The Parco dell’Uccellina stretches across beaches and hiking trails immersed in the Mediterranean scrub. The park can be visited on foot, by bike, by boat, or by carriage.
The Maremma Park covers approximately 18,000 hectares, 8,902 of which are protected and 9.097 of which comprises one contiguous area, across 3 municipalities: Grosseto, Magliano in Toscana and Orbetello. It is just 40 minutes from Castiglione della Pescaia. From North to South, along about 30 km of coastline, the Maremma Park stretches from Principina a Mare to Talamone and includes the mouth of the Ombrone river. It is an uncontaminated area nestled between hills and beaches.
The protected area was established in June 1975 and represents the first Regional Park established in Tuscany
The natural landscape of the Park is characterized by a variety of ecosystems where an huge quantity of plant and animal species find their ideal habitat: the dunes, the Mediterranean scrub, the holm oak woods and the pine forests, up to the wetlands and the lowland areas.
The complex of the Monti dell’Uccellina is characterized by modestly tall cliffs where a mantle of trees and shrubs such as holm oaks, strawberry and mastic treescovers the hills almost uniformly for over 3,000 hectares. The summit of Lecci Hill reaches 417 meters above sea level.
There are many species of fauna including the wild cat. Many birds of prey nest in this area such as the kestrel, the peregrine falcon and the lanner falcon. There are also many species of invertebrates and amphibians such as the Green Frog, the Crested Newt, the Spotted Newt, and reptiles such as the Grass Snake, the Water Turtles
The Mediterranean scrub that slopes towards the sea gives way to the sentry box, characterized by the presence of Rosemary, Erica, mastic and Cisti.
The pine forests are the result of intense forestry work carried out over the centuries. An example of this is the Pineta Granducale which almost uniformly covers, for about 600 hectares, the area between the Ombrone river, the sea and the slopes of the hills. In its undergrowth, where wild cattle graze, there are many evergreen species such as prickly juniper, mastic, myrtle, lodolaio and the jay nest.
The coast within the Maremma Park extends for 25 km from Principina a Mare to Talamone and includes the mouth of the Ombrone river, North of Marina di Alberese. It’s a varied coastline characterized by sand beaches with ample dunes like Collelungo and near Principina, bays Like Cala di Forno and rocky cliffs like the ones on the coast near Talamone.
In 1532, Don Pedro di Toledo, viceroy of Naples, began the construction of new watchtowers for coastal defense and issued an ordinance on the subject, but the project remained unfinished.
Only after the defeat of the Spanish fleet near Tunis, which took place in 1560, was an land invasion considered.
Instead, in the territory of the Grand Duchy the watchtowers were built when Cosimo I, agreeing with the Spanish policy, sent his military engineers to Maremma.
After the era of pirate raids, these posts were used for anti-smuggling control of the coast.
The towers, within the park, from ten to fifteen meters high, were built at a distance of no more than three miles from each other and were of modest size because they had no defensive tasks and were generally not attacked. As a result, the garrison was reduced to a minimum: often there were only a castellan and a soldier.
Length: 10 km, Difficulty: Low, Duration: 3.5 hours, Altitude Variance: 233 m, Highest elevation: 120 m, Departure altitude: 48 m, Arrival altitude: 48 m
The itinerary begins in correspondence with itinerary A1 bis from the cemetery of Alberese, continues to the foot of Spaccasso and upon reaching the Piscina del Prete, descends further to cross the ancient medieval road of San Rabano. It first runs alongside an oak forest, then crosses an ancient olive grove until it reaches a valley. It continues down a road that skirts agricultural and livestock farms until it reaches the Alberese train station. The return trip takes you down the same path.
Legnth: 11.9 km, Difficulty: Medium, Duration: 4 hours 8 minutes, Elevation Difference: 254 m, Departure Elevation: 8 m, Arrival Elevation: 7 m.
The itinerary starts near the Casetta dei Pinottolai which is reachable by car. Once the ticket has been purchased, the visitor center provides an authorization to be affixed to the dashboard in order to leave the car in the lot. Pinottolai.
In the case of online purchases, it is mandatory to make two copies of the voucher. One must be affixed to the dashboard, while the other must be carried with you.
From this point, the itinerary continues along the existing road in the Granducale pine forest, for a length of about 1600 meters, until it reaches the wooden bridge for the pedestrian crossing, where a sign indicates the route for the A2 itinerary.
Through a thick wood you reach the Castelmarino Tower (XII Century). Below the luxurious pine forest and the splendid beach lies the promontory of Collelungo and the tower by the same name (16th Century).
Of the existing towers in the Park area, the majority were built to defend against Corsican attacks and were located on the promontories that offer better visibility over the sea. In the second half of the 16th century, Duke Cosimo dei Medici began work on the towers of Castelmarino, Collelungo, Cala di Forno on foundations “already made by the ancients for the discovery and safety of those seas and that country”. Other towers outside the Grand Ducal territory were adapted or built from scratch, so as to form an uninterrupted defensive circuit that stretched from North to South along the entire coast of the peninsula. Following itinerary A2 you first arrive at the Castel Marino Tower (12th Century), where you can contemplate a breathtaking view of the sea and the islands of the Tuscan Archipelago. On the descent, you cross a pine forest and arrive at a deserted beach where begins the ascent to the 16th Century Collelungo Tower.