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Maremma – on foot, horseback or canoe

  • The pristine Maremma coastline is awash with secret coves, pine groves and piratical castles. From Castiglione della Pescaia, the landscape becomes wilder on the SP 158 east to Alberese, the gateway to the Parco dell’Uccellina. As the last virgin coast on the Italian peninsula, Tuscany’s most beguiling park is deeply precious. The landscape ranges from salt marshes, sand dunes and open plains to whale-backed hills, sheer cliffs, pine forests and Mediterranean maquis, perfumed scrubland.

    Long-horned Maremman cattle might wander into the picture but the tough cowboys and their stocky horses keep a low profile. Waymarked paths wind past parasol pines and coastal dunes to steep cliffs and a shoreline dotted with Spanish watchtowers. Trails, designed for all ability levels, wind through the pine groves and rosemary-scented scrubland. Instead, from Talamone, at the far end of the park, you can explore the coast by canoe.

    Activities within the nature park include canoeing on the Ombrone river, sailing along the coast, riding across the mountains, bird-watching by the salt marshes and visiting the noble ruins of San Rabano and other towers strung out along the mountain tops, overlooking the sea. Each tower has its story of marauding pirates and hidden treasures, going back to the times of the Saracens and Spanish galleons.

    Parco dell’Uccellina (also called Parco Naturale della Maremma), Alberese or Talamone visitor centres, 58100 Alberese. & T: 0564 407098 (general) & T: 0564 393238 (booking guided walks). 0564 813635 &

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