The loop that embraces the Orbetello Lagoon is a cycling route, largely separated from vehicle traffic, which combines the wild beauty of the Duna di Feniglia with the sight of one of the most important Oasis WWF in the entire Mediterranean basin.
We leave the Orbetello Scalo station to enter the bike/pedestrian path on our right, between the lagoon's body of water and the modern neighborhood of Via dei Macchiaioli. A few meters and, crossing Lungolago Pescatori, we turn left (underpass of Provincial Road 161) and then enter Via Aurelia Antica. We head east, then leave Via Aurelia Antica and enter Via di Cameretta, a narrow side street bordered by characteristic dry-stone walls, following it until we cross a barring gate. A manhole on either side of the gate allows us to enter a bike path that juts out between the railway platform and the eastern lagoon, and already, in the next stretch, grey herons and egrets soar as we pass. Near a railroad underpass, we arrive at the base of the Ansedonia hill, at the National Archaeological Museum.
Our program has a different destination, and once we leave the gate of the bike path, we continue to the right until we cross the Taglio di Ansedonia, one of the two man-made canals that connect the lagoon with the open sea, the other being the S. Liberata canal on the Giannella shoreline. We have arrived at the gates of the Riserva della Duna di Feniglia, the feelings of well-being and beauty we will experience as we ride along the next six kilometers is worth the trip in itself. The Feniglia Dune is crossed by two paths, the first one overlooks Orbetello, maintains the natural bottom and is only partially accessible by bicycle. The second path is the big road we are on, from where branch off the crossbars that reach the beach facing the open sea. We use the one marked at the third kilometer to admire the beautiful landscape that nature offers us. Further on, in a small clearing, a white marble stele rises from the undergrowth in memory of one of the greatest painters in the history of art, Michelangelo Merisi known as Caravaggio, who came to this beach close to death in 1610, only to pass away a short time later in Porto Ercole.
Leaving the protected area, we enter the stretch of the route that runs at the foot of Monte Argentario. Shortly after, we encounter the bicycle path off the Orbetellana Provincial Road. Turning left, the bike path goes up to Poggio Pertuso reaching Porto Ercole. Due to possible vehicle traffic, we keep to the right by carefully engaging the branch of the bike path that goes back to Orbetello.
The body of water in the lagoon opens just a few meters from us, accompanying us until we cross the artificial dam that connects Argentario to the Orbetello peninsula. Built in 1841 by Leopold II of Lorraine, the dam divides the lagoon into two bodies of water, Levante and Ponente; until 1944, the railroad connecting Orbetello Scalo to Porto Santo Stefano passed through it. We ride between the two bodies of water under the gaze of the ancient windmill from the Sienese era, one of the symbolic constructions of the lagoon town, to continue to the large square with the Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta overlooking on it and indulge in a break strolling through the narrow streets of the historic town center.
One we are back on the the bike path, which now retraces the former railroad track, we savor the pleasure of the last few rides that separate us from our starting point, fascinated by a thousand sparkles of the lagoon.