Abbadia San Salvatore

Abbey of Sant'Antimo

Albarese

Acquapendente


anghiari

Archipelago Toscano


Arcidosso


Arezzo


Asciano


Badia di Coltibuono


Bagno Vignoni

Barberino Val d'Elsa

Beaches

Bolsena Lake


Bomarzo

Brunello di Montalcino

Buenconvento

Campagnatico


Capalbio


Castel del Piano


Castelfiorentino

Castell'Azarra

Castellina in Chianti


Castelmuzio


Castelnuovo Bererdenga


Castiglioncello Bandini


Castiglione della Pescaia


Castiglione d'Orcia


Castiglion Fiorentino


Celleno


Certaldo


Chinaciano Terme


Chianti


Chiusi


Cinigiano


Città di Castello

CivitÀ di Bagnoregio


Colle Val d'Elsa


Cortona


Crete Senesi


Diaccia Botrona

Isola d'Elba

Firenze


Follonica


Gaiole in Chianti


Gavorrano

Gerfalco


Greve in Chianti


Grosseto


Lago Trasimeno


La Foce


Manciano


Maremma


Massa Marittima


Montagnola Senese


Montalcino


Monte Amiata


Monte Argentario

montecalvello

Montefalco


Montemassi


Montemerano


Monte Oliveto Maggiore


Montepulciano


Monteriggioni


Monticchiello


Monticiano


Orbetello


Orvieto


Paganico


Parco Naturale della Maremma


Perugia


Piancastagnaio


Pienza


Pisa


Pitigliano

Prato

Radda in Chianti


Roccalbegna


Roccastrada


San Bruzio


San Casciano dei Bagni


San Galgano


San Gimignano


San Giovanni d'Asso


San Quirico d'Orcia


Sansepolcro


Santa Fiora


Sant'Antimo


Sarteano


Saturnia


Scansano


Scarlino


Seggiano


Siena


Sinalunga


Sorano


Sovana


Sovicille

Talamone

Tarquinia


Tavernelle Val di Pesa


Torrita di Siena


Trequanda


Tuscania


Umbria


Val d'Elsa


Val di Merse


Val d'Orcia


Valle d'Ombrone


Vetulonia


Viterbo

Volterra




 
Walking in Tuscany
             
 

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Walking trails in Tuscany Surroundings
       
   


Walking in Tuscany |
Lago di Burano and Tombola di Feniglia, itineraries between sea and mountains


   
   
This promontory harbors the largest lagoon on the Tyrrhenian Sea as well as one of Italy's most important bird sanctuaries. About halfway between Rome and Florence, it makes a wonderful choice for birdwatchers. Take a guided tour of the WWF oases at Orbetello (open Sept. 1-April 30) and Burano (open Aug. 1-May 31) at 10 am and 2 pm on Thursdays and Sundays.
Or you can go on your own: for Orbetello drive along the southern edge of the promontory (called Tombola di Feniglia); for Burano Lake take the northern shore road and then walk along the dunes. Or take the 4-hour walk around the coast from Burano to Feniglia.



Capalbio | Lago di Burano

   
   
Walking in Tuscany | Capalbio Burano Lake, Lago di Burano | 7,2 km, 2-3 hours
   

Extending parallel to the coast, Lake Burano and the immediately surrounding district make up one of the most important wetland habitats in Italy in terms of the integrity of the environment and accommodation and teaching facilities. Lago di Burano is a typical Mediterranean coastal lagoon behind a line of sand dunes. A nature trail, with no architectural features to deny access, leads visitors through the various habitats in the sanctuary: from agricultural areas and woodland with oaks of the holm, cork, sessile and downy variety, a residue of the vast tracts of forest that once characterised the Maremma plains, to the dune vegetation at the beach, which is also extremely interesting and rich from the naturalistic point of view. Numerous look-out points allow visitors to observe and photograph the countless bird species that stop off or habitually frequent the reserve: ducks of all kinds, coots, cormorants, herons, little egrets, fish hawks, flamingos and cranes… The scrub is populated by wild rabbits, porcupines, foxes and it is not uncommon to come across tortoises and four-lined snakes. A beautiful Spanish watch-tower with a square plan completes the atmospheric panorama of the lake.



