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Nature
 
The Maremma
A land where man has left his mark over the centuries, but still very much a wild untamed country with its volcanoes, gorges, lakes and rivers, hot springs, eroded landscapes and, of course, the sea and the Mediterranean scrub.

A land with a surprising range of flora and fauna:
wild boar, porcupines, wild horses and otters…
bee-catchers, red flamingoes and hupupas…
cork trees, mimosa, strawberry trees and equisetum…

With its many farm tracks and old Roman roads, transhumance ways and paths of pilgrimage, the Maremma Laziale is ideal for those wanting to leave the car and modern trappings of modern life behind and set off on foot (or by bike or on horseback) to explore the area. Watch out for the sun though: sun hats and sun cream essential, plus a good supply of water (though there are plenty of fountains if you know where to look).
You'll find that the sign-posting isn't always brilliant, but that's part of the fun! Don't forget to bring a good map, or try out your Italian on the locals...

Parks + Nature reserves
Lakes, Rivers, Springs & The Sea
The Brigand's Way



Nature trails around Piansano


There's a series of trails in the woods around town with picnic and beauty spots: Sentiero dello sportivo (for sporty types), Sentiero della salute (for health freaks), Sentiero del solitario (for those wanting to get away from it all) and the Sentiero dell'amore (for courting couples).
Then there's Lake Bolsena, just 5-10 minutes away by car...




TRANSHUMANCE


The transhumance is an ancient custom that's all but disappeared these days: during the Winter when the cold weather makes grazing impractical up in the mountains, shepherds and the butteri used to lead their flocks and herds down to lower heights where there was still fresh grass. They then repeated the process in the Summer when the heat down by the sea meant that the grass is scorched by the hot sun.
Nowadays you're more likely to come across sheep in the middle of the road as they're moved from one field to another.
In the Tolfa Mountains though, you can still get a feel of this old way of life in the "Capanna Maremmana".

Capanna Maremmana
The Agricultural University in Tolfa has a traditional hut built exactly like those used by the butteri during the Summer transhumance.
During a day spent here, you're given the chance to experience special moments during the transhumance, such as the preparation of simple food (not the beans and coffee seen in old Westerns, but acquacotta), games and songs around the fire and the knock-up beds called "rapazzole", with dried maize leaves to make them comfortable.