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Fucecchio marshes

The Fucecchio Marshes cover an area of about 1,800 hectares, divided between the Provinces of Pistoia and Florence.


Fucecchio Marshes and its protected areaHabitat
The Fucecchio Marshes cover an area of about 1,800 hectares, divided between the Provinces of Pistoia and Florence. In spite of it being drastically reduced with respect to the ancient lake-marshes which once covered most of the southern Valdinievole, today it is still the largest inland marsh in Italy. The most naturalistically interesting area is situated mainly in the Communes of Larciano, Ponte Buggianese and Fucecchio. From the geographic point of view, the Marshes are a more or less triangular basin lying in the Valdinievole, south of the Pistoiese Apennines, between Montalbano and the Cerbaie Hills. The main water supply comes from the water courses of the pre-Apennine slopes. The only emissary from the Marshes, the Usciana Canal, runs more or less parallel to the River Arno for 18 kilometres and flows into it near Montecalvoli (Pisa). The value of this area is increased by its contiguity with other areas of great environmental value: Montalbano, the Cerbaie Hills and the little Sibolla Lake which is joined to the Marshes via the Sibolla Trench. The Natural Reserve "Padule di Fucecchio" is equipped with structures for visits, including an observatory, converted from one of the characteristics Marsh cabins.

History and traditions
As weIl as the richness of its landscape and nature, the Marshes have maintained the fascination of the historical events related to the great Medici and Lorena families. Here still remain important testimonies of the work of man, which over the centuries have shaped and changed the very structure of the wetland: the canals and port systems, signs of ancient and important waterways; the Medicean Bridge at Cappiano, the centre for controlling the water regime and fishing activities, as well as an important stop along the Via Francigena; the Capannone Farm complex, which was one of the main berthings of the Valdinievole; the buildings of industrial archaeology like the tobacco dryhouses.
Fucecchio MarshesThe commemorative plaques so often found on the cabins or along the banks tell a more recent story: the tragedy of the barbaric massacre committed by the Germans on 23rd August, 1944.
A few skilful craftsmen still carry on residual activities related to the marsh grasses in the marshes: gathering and weaving "sarello" (tufted sedge) and "sala" reed-mace (False bulrush) (to wicker seats and cover wine flasks), "Gaggia" (False Indigo) and other typical wetland plants.

Padule di FucecchioFlora
Situated on the boundary between the Mediterranean and Continental climates of the Peninsular, the Marshes simultaneously shelter plants adapted to different climates; for example in the Ramone Marshlet, on the edges of the Chiusi Woods, still survive the Frogbit (Hydrocharis morsus-ranae) and the Royal Fern (Osmunda regalis), both plants from a warm wet climate, alongside certain mosses (Sphagnum sp.), more adapted to cold climates of the north and which descended as far as the Marshes during the last Ice Age. Only in the Marshlet, and in a few other areas of the Marsh basin, can still be found fair extensions of the Tufted Sedge (Carex elata), locally called "sarello"; this plant of northern origin develops in bushy formations of more than one individual.
Where the immense reed thickets leave space to the free waters, are the "laminas" formed of plants with floating leaves (e.g. the large White and Yellow Water-lilies) which offer one of the last refuges for several highly specialised species: the Southern Bladderwort (Utricularia australis), a floating carnivorous plant, the Fringed Water-lily (Nymphoides peltata), with its beautiful yellow flowers, and the strange, tiny floating fern Salvinia natans, now extremely rare in Tuscany.

Padule di FucecchioFauna
The Marshes play a fundamental role in the migratory route between the Tyrhennian coast and hinterland; over 190 species of birds can be seen during the year, at least 70 of which nest here. Of particular naturalistic importance are the herons, which in the breeding season form the most important heronry (a nesting colony) in central-southern Italy. It is important both for the number of nesting pairs (up to 800) and the contemporary presence of 4 different species: the Night Heron, Little Egret, Squacco Heron and Cattle Egret. In 1999 the extremely rare Glossy Ibis nested in the Marshes for the first time.
Mammals include the Harvest Mouse (Micromys minutus), the smallest European rodent, which finds it official southern limit in the Fucecchio Marshes. The microfauna is just as rich and important, although perhaps less studied. A recent research carried out by Prof. Arnaldo Bordoni revealed over 1,000 species of Coleoptera: many of these, of Euro-Siberian origin, assume the status of microthermic relicts, similar to the above mentioned floral entities.