Capalbio


Located on a hill near Lake Burano, Capalbio looks like a typical mediaeval town: a pyramid structure with an embattled fortress at the centre and a mighty circle of walls. Of particular importance is the Romanesque parish church of San Nicola, 12th century, with fine capitals decorated with vegetable and zoomorphic motifs, the 15th-century Sienese gate and the oratory of Providence, just outside the walls, which contains a fresco by Pinturicchio. Possibly of Etruscan-Roman origin, but having developed in the early Middle Ages, in the last century Capalbio was the realm of bandits. In the environs are two beautiful Roman villas.

In 1416 Siena wanted to beguile Capalbio to be happy by laying down on its armorial bearings (a bald, cut off head, raised by the claw of an heraldic lion) five Latin hexameters, that D’Annunzio with delight translated in that way: “I am Capalbio, happy, protected from the lion of Siena and from these first walls restored at its own expenses, and from the other walls, that surround the first ones in the year 1416."


Lago di Burano, Torre di Biranaccio
   
According to various literatures the Spacco della Regina (the fissure of the queen) in Ansedonia, fissure on a rock dedicated to the legendary queen Ansedonia who fell headlong into a pit, was a meeting-place for cabbalistic and orgies of witches and devils.
The Tower of Old San Pancrazio, or of San Biagio, was erected from the Spaniards as defence for the port of Tagliata.
A little more southwards there is the Tower of Tagliata (XVI century), which was made to create a play of streams to prevent the port from sanding up, by using waters coming from Burano Lake through a canal. That tower was also the residence of Giacomo Puccini, who (together with his friends Collacchioni and D’Annunzio) was deep in the music and affairs.


Cosa

A massive circuit of walls with a poligonal shape stretching along 1.5 km and provided with 17 watch towers: it’s one of the most ancient ruins in the town of Cosa, a Roman colony founded in 273 B.C.. Cosa is one of the main symbols of the expansion war through which the Romans conquered the Etruscan territories from the 4th century B.C. (Veio was the first Etruscan town to fall under the Romans in 396 B.C.). They conquered Roselle in 294 B.C. and Tarquinia in 281 B.C., and then Vulci in 280 B.C.

Within 20 years, Etruria lost its peninsular dominion. After destroying the main Etruscan towns and confiscating their surrounding territory, the Romans offered surviving enemies the opportunity to sign alliance treaties and become Roman colonies within their expansion plan.

Cosa, originally founded within the territory of Vulci, is a typical example of Roman colonies: a smaller Rome. The town is immediately provided with new defence walls and an almost impregnable fortress to control the surrounding territory, becoming a very strategic post against possible sea invasions.[1]

Tagliata of Ansedonia

   

At the foot of the hill occupied by the Roman colony of Cosa (273 B.C.), a port was built and equipped with impressive infrastructures, in part still visible. To prevent the port from silting up and to guarantee a constant exchange of water, a large fissure of the promontory of Ansedonia, the so-called Spacco della Regina (queen’s cleft), was equipped with mobile bulkheads, the recesses of which are still visible in the rock. The wooden doors were opened according to the season, in order to let water in or out of the dock and thus avoid it from stagnating and debris from accumulating.

A new draining system was realised in the 2nd century B.C. to replace the previous one. This expedient, known as "Tagliata (cut) consists of an artificial canal dug into the rock, partially in tunnels and partially open-air, for a length of more than 80 metres. The interior of the Tagliata can be visited today, crossing over a little bridge over the modern canal.

The Torre Tagliata, is an historical landmark in this area. The tower is called Puccini-tower since it was the property of the famous musician who started composing Turandot there.
Near Porto di Cosa, the Torre della Tagliata was built in the early 13th century as a watchtower for the Spanish troops that occupied this part of Tuscany. It is now a privately owned hamlet which comprises three separate homes, one being the tower (Torre Puccini) and the other two farmhouses (Villa Rosa and Il Giardino). The famous Italian composer, Giacomo Puccini, acquired this property and resided here for many years, enjoying the peace and quiet. Puccini lived in many different houses: he had some of them newly built. This was in fact one of his “extramusical” passions.
Once he reached fame and success Puccini established residences at Lucca, Chiatri, Milan, Torre del Lago, Torre della Tagliata. and Viareggio. Giacomo Puccini resided here for many years in Torre Tagliata, and in the last days of his life began composing the opera "Turandot".

