Lake of Santa Luce

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The Lake of Santa Luce, a fascinating artificial lake with a rich biodiversity

In the marvelous Province of Pisa, there is an enchanting artificial lake, known as Oasi LlPU since 1992. This corner of paradise is located a few steps from the pretty town of Rosignano Marittimo, and can be easily reached by taking the state road 206 in the direction of Pisa and following the signs for the village of Santa Luce. Along the road, the lake suddenly appears as a splendid body of water, surrounded by thick reeds, giving the landscape an atmosphere of serenity and tranquillity.

The LIPU Oasis of Santa Luce

Once you reach the lake, you will find the LlPU visitor centre, located right next to the artificial barrier. Guided tours depart from here and can only be attended by booking in advance. The visit itinerary allows you to discover the beautiful nature trail that winds for about 2 kilometres. Along this route, various educational signs accompany the visitor on an educational adventure, and two cozy huts with loopholes allow you to observe the animals without frightening them, offering unforgettable moments of observation. It is worth emphasizing that the Lake of Santa Luce as a protected oasis is protected by a regulation which imposes many prohibitions such as that of collecting numerous plant species and that of hunting.

Lake of Santa Luce
Lake of Santa Luce (Photo by LigaDueCC BY)

A must for bird watchers

The Santa Luce Oasis, with the beauty of 200 registered bird species, in fact proves to be an important rest area for migratory birds, and each season reserves surprises and different protagonists.

In the magical winter atmosphere, the lake is populated by splendid multicolored ducks, such as pochards, teals, mallards and wigeons, while the elegant cormorants perform with their wings spread in the sun, perched on the branches of the trees.

With the arrival of summer, the reed beds come to life thanks to the presence of less striking but equally fascinating small birds, such as the river nightingale, the reed warbler and the reed warbler. Furthermore, the typical flask-shaped nests of the Pendolino do not go unnoticed, swaying among the branches of the tamarisks, while the colorful Bee-eater finds its home in the upper part of the lake.

The early hours of the morning are an ideal time to come across magnificent creatures such as kestrels and buzzards, intent on patrolling the surrounding fields, or to see the majestic silhouette of the marsh harrier as it glides majestically above the reeds. During the night, the nocturnal inhabitants of the Oasis come into action, such as the mysterious Barn Owl, the Owl and other fascinating birds of prey.

However, the most spectacular and exciting season is undoubtedly spring. When the hills are tinged with colorful flowers, they become the perfect theater for the wedding parades of the Great Crested Grebe, which has been chosen as the symbol of the Oasis. During this period, there is no shortage of appearances of migratory birds along the shores of the lake, especially the fascinating herons such as the night heron, the little egret, the little bittern and the purple heron, which offer nature lovers an unforgettable spectacle.

The biodiversity of Lake Santa Luce

Within the ecosystem of the lake, a vast and extraordinary biodiversity manifests itself in all its grandeur, offering ideal habitats for a multitude of creatures. Graceful dragonflies, butterflies with vibrant wings, and magnificent nocturnal sphinxes add a note of enchantment and wonder to the natural landscape. Furthermore, reptiles and amphibians, with their constant presence, contribute to nourishing the vast biodiversity of this place.


For sport fishing enthusiasts, the Oasis also offers the opportunity to try this fascinating activity. However, for fishing to be sustainable and respectful of the environment, it is necessary to obtain a permit issued by the provincial administration of Pisa. In addition to the normal fishing license, the permit allows you to fully enjoy the abundance of the lake’s fish fauna, with the possibility of catching spectacular specimens such as chub and other bottom fish, or even pike of considerable size.

In short, the LlPU Oasis in Santa Luce represents an enchanting jewel surrounded by nature, a place to discover and admire in every season, where biodiversity and the magic of the local fauna and flora harmoniously intertwine, offering an unforgettable experience to anyone who ventures there.

How to get to Lake Santa Luce

To reach the suggestive Lake of Santa Luce from both Pisa and Florence, you can choose between different travel options. By car, from Pisa, you can head south following the regional road SR206 and then continuing on the SP 51 to your destination. From Florence, on the other hand, you can take the Fi-Pi-Li towards Pisa, exit at Vicarello, and then follow the SR206 and the SP51 to your destination.

With public transport, reaching Lake Santa Luce is a real epic. Even starting from Pisa you will find yourself facing a journey of over 3 hours with various bus changes. Not easy at all!

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