Padule di FucecchioPromotional activities
The Centro di Ricerca, Documentazione e Promozione del Padule di Fucecchio (Centre for Research, Documentation and Promotion of Fucecchio Marshes), the Associazione Onlus (Onlus Association) promotes the conservation and improvement of the Fucecchio Marshes, Lake Sibolla and other habitats in northern Tuscany. The association avails itself of a technical-scientific committee and a group of collaborators and educational operators, who are qualified or experts in natural and biological sciences or in the history of the area. The Centre lends particular importance to educational and promotional activities aimed at all age groups. It manages a Laboratory for Environmental Education, organises guided tours for schools and adult groups, permanent education and refresher courses for teachers. It organises the fruition of the Nature Reserve both for educational purposes and tourism and carries out research and monitoring of habitat quality in the area. There are several publications of the Centre, including the photographic book "Gli ultimi rifugi - Vita nel Padule di Fucecchio e nel Laghetto di Sibolla" (The last Refuges - Life in the Fucecchio Marshes and Lake Sibolla) and the guide-book "Il Padule di Fucecchio e il Laghetto di Sibolla - Natura e Storia", (The Fucecchio Marshes and Lake Sibolla - Nature and history) both published by Editori dell’Acero.

Padule di FucecchioThe Protected Area
About 230 hectares of the Marshes are protected as a Nature Reserve, recently established by the Provincial Administration of Pistoia (206 hectares) and Florence (25 hectares), whilst the remainder of the marshland basin lies in the bordering areas. The Province of Pistoia, whilst maintaining direct management of the protected area, has appointed the Centro di Ricerca, Documentazione e Promozione del Padule di Fucecchio (the Centre for Research, Documentation and Promotion of the Fucecchio Marshes) responsible for the fruition, use and technical-scientific supervision of the area, and the Consorzio di Bonifica del Padule di Fucecchio (Consortium for Reclamation of the Fucecchio Marshes) for environmental maintenance.
Active management in the Reserve includes the control of infesting plants, habitat recovery of the open water areas and maintenance works to increase its fruition. The rules of the Nature Reserve forbid, among other things; shooting and fishing, reclamation, morphological changes, altering the water regime, introducing plants and animals, lighting fires and unauthorised aircraft flying over the area. Entry is forbidden to some of the more interior banks of the protected area, but there is always access to the "Le Morette" observation tower.


For information and guided tours
Centro di Ricerca, Documentazione e Promozione del Padule di Fucecchio (Centre for Research, Documentation and Promotion of the Fucecchio Marshes): tel. e fax 0573/84540;
Fucecchio Marshes


Fucecchio: discover the surroundings

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Accommodations in the area


    • Fucecchio (Florence)
    • 6 km from Fucecchio

    Relais Hotel Vedute

    Relais Hotel Vedute Florence surrounded by green countryside is located in a strategic position near Florence, Lucca, Pistoia, Pisa and Siena
    Our Wellness Center & Ayurvedic Thai Aquamor invites you to know Ayurvedic and Thai experience in Fucecchio Florence

    Availability request


    • Lucca (Lucca)
    • 29 km from Fucecchio

    Historic Villa Lucca 12 beds pool

    Historic villa 14 km from the center of Lucca immersed in the green of the Tuscan vineyards and olive groves, it has a private swimming pool and a large park.
    Set on 350 square meters in a dominant position offers a unique view of the hills of Tuscany.

    Availability request


    • San Gimignano (Siena)
    • 29 km from Fucecchio

    Agriturismo Cesani

    Azienda Agricola Biologica Cesani is an organic farm nestled in the rolling hills of the Tuscan countryside, in the tiny country hamlet of Pancole, 6 km to the medieval town of San Gimignano.
    Azienda Agricola Biologica Cesani is an organic farm nestled in the rolling hills of the Tuscan countryside, in the tiny country hamlet of Pancole, 6 km to the medieval town of San Gimignano.

    Availability request


    • Firenze (Florence)
    • 33 km from Fucecchio

    Marignolle relais & charme

    The charming Marignolle Relais & Charme, nestled the hills of Florence, is the ideal solution for those who want a place of excellence and relaxation and love peace and privacy without the amenities of a luxury hotel.
    Marignolle Relais & Charme is especially appreciated by travelers looking for style and tradition by offering deluxe rooms or junior suites in a refined, with superior comforts and impeccable services that make this relais an excellence of Florence.