Puccini 'also had his eye on a winter retreat: the ancient fort of Torre della Tagliata in a remote part of the Tuscan Maremma (' TO metres from the sea, ... plenty of hunting and fishing, ... climate: Montecarlo, be­cause it's sheltered by the hill of Ansedonia, ... altogether a real delight." By October 1919 he had completed the purchase and was able to move in after Christmas. Bur his delight was of short duration. Within a year he was inveighing against the desolation, the stink of the marshes, and, above all, the debilitating 'scirocco'. In 1922 he put the property up for sale.'[2]


 


Spacco of Bagno della Regina (Queen's Bath)

 

The Tagliata Tower, or the Puccini Tower
Beach at Torre della Tagliata



Ansedonia, Taglia Etrusca
The cliffs, heated by the Maremma sun, connect the long beach of Feniglia and the Taglia Etrusca, a magnificent channel cut through the rock by the Romans, designed to ensure the flux and reflux of water into the ancient port.

Monte Argentario is a heavenly peninsula situated in the southernmost of Tuscany. The peninsula, overlooking both the Tyrrhenian coasts and the Tuscan Archipelago, is formed by an impressing wooded mountain with a surface of more than 60 square kilometres, reaching over 600 metres of highness. Monte Argentario was originally an island, but in ancient geological ages the sand drifts silted the channel forming two strips of land, the Tombolo di Feniglia to the south and the Tombolo di Giannella to the north, joining the former island to the mainland. The largest one is the Tombolo di Feniglia, It stretches out lengthwise for about 7 Km and links the Ansedonia promontory to the slopes of Mount Argentario, with an amazing nature hosting some protected species of wild fauna, as well as an unpolluted extensive beach. The Feniglia beach is one of the most beautiful beaches of Tuscany. The beach is lined with a magnificent pine forest (a protected area known as the Feniglia Tombolo) that runs along its entire length and crossed by an unsurfaced road, ideal for walks and bike rides. You can easily spot deer and occasionally, wild boars.
   

Walking in Tuscany | Tombolo di Feniglia

   
   
Pine forest of feniglia


The promontory of Monte Argentario is connected to the mainland by two narrow strips of sand known as tombolo. In between these tomboli is a brackish lagoon which is a haven tor wading birds. The southern tombolo, is completely closed to traffic and is protected as a nature reserve, established by the World Wildlife Fund. This protected area, the Tombola di Feniglia, is known for its long sandy beach lined with pines and protected lagoons for birds including herons, pink Flamingos and Corsican Seagulls.

There are numerous trails and tire breaks that span the entire length of the tombolo or cross over from the lagoon to the beach, allowing a comfortable and peaceful exploration of this rare dune habitat. The Tombolo di Feniglia is 6 kilometers long and only 800 meters wide, so you can chose to walk as little or as far as you wish. A map and description details a short 5 kilometer loop that encompasses every habitat on the tombolo, as well as the bird-watching blinds on the lagoon, and the short botanical nature loop. However, it is certainly possible to walk or ride your bike the entire 6 kilometer length, for a route of more than 12 kilometers, round trip.

The beaches of the Giannella tombolo (strip of land) stretch out for 8 km between Albinia and Porto Santo Stefano. The provincial road S.P. 36 runs lengthwise through the sandy dune (like the Feniglia dune) and branches off into various access points to the seaside. The beach ( free for the most part), is equipped with bathing establishments and spacious parking places.



