Crete Senesi, Val d'Orcia, torrents and lakes in the area of Siena... how to choose among these natural treasures?
Come with us and we'll show you four routes in the natural reserves of Terra di Siena, to discover the wilder side of this territory.
In the Rocconi forest, which lies between the magical world of the Crete of the Val d’Orcia and the neatly organized farm land of the Val di Chiana, there is a stand of centuries-old beech trees which is documented and marked by the Italian Botanical Society. This antique place protects beneath its rock walls, giant beech trees as well as other rare plants, flowers of every kind and lush moss that covers enormous boulders. The route offers incredible 360° panoramas.
Visit the reserve using sign-posted trails. There is also the possibility of going out in small boats on the lake. The reserve, which is run by the LIPU, includes a humid zone of 470 hectares of which a third is the actual lake and the rest the surface is covered by a typical swamp vegetation. This is one of the last great swamps in Tuscany and as such generates much naturalistic interest in the migratory passing, the wintering and nesting of many species of birds, some of which are rare and threatened.
Visit one of the most picturesque zones of the Val d’Orcia which is protected not only for its scenic richness but also for its uniqueness. This country has clay soil, deprived in many places of any vegetation and interspersed with barren knolls, torrents and rolling valleys planted with grain. These eroded clay formations, especially on the steepest slopes, create what are called “calanchi” and are populated only by hardy plants capable of resisting in the desert-like climate.
This excursion will be fun and interesting for everyone and very suitable for children. The route offers anthropological, botanical, faunistic and scenic points of interest. During the excursion you’ll have the chance to see wonderful panoramas of the valley of the Merse river. Please note the changing vegetation as you move through as well as the traces left by wild animals. The coalbunkers, the lime kilns, the hermitage and the chestnut drying ovens are a testimony of the life and work of the local peasants. All of this is explained very well and originally in the museum, both internally and externally in the woods.