Diaccia Botrona Nature Reserve: one of the most important wetland in Italy
Among the places of the endless Tuscan natural heritage, there is a very particular one considered as the most important wetland area in Italy: it is the Diaccia Botrona Nature Reserve that extends over a thousand hectares of land between Castiglione della Pescaia and Grosseto, nearby the pine forest of Tombolo. Its ecosystem is one of the most interesting aspects of the area, as it hosts a variety of plants and animals; furthermore, the reserve is an important area for the rest and nesting of many species of birds.
The area, that has the typical appearance of a marsh, is the result of what remains of the Lake Pile salt basin, drained with a great remediation begun in '700. The lake played an important role in the life of those who lived in the surrounding areas, both in the Etruscan and the Middle Ages, when it was a major economic source thanks to fish and salt extraction. However, in the 16th century, the area suffered a major environmental damage due to a malaria epidemic that forced residents to leave; the area depopulated and the desertion of watercourses, which were no longer controlled, caused water stagnation and the spread of malaria. The Lorraines reclamation reduced the original extension of the area, once populated by habitats and crops, but what has been saved remains a fundamental part of the coastal wetland complex of Maremma.
How to reach the Diaccia Botrona Nature Reserve
From Grosseto take the Statale 322 of Collacchie to Castiglione della Pescaia. Before the Giorgini Bridge turn right following the signs for Casa Ximenes. Another way to arrive is the Castiglionese provincial road, always taking direction Castiglione to the Bridges of Badia.
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