Feniglia Nature Reserve

Feniglia Nature Reserve

The Feniglia, located in the town of Orbetello, in the province of Grosseto, is a tombolo (that is, a cordon of sand) that connects the hill of Ansedonia to the east and the Monte Argentario to the west. It develops for around 6 km of length for a total surface of 474 hectares. From Orbetello, the dune Feniglia can be reached by means of the grand-ducal dam, while from Ansedonia it is accessible by taking the state road 1 Via Aurelia | Aurelia state road and then taking the municipal road that derives from it. The reserve is crossed by a dirt road built between 1928 and 1940, closed to the traffic of motor vehicles and motorcycles, which can only be traveled on foot or by bicycle; further roads cross it perpendicularly, at intervals of about 1 km, some have natural background, others artificial. The grid formed by these roads helps to divide the forest into sections, and allows visitors to access the sea on the beach of the same name.

The climate of the Feniglia is typically Mediterranean, with very mild winters and hot and very dry summers. Rainfall is concentrated in the autumn months, while summers are very dry.

The prevailing environmental typology of the SIR is the tombolo that delimits to the south the Western Lagoon (which, in the strict sense, is a ‘coastal lake’ and not a ‘lagoon’, not being its genesis linked to the mouth of a river), almost entirely occupied by a pinewood of domestic pine, of historical, landscape and naturalistic interest. The southern margin consists of a sandy coast with vegetation in a good state of conservation, while the lagoon margin is occupied by more or less extensive extensions of brackish marshes. In the pine wood there are some rare nesting ornithic species (Falco subbuteo, Clamator glandarius, Otus scops), of fundamental importance for the lagoon ecosystem and the greatest ornithological interest is found in the narrow band of salicornieto that surrounds the lagoon side.

Access is free on foot and by bicycle and is facilitated by a lorry that runs through the reserve along its entire length of about 6 km. Along the way, there are milestones and information panels at intervals of about 1 km, indicating the exits to the sea that lead to the beach.

The staff of the State Forestry Team conducts guided tours for groups (booking at the Territorial Office for Biodiversity of Follonica, phone 0566 40019)) Within the reserve, on the lagoon side, there are some ornithological observers, a nature trail for blind people and an exercise path. In the reserve research was carried out in the field of forestry and forest plant pathology, on coastal geomorphology, as well as thesis on forestry topics.