Diaccia Botrona Nature Reserve

Diaccia Botrona Nature Reserve

The Diaccia Botrona Nature Reserve: Fauna and Flora

The Nature Reserve of Diaccia Botrona extends over 1,273 hectares between Grosseto and Castiglione della Pescaia. It is a marshy area that represents what remains of Lake Prile, an ancient basin that was drained in the 18th century by the Lorena family. Diaccia Botrona is one of the most important areas in Tuscany for the wintering, resting, and nesting of many bird species.

Flora and Fauna

The vegetation varies based on the area and both natural and artificial modifications. The species present include reed grass, rushes, glasswort, sea lavender, elms, tamarisks, willows, and white poplar. The pine forest, located on the sandy tombolo, consists of majestic stone pines with a dense Mediterranean undergrowth, including rockrose and rosemary, myrtle, tree heath, mastic, and juniper.

The reserve is home to numerous bird species: flamingos, wild geese, ducks, great white herons, cranes, ospreys, and marsh harriers. The flooded meadows host snipe and redshanks. In the pine forest, gray herons, little egrets, European rollers, and cuckoos nest. In the canals, fish species such as eel, sea bass, various types of mullet, and sole can be found. Mammals include rodents, mustelids, and reptiles such as tortoises, grass snakes, Aesculapian snakes, ringed snakes, green lizards, and slow worms. Amphibians include the tree frog, the green toad, and the Italian pool frog.

Places of Interest in the Reserve

In Isola Clodia, at the heart of the reserve, there are Roman ruins and the medieval Abbey of San Pancrazio al Fango. The early medieval church was built on a Roman villa and still preserves some significant remains.

At the western end of Diaccia Botrona, near Castiglione della Pescaia, stands the characteristic Casa Ximenes or Casa Rossa, built in the 18th century by Leonardo Ximenes for land reclamation works. Inside, you can visit a multimedia museum with the assistance of staff from the Maremma Trekking Association, offering an important observation of the flora and fauna of the reserve and other nature reserves in the province of Grosseto. Casa Rossa also serves as the Visitor Center for the Reserve.

Activities in the Reserve

  • Guided boat tours within the reserve
  • Guided tours of the Casa Rossa Ximenes Multimedia Museum
  • Birdwatching and nature photography workshops
  • Guided tours on foot and by mountain bike
  • Environmental education