 

Mappa Tombolo Feniglia
Map Tombolo Feniglia


Tombolo di Feniglia, view from
Monte Argentario

 


View Tombolo di Feniglia in a larger map



Walking in Tuscany | Walking through nature reserves and beaches in the Maremma, in southern Tuscany

The Ramsar Convention on Wetlands


WWF Oases

There are over 100 WWF Oases scattered across the country. Unique and of breathtaking beauty, each Oasis protects a small corner of biodiversity, a unique heritage of the colours and sounds of nature!
The network of protected areas covers a wide range of habitats. 
They  range from the Lagorai Alps to the shores of Torre Salsa in Sicily, from the Mediterranean forest of Monte Arcosu in Sardinia to the Lagoons of Tuscany, and from the last woodlands of the Padania Plain to the Venetian lagoon. 
A mosaic of precious and unique habitats ,flora and fauna is forever protected.
Look at the map of the Oases (in italian)

www.wwf.it | Riserva Naturale dello Stato Lago di Burano (it)

 

Riserva Naturale della Laguna di Orbetello (Grosseto) | Environment, Flora and Fauna in the Orbetello Lagoon Nature Reserve
The Natural Reserve of the Orbetello Lagoon is the second one in Italy, a WWF Oasis situated along one of the most important migratory routes. An untouched environment made up by the lagoon, a sandy tombolo, with the maquis, a pine grove, cultivated fields, which hosts a rich fauna consisting of about 200 species of water fowls, with pink flamingos, ducks, herons, grebes and seagulls. In order to admire this splendid Oasis, the WWF organizes guided tours along the “nature paths” fitted out with observation spots and huts equipped with illustrative signs.

Oasi Affiliata Capra Matilda (Grosseto)
In de comune of Roccalbegna, in Cancellone and in dl comune of Semproniano, in Selvignana.

Orbetello

Maremma Riserva di Natura - La Aree Protette della Provincia di Grosseto | Riserva Naturale Statale “Duna Feniglia”.

www.wwf.it | Laguna di Ponente di Orbetello Nature Reserve (eng)


 

Orbetello


[1] Source: Parco degli Etruschi | Cosa: when the Romans conquered Etruria
[2] Julian Budden, Puccini: His Life And Works, New York: Oxford University Press, 2002. 

 

 
   
Rocca di Tentennano
Podere Santa Pia
 
Podere Santa Pia
 
Madonna di Vitaleta Chapel, San Quirico d'Orcia



Tuscany is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world. Known for its enchanting landscapes, its fantastic and genuine food and beautiful towns as Florence, Pisa, Lucca and Siena.

Tuscan farmhouses | Podere Santa Pia

 

Vulci, Castello della Badia
The oasis Vulci extends along the river Fiora, where a water fall has originated a small lake, lago Pellicone
Abbey of Sant'Antimo



Cala Violina

The most famous part of the Maremma is the Parco Naturale della Maremma, otherwise known as the Parco dell'Uccellina

Principina a Mare

The Ombrone River located along the coast of Maremma Grossetana, where it flows into the Tyrrhenian Sea in Principina a Mare.




Once upon a time, Tuscany's Mount Argentario was an island. Now this rock is joined to the coast by way of three thin strips of land. Two of these, the Tombolo della Feniglia and the Tombolo della Giannella have formed naturally over the centuries, the other, the Orbetello lagoon dam (an artificial embankment serving as bridge) was constructed by man in 1840. Orbetello is a pleasant town of Tuscan Maremma, home to a number of noteworthy historic buildings. One of these is the Polveriera Guzman, edifice which now houses the town's Archaeological Museum. Then there is the renaissance style Palazzo del Podestà, the Gothic cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta, built on the ruins of an ancient Etruscan-Roman temple, and the Ciclopiche walls, erected in the 5th century B.C by the Etruscans.

The main attraction of Orbetello is the unique ecosystem created by those three tongues of sand which link the town with Mount Argentario. In the two coastal lagoons that have formed on either side of Orbetello, dozens of fish and bird species have found their natural habitat, including great colonies of pink flamingoes.
Close by, between the slopes of Mount Argentario and the Tyrrhenian coast, lie the famous bathing resorts of Porto Santo Stefano and Porto Ercole. The islands of Giglio and Giannutri are just a short boat ride away. Ideal place where to practice a whole variety of watersports, with its fabulous panoramic coastal pathways the Argentario is also perfect walking and mountain biking terrain, extremely popular with fitness fans and lovers of the great outdoors.

