Parco Naturale della Maremma

The Maremma Regional Natural Park is a large protected coastal area in Tuscany, extending from Principina a Mare to Talamone and fully including the Uccellina Mountains together with a mosaic of ecosystems.

The Maremma Regional Natural Park, so called in the year of its establishment, also called Parco dell’Uccellina, named after the mountains that are part of it, is an area protected by two regional laws of 1975 and 1994, which extends for about 9800 hectares in the Maremma coastal stretch that goes from the pine forest of Tombolo di Principina a Mare, to the north, up to the promontory of Talamone, to the south. The protected area is bounded inwards by the Via Aurelia and includes part of the territories of Grosseto, Magliano in Toscana and Orbetello. The park encompasses the last stretch of the Ombrone river, the Palude della Trappola, the pine forest of Marina di Alberese (crossed by the Scoglietto-Collelungo canal) and the Uccellina Mountains. It is undoubtedly the most varied and characteristic natural park in Tuscany (and probably in Italy) and contains within it the typical natural environments of the Maremma. Vast 100 sq km, in the southern part it overlooks the sea with a high coast (about 20 kilometers long), while further north there are large beaches with sand dunes that end in pine forests. From the naturalistic point of view, the Maremma Natural Park includes a real mosaic of ecosystems. Most of the protected area is occupied by the Uccellina Mountains, modest hills that reach 417 meters above sea level (at Poggio Lecci), covered with shrubs and trees typical of the Mediterranean scrub. The Uccellina Mountains, in the southern part of the park, descend steeply to the sea, creating small isolated coves. The main beaches of the park are Marina di Alberese, Collelungo and the picturesque Cala di Forno.

In the Maremma Natural Park there are different climatic situationsMaremma climate – with Mediterranean, sub-desert and continental characteristics, which are visually manifested also in the great floristic variety (even of very rare species such as the Dwarf Palm that develops in the northernmost part of the park ). The temperature is mild, as in the entire Maremma coastal strip, and rainfall reaches minimum peaks between July-August and maximums between November-December. The seagulls, the watchful sentries of the protected area, shuttle from land to sea. The fauna of the park is varied, typical of the Mediterranean scrub areas, there are numerous ungulate mammals such as wild boar, fallow deer, roe deer and various smaller mammals such as porcupines, wild cats, stone martens, badgers, hedgehogs, weasels and foxes. In the northern part of the Maremma Natural Park, the Maremma horse and Maremma cattle in a semi-wild state are still bred, led by the Maremma Butteri. In the wetlands there are many migratory birds, alongside a stable population of mallards, wild geese, hen, coots, lapwings, grebes and gray herons. The park is also home to numerous species of reptiles, insects, sea and river fish.

The Regional Natural Park of the Tuscan Maremma – Uccellina Park – Alberese (Photo by Fabrizio Sozzi)

The territory is dotted with many watchtowers: Collelungo, Cala Forno, Cannelle, Capo d’Uomo, together with those of Uccellina and Bella Marsilia, were part of a sighting and defense system connected to the fortresses of Castiglione della Pescaia and Talamone. The tower of the Bella Marsilia is what remains of the Castle of Collecchio, which belonged to the noble family of the Marsili of Siena, which was slaughtered in 1543 by the Saracen pirates of Cair Heddin known as Barbarossa. Not far from the Torre dell’Uccellina, located at 347 meters above sea level, a small valley opens up where you can see the ruins of the 12th century Abbey of San Rabano.

Watchtower in the Maremma Natural Park – Monti dell’Uccellina (Photo by Paolo Brunetti)

The territory is dotted with many watchtowers: Collelungo, Cala Forno, Cannelle, Capo d’Uomo, together with those of Uccellina and Bella Marsilia, were part of a sighting and defense system connected to the fortresses of Castiglione della Pescaia and Talamone. The tower of the Bella Marsilia is what remains of the Castle of Collecchio, which belonged to the noble family of the Marsili of Siena, which was slaughtered in 1543 by the Saracen pirates of Cair Heddin known as Barbarossa. Not far from the Torre dell’Uccellina, located at 347 meters above sea level, a small valley opens up where you can see the ruins of the 12th century Abbey of San Rabano.

The Maremma Natural Park in brief:

  • Surface: 8900 hectares.
  • Municipalities: Grosseto, Magliano in Toscana and Orbetello.
  • What to see: Trappola swamp, Ombrone mouth, Monti dell’Uccellina, Lecci knoll, Uccellina Grand Ducal pine forest, beaches, sand dunes and cliffs – Archaeological sites, watchtowers, the abbey complex of San Rabano.
  • What to do: bird watching, itineraries with guided tours for individuals or groups, Horse riding – Horse riding, cycling, canoeing and night excursions, itineraries for people with motor disabilities.
  • Flora: Mediterranean scrub, pine forest, meadow, pasture, secondary grassland.
  • Fauna: Maremma cattle and horses, wild boar, roe deer, fallow deer, fox, badger, hare, porcupine, nutria, mustelids, reptiles of various species, sedentary and passage birds including stork, heron, coot, avocet, crane, oystercatcher .

Visits to the Maremma Natural Park

The Maremma Natural Park can be visited from the visitor centers of Alberese (Via del Bersagliere, 7-9 – Tele. 0564/407098), Talamone (Via Nizza, 12 – Tele. 0564/887173) and Collecchio (former school in Collecchio, Magliano in Tuscany – Tel. 0564/407098). For opening hours, consult the official website of the Maremma Regional Park Authority. Inside, the park offers numerous routes that can be done depending on the season, duration and difficulty. The different itineraries can be undertaken individually, in groups and with a tour guide; you can also make excursions on horseback, mountain biking – Cycle tourism – canoeing on the Ombrone river and night visits. There are also itineraries specifically designed for people with motor disabilities. During the winter, a shuttle shuttle service is available with telephone call – Shuttle Park – which takes visitors to the start of the pedestrian paths.

Resources on the Maremma Regional Natural Park