The Natural Reserve is located in Maremma Tuscany Italy a little south of Orbetello in the province of Grosseto . You can freely enter the reserve only on foot, on horse and by mountain or trekking bike. Come to our hotel in Tuscany, Rifugio Prategiano, and the connected Horse Riding Center and you will have the fantastic opportunity to participate in a special ride in one of the nicest parks of Tuscany. Horseback riding in this fantastic region of Italy will be a unique experience.
The Nature Reserve protects the tombolo della Feniglia, one of the two sandy strips that link the headland of Argentario to the dry land. The narrow strip of land that marks off the eastern Lagoon of Orbetello is about six km long and reaches a maximum width of one kilometer. Until the end of 1700, the Duna, property of the Municipality of Orbetello, was covered by a thriving Mediterranean maquis that, once sold to private subjects, was cut or destined to grazing and crop growing. This caused the almost total disappearance of the vegetation and the libeccio, free from the barrier represented by the strip of vegetation coastal, began to accumulate sand in the lagoon, filling it up.
The authorities, concerned about the destiny of the lagoon and of the related fishing activity, at the beginning of 1900 confiscated the land and started the forestation. Thanks to those protection interventions, today the Natural Reserve is covered with one of the most beautiful shoreline pine forests in Italy. A few birdwatch posts are installed on the side facing the lagoon. The undergrowth is made of scented shrubs of Mediterranean maquis, among which the lentiscus and phillyrea prevail. There is also abundance of asphodel, a plant rejected by the many herbivores that live in the pine forest. In the tombolo, it is easy to find thickets of holm oak, cork oak, flowering ash, poplar and Dutch elm. Under the pines you may spot fallow deer and foxes and find the trails of the badger and of the beech marten. The reserve is full of amphibians and reptiles that include species such as the common toad, the frog, the tortoise, the pond turtle and the four-lined shake. Discover the unknown beauties of Tuscany Italy with the guides of the Hotel Prategiano.