth of the labyrinth.
The coast is rocky, with many caves, and the seabed populated by many fish, which makes the Giannutri Island perfect even for fans of scuba diving. Being a natural park, however, diving, as well as swimming, can only be done in approved places or through permitted excursions.
For those who want to discover the protected area of the island must book and buy the entrance ticket to the protected area of the island of Giannutri. Just contact a guide in advance from the park's guide list.
WWF Oasis in the territory of Orbetello
In the territory of Orbetello, Argentario and Capalbio there are some of the major WWF oases in Tuscany.
Among the most important is the Lagoon of Orbetello which, thanks to its position along the migratory routes, sees the presence of thousands of birds (including the Pink Flamingos and the Knight of Italy) especially in the winter.
On the Giannella tombolo there is the "Aurelio Peccei" Environmental Education Center, created in 1989 inside the old farmhouse of Giannella, built between 1821 and 1822. It was founded for naturalistic and educational purposes: it promotes in fact, many activities for education to respect and protect nature. Work centers, summer adventure events, green weeks and educational courses for schools and research activities are organized in this center. The center provides schools with packages educational, designed together with the WWF, with daily excursions.The Garden of Butterflies is also part of the complex, a path that extends near the farmhouse, equipped with educational panels which describe some species of butterflies and their life cycle.
Finally, the WWF State Oasis Reserve of Lake Burano, a brackish coastal lagoon located near Capalbio. It covers an area of 410 hectares, of which 140 covered by the lake and it is possible to visit it by participating in the excursions organized by the WWF itself.
The reserve is an ideal place for bird watchers, since a large number of birds go there to spend the winter and rest, from wild geese to herons. River nightingales, ducklings, ospreys, etc. also live in the reeds. Various sighting towers, observation huts and equipped paths are available to visitors.
The Oasis of Orbetello is open from May to September.
The visits are free, departing from Loc. Ceriolo, just 3 km from the Castiglione della Pescaia Camping Village, on Saturday and Sunday from 9:30 to 13:30.
Official site of the WWF Oasis of Orbetello