Tuscany Planet

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WWF Oasis in Tuscany: natural treasures to explore

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WWF Oasis: protected reserves and enchanting territories to visit

Tuscany, famous for its landscape variety which ranges from splendid beaches to the imposing beauty of the mountains, is also the cradle of the WWF in Italy. This region offers a territory rich in natural wonders that deserve to be explored and preserved.

Discovering protected oases

There are numerous protected oases scattered throughout the region, authentic jewels of nature that allow you to immerse yourself in the natural habitats of animals and admire unique views. The WWF put down roots in Tuscany in 1967, when it established its first oasis, that of Lake Burano, located in the municipal area of Capalbio, in the province of Grosseto. This was just the beginning and over time others were added, up to the 17 WWF oases today.

An adventure for the whole family

The discovery of these oases is a perfect opportunity for the whole family, adults and children, especially for lovers of birdwatching and wildwatching. Here, you can in fact observe extraordinary migrations of birds and the presence of protected species.

An exceptional experience with WWF guides

To make your visit to these oases truly extraordinary, we recommend that you rely on the WWF environmental hiking guides. Following their itineraries, you will have the opportunity to visit wildlife observatories, huts, walkways and walkways. This unique experience is within everyone’s reach, thanks to the equipment and services that make the parks accessible to disabled people too. You will find qualified hospitality, means of transport, suitable paths and accessible visitor centres.

WWF oasis in the province of Pistoia

In the green heart of the Pistoia mountains, in the municipality of San Marcello Piteglio, there are approximately 1000 hectares of woods, meadows and mountain environments of endless beauty, protected by the Oasi Dynamo. This WWF-affiliated natural area was once known as the Wolf’s Basket, but has been transformed from a hunting reserve into a virtuous example of environmental management. Here, today, creatures such as the wolf, the deer and numerous diurnal and nocturnal birds of prey live in freedom, representing a true naturalistic paradise. A little further south, in the municipal area of Pescia, the Oasi Lignana which takes its name from the mountain of the same name. Extending over an area of 30 hectares, this oasis boasts a substantial population of crayfish and is also home to majestic birds of prey such as the peregrine falcon and the kestrel.

Piana di Lucca: natural treasures to discover

In the western part of the former bed of Lake Bientina, between the Valdera and the Piana di Lucca, more precisely in Capannori, you will find a mosaic of natural habitats in the Oasi WWF Bosco del Bottaccio. Here, dense wooded areas alternate with damp meadows and reed thickets, forming a small but important lowland forest teeming with biodiversity. This unique habitat can be explored through a natural path that will lead you to discover uncontaminated beauty.

Northern coast of Tuscany

The Versilia, Apuan and Pisan coasts are not only crowded seaside destinations, but are also home to precious dune habitats such as the Dune di Forte dei Marmi and the Dune di Tirrenia. Furthermore, you can explore the groves behind the dunes, the Parco didattico dei Ronchi and the Bosco di Cornacchiaia in the Migliarino San Rossore Regional Park. These places not only preserve pleasant landscapes, but also host endemic plant species typical of Mediterranean vegetation. Here, rare seabirds and mammals find their refuge, helping to make these areas even more extraordinary.

WWF oasis in the Florentine area

There are also two oases in the metropolitan area of Florence. The first is Val di Rose, in the municipality of Sesto Fiorentino, the second is the Oasi WWF di Focognano, which is located between the municipalities of Florence and Campi Bisenzio. Both the Focognano Ponds and the Val di Rose have rich vegetation typical of lake environments. Inside them there are many amphibians and reptiles including green toads, newts, tree frogs, stone snakes and green lizards. Added to these are the numerous species of birds that nest there and those that pass through during migrations.

Etruscan Coast: the charm of the marshy areas

The Livorno coast, lapped by crystal clear waters, is animated by two brackish marsh areas: the Padule di Bolgheri, in the municipality of Castagneto Carducci, and the Padule Orti-Bottagone in Piombino. These environments are rich in biodiversity, hosting mammals, amphibians, birds, reptiles and even the Caretta caretta sea turtle in the marine waters in front of the Padule di Bolgheri.

WWF Oasis Padule di Bolgheri
Padule di Bolgheri (Photo by Daniele Caccia / CC BY)

The woods on the slopes of Mount Amiata

On the slopes of the now extinct volcano of Monte Amiata, near the village of Roccalbegna, there are two areas of particular naturalistic value: the WWF-affiliated Capra Matilda Oasis and the regional reserve owned by the WWF Bosco Rocconi. The first offers pastures alternating with woods, while the second has more extensive and mature woods, interspersed with high rocky walls. Both of these areas are custodians of wild and agricultural habitats of exceptional importance and beauty.

Maremma: where the first WWF oasis is located

In southern Tuscany, the original nucleus of the Italian WWF oases is Lago di Burano, in Capalbio. This coastal marshland area is included in a Special Area of Conservation, as well as a Special Protection Area and RAMSAR Site. Together with the adjacent Oasi WWF della Laguna di Orbetello and the Oasi San Felice in Marina di Grosseto, Lake Burano represents a fascinating and delicate environment to be preserved. Here you can spot numerous bird species and spend long days with binoculars in hand, in total respect for nature.

WWF Oasis Lago di Burano
Lago di Burano (Photo by W&gromit / CC BY)
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