Parco regionale di Migliarino San Rossore Massaciuccoli covers an area of about 24.000 hectares in the provinces of Pisa and Lucca. The Park area stretches along the Tyrrheanian coast between Livorno in the south and Viareggio in the north and reaches the hills of Monte Quiesa. During the Roman colonization, the territory was characterized by large maquis and forests of the delta area of the system Arno-Serchio, rich in tongues of land and lagoons.
From the north to the south, the Park consists of coastal forests area of about 40 km, with a sea sandy shore and large inland marshes - larger in the past, before been subject to a land reclamation project - including Massaciuccoli Lake. The flora is particularly interesting for its richness in arboreal and herbaceous species favored by the special soil and climatic conditions. The sites closer to the sea are characterized by the dominating presence of Ilex Trees; however, the landscape is often characterized by the presence of Pines (Stone and Maritime Pines) planted by man.
The most peculiar habitat is situated in the wetlands: the so-called lame, that is marshes situated in the Park inland, where the arboreal vegetation mainly consists of English Oaks, Ash Trees, Alders, Poplars, and some rare plants such as the Silk Vine, a creeping plant which was more widespread in the past.
The large peat bogs covered with canebrakes conceal evidences of cold flora relict of the past, like the Round-leaved Sundew, a very interesting carnivorous plant which can be rarely found in the Mediterranean area. These floristic elements derive from the kind of vegetation revealed by the examination of the pollens found in ancient subfossil peats in Massaciuccoli: they are the Spruce Fir, the Mugo Pine, the Birch, and the Waterclover, all northern plants which migrated to the sea level thousands of years ago, during the last glaciation.
The beach, consisting of mainly calcareous sand, is characterized by dunes and interdunes where several herbaceous species grow: pioneer species along the shoreline, species building and fixing the sand, and species living in the back of the dunes. The presence of vertebrates - representing all classes - represents a remarkable aspect. The innermost marshes and drainage canals collecting the rain are populated by Pikes, Eels, and some amphibians like the Crested Newt, the Common European Frog, the Agile Frog, and the Toad.
The avifauna is without a doubt the most representative faunistic group in the Park. The diversity of environments and their interpenetration give also the opportunity to observe the avifauna populations of the adjacent habitats. On the sandy shores, and during the migratory period, you can sight wonderful Avocets, Greater Flamingos, and Oystercatchers. In the "lame", thanks to their particular configuration, you can admire the Stilts. Woodpeckers and Jays live in the adjacent woods. However, it is in the marshes where it is possible to observe the most interesting birds of the Park: the very rare Bittern, Black-winged Stilts, Ospreys - the latter representing an endangered species - and Marsh Harriers, with the largest nesting colony of the whole Peninsula.
Parco Naturale di Migliarino San Rossore Massaciuccoli, aware of the role it can play in the promotion of the values of its own area, is going to open several structures to use as visitor centers.
These centers are situated in the heart of each Park Estate. They aim at giving visitors detailed information, in order to know better the protected environments in the Park. At the moment, two out of the 13 planned centers work all year round: the Visitor Center in Tenuta di San Rossore and the Visitor Center in Tenuta di Coltano. The latter lies within the premises of the Environmental Education Center Villa Medicea.
- Visitor Center in Tenuta di San Rossore
The estate dates back to the 17th century. In the following three centuries it was subject to several forest, hydraulic, and architectural projects. The buildings of Cascine Vecchie (restored in the 19th century) represent one of the Park Centers. In the Visitor Center tourists can find booklets and brochures about the Park and Tenuta di San Rossore. A service of guided visits is available, with means of transport and itineraries varying according to the visitors' needs.
Information and bookings:
For guided visits on foot, by bike, by coach and by train: Visitor Center San Rossore (loc. Cascine Vecchie) - Tel. 050/530101 - E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
For guided visits on horseback:
Mr. Fabio Tani, Tel. 330/778623
- Visitor Center Villa Medicea in Coltano
The Center Villa Medicea in Coltano allows visitors to discover the Park from a naturalistic, historical, and environmental point of view. It is part of the services offered by the Environmental Education Center in Villa Medicea.
In the villa there are halls dedicated to environmental education activities. Visitors can also find didactic labs, multimedia rooms, rooms used as museum, meeting and conference halls, and guestrooms.
All initiatives are organized by qualified guides and include different tours in the Park.
Information and bookings:
directly in the Visitor Center in Villa Medicea
Via di Palazzi, 21 - 26100 Coltano (Pisa)
Tel. 050/989084 - Fax 050/989051
- Visitor Center La Sterpaia
Casale La Sterpaia is situated in Tenuta di San Rossore. The center has been obtained from the recovery of a 19th century rural complex. Nowadays it is a multipurpose structure aimed at welcoming visitors every day. It includes guestrooms, refreshment point, seminar halls, didactic classrooms, exhibition hall, and an equipped room in the open air. Booklets and brochures on the Park are available. Tasting and sale of the Park's typical products. Departure point for tours on horseback and by coach.
Information and bookings:
Tel. 050/523019 - Fax 050/523022 - E-mail: email@example.com
The Park Authority feels the responsibility to play its own role within a pedagogic activity promoting continuous training: knowing what to do and how to relate to the environment and to others by the consolidation of values, emotions, and knowledge inspired by this territory. For this reason, the new environmental education center in Villa Medicea of Tenuta di Coltano has been created: it represents a laboratory of knowledge and of interdisciplinary and transversal methods.