Stretched over 9800ha, the Parco Regionale della Maremma or Parco dell’Uccellina is simply paradise. Its walking tracks meander through forests, pass the odd medieval ruin and finish at the feet of a deserted pebble strewn beach. The extreme and indescribable beauty of the Maremma condensed into a nature park.
There is no better place to watch the sunset than from the park’s beach. As the last rays disappear, the atmosphere is impossibly calm and if you look out onto the Tyrrhenian Sea, you can just see the outline of Elba Island- where Napoleon Bonaparte was exiled to after his forced abdication in 1814.
But back to the nature park. Left to its own devices, the park is alive with holm oaks, strawberry bushes and plants of every colour. The keen botanist will notice an endless array of local flora including myrtle, lentiscus, heather, lavender and broom, while the not-so-keen botanist can just enjoy the picturesque peace of the ancient trees, bright flowers and wild, overgrown fields.
When it comes to the park’s fauna, some are easier to admire than others. You can’t miss the regal Maremman horses and cattle who breed freely across the park. But, the wild boars, hares, hedgehogs, foxes, badgers and porcupines who also call the park home are difficult to get a glimpse of and usually only leave the safety of the forest at night.
Visitors to the park enter through the visitor’s centre on Via del Bersagliere, 7/9 – Alberese. Like every nature park, walking boots, water and bug repellents are a must.
The park is covered in walking and hiking tracks of different lengths. There are those for experts who want to challenge themselves while enjoying the beautiful surroundings and there are those for visitors who just want the see the best the park has to offer with minimal effort. All tracks can be accompanied by an experienced guide if you want a bit of expert information or just some company while you walk.
The park also has horse, chariot and canoe courses, and a 8.5 kilometre bicycle path that stretches from Alberese to Marina di Alberese.