The Maremma is outstanding for its many protected natural areas that offer the chance to appreciate its wide variety of animals, insects and birds, trees, shrubs and flowers and to enjoy its special light and scenic beauty.The Nature Reserves aren't separate from the rest of the territory, but are symbolic of an integral whole. The Maremma affirms a way of life in harmony with nature and the rhythm of the seasons.
The Parco Naturale della Maremma encompasses the Monti dell'Uccellina, running parallel to the coastline from Principina a Mare to Talamone and was one of the first protected areas instituted in Italy.
Today the Province of Grosseto can boast of 13 Nature Reserves, an additional 8 which include Reserves for Repopulation, Biogenetics, Protection and Comprehensive Protection, plus the various oasis of the WWF. In all, there are almost 40,000 hectares of nature reserves stretching from north to south. They provide a complex and detailed vision of the wealth of the Maremma's natural heritage in all of its diversity from coast to inland, wet zones and mountain crests.
The numerous routes indicated within the parks enable the visitor to perceive the vastness of the preservation project and the botanical, zoological and geological wealth, differentiation, and beauty offered.

Maremma's natural heritage | www.parco-maremma.it

The Maremma coast has many facets: the mystical atmosphere of the Orbetello Lagoon and the golden, groomed beaches of the Feniglia and the Giannella not far from the Capalbio coast with lunar sand and wild, untouched dunes making it unique. The Islands of Giglio and Giannutri are rare jewels with rocky cliffs plummeting to the crystal-clear, emerald green sea and the scent of the Mediterranean scrub and aromatic herbs filling the air.

Fully equipped tourist ports such as Punta Ala, the fishing villages of Talamone, Santo Stefano and Porto Ercole on the slopes of the Argentario, reveal panoramic views over the coast and the islands and offer unforgetable sunsets spread across the sky.
Fortresses, citadels and towers clinging to the rocks create a vision of the time when these ancient ports, like those of Orbetello and Castiglione della Pescaia, were fortified. Today they offer a unique backdrop for those who "take to the sea" along a Mediterranean course.
The most beautiful regions in Tuscany | Parco Naturale della Maremma

The Tuscan Archipelago is a chain of islands between the Ligurian Sea and Tyrrhenian Sea, west of Tuscany, Italy. The archipelago contains the islands of Elba (224 km2 - the largest island of the group), then Giglio (24 km2), Capraia (19 km2), Montecristo (13 km2), Pianosa (10 km2), Giannutri (3 km2) and Gorgona (2 km2). All the Islands are protected as part of the Tuscan Archipelago National Park, the larger sea park in Europe (total 295 km2).
Tuscany | The Tuscan Archipelago

Vulci
The Etruscan city of Vulci (VelX- in Etruscan) lies on the border between Lazio and Tuscany, about fifty miles north-west of Rome. It stood close to the sea on the right bank of the river Fiora, on a plateau of volcanic origin, in an area which is today uninhabited. The National Museum is housed in the Castle of La Badia, where finds from the excavations in the city and necropolis are on display.Vulci was famous in the ancient world for trade, handicrafts and agriculture. Active from as early as the 8th century BC, the city expanded its control over the surrounding territory in the following two centuries. In the 6th century BC, local handicrafts, strengthened by the presence of Greek labour, gave rise to the production of ceramics, sculptures and objects in bronze, of excellent workmanship, which reached markets throughout the Mediterranean. After the crisis of the 5th century BC, which did not seriously affect Vulci, the recovery of the following century led to the construction of new public works, such as the walls and the temple, discovered in the urban area. In the second half of the 4th century BC, Vulci began to feel the weight of Roman expansionism. The struggle to remain independent came to an end in 280 BC when, defeated, it had to relinquish a large part of its territory, including the coast to Rome. Once it had lost its independence, the city declined and rapidly disappeared completely.
www.vulci.it

Walking in Tuscany | The Naturalistic Archeological Park of Vulci

Trekking Italia - Catalogi nazionale

 

Regina Nemni and Christopher Buchholz in Michelangelo Antonion's Il filo pericoloso delle cose