The Torrente Farma Nature Reserve is located between Monticiano and Roccastrada and includes the central stretch of the beautiful valley that the main stream of the Merse River flows through, as well as the upper part of the Lanzo, a long stream that flows into the Ombrone near Paganico.
The reserve boasts 1,500 hectares of valleys and hills dotted with woods, small farmed areas and plots of land for grazing. At the centre of the area, on a ridge that divides the Farma stream from the Lanzo, you can find the BelagaioCastle and farm. The valley is perfect for excursions, hiking, family outings and a swim in the river.
The valley is home to forests of beech, maple, birch and yew trees, while most of the slopes to the north of the reserve are covered in chestnut trees, and on the sunnier sides, cork trees.
There are also many animal species that make the Farma a unique place in Italy. Of the mammals, there are otters and two kinds of bats, the greater and lesser horseshoe varieties, as well as other protected animals, like martens, skunks and wildcats. Not far from the Belagaio Castle is a natural lake known as Stagno della Troscia, which is the ideal habitat for alpine newts. The lake is also home to many varieties of fish, some of which are important, like the Arno goby, squalius lucumonis, rovella and Appennine barbel.