    Booking ONLINE


    • San Gimignano (Siena)
    • 35 km from Fucecchio

    Agriturismo la Lucciolaia

    In the vicinity of the medieval centre of San Gimignano, nestled in the rolling hills of the gorgeous Tuscan countryside, Agriturismo La Lucciolaia is perfectly located for exploring Tuscany's most prized art towns.
    This ancient farmhouse has been recently renovated and divided into eleven double rooms and two Suites, where the magic atmosphere of past times is perfectly blended with modern comforts.

    Availability request


    • San Gimignano (Siena)
    • 35 km from Fucecchio

    B&B la Fornace di Racciano

    La Fornace di Racciano is a lovely Bed&Breakfast a short distance from the historical centre of medieval San Gimignano. It consists of a typical Tuscan country house surrounded by a large flowery garden.
    La Fornace di Racciano consists of seven comfortable rooms and four apartments, two of which are located in the ancient hamlet of Racciano.

    Availability request


    • San Gimignano (Siena)
    • 35 km from Fucecchio

    Agriturismo Villa il Palagetto

    Agriturismo Villa il Palagetto located in the vicinity of the medieval centre of San Gimignano, nestled in the rolling hills of the gorgeous Tuscan countryside.
    Provides comfortable accommodation in 6 double bedrooms and two Suites

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    • Massarosa (Lucca)
    • 40 km from Fucecchio

    Stone Farmhouse Massarosa 8 beds pool

    Stone farmhouse in typical Tuscan style skilfully and elegantly renovated in a dominant position on the hills of Massarosa with spectacular views that reach the sea of Tuscany. The farmhouse has a swimming pool with whirlpool.
    Perfect solution for those that search the real authentic Tuscany staying in the hills but not far from the Versilia sea.

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    • Colle Val D'Elsa (Siena)
    • 41 km from Fucecchio

    La Pieve

    La Pieve, charming farmhouse located on the hills of Val d'Elsa, between Volterra and San Gimignano, along the Via Francigena, in the heart of the Tuscan countryside, with its luxuriant nature and rich history.
    Framed by olive trees and a wood, it fosters a direct dialogue with nature in complete relaxation where they contemplate and enjoy the stillness in private and unique spaces.

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    • Colle Val D'Elsa (Siena)
    • 43 km from Fucecchio

    Relais della Rovere

    The Relais Della Rovere is a charming hotel created from the conversion of an ancient Benedictine abbey and a papal villa of the Renaissance period.
    Set in Colle Val d'Elsa, in the heart of the Chianti area, it is strategically located among Florence, Siena, San Gimignano and Volterra.

    Booking ONLINE


    • Massarosa (Lucca)
    • 44 km from Fucecchio

    Farmhouse Massarosa 14 beds pool

    Beautiful ancient Tuscan farmhouse completely renovated located on Tuscan hills 10 km from the golf course of Versilia. The villa can accommodate up to 14 people.
    An oasis of peace for those looking for a stay in the Tuscan hills while staying close to the sea. Perfect for a relaxing holiday in close contact with nature.

    Availability request


    • Camaiore (Lucca)
    • 45 km from Fucecchio

    Villa Pieve di Camaiore 8 beds pool

    Luxury and charming villa with swimming pool for rent surrounded by the green hills of Camaiore not far from the sea of the Tuscan coast.
    The villa is ideal for those looking for an oasis of absolute peace and relaxation guaranteed by the elevated position and the external fence in style.

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    • Camaiore (Lucca)
    • 45 km from Fucecchio

    Villa Prato di Sopra Camaiore 10 beds pool

    This villa is really some thing special, perched on the top of a hill the views are endlessly breath taking.
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    Availability request


    • Camaiore (Lucca)
    • 45 km from Fucecchio

    Villa Camaiore Hills 10 beds pool

    Villa located 3 km from the center of Camaiore in a quiet and sunny position 10 km from Tuscan sea.
    Ideal for those looking for a villa accommodation on the hills of Versilia a few miles from Tuscan sea.

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    • Camaiore (Lucca)
    • 45 km from Fucecchio

    Restored Farmhouse Camaiore 9 beds pool

    Beautiful fully restored farmhouse located on the hills of Camaiore. The villa is surrounded by a park of 2500 square meters in which is inserted the beautiful pool.
    Thanks to the dominant position on the valley from the farmhouse you can enjoy a beautiful 360 ° panoramic view.

    Availability request



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