The Macchiatonda nature reserve

From October to May visits are allowed in the magnificent green area of Macchiatonda, accompanied by the reserve’s personnel and following a well-marked path.
The reserve, a haven lying between Via Aurelia and Santa Marinella, takes its name from a small round wood of elms and laurels, which is one of its main features. The Sentiero Natura (nature path) unfolds among marshes, dunes and brackish plains which recall what the original aspect of the Latium coasts was like, characterised as it was by lacustrine basins with brackish water and home to a rich flora and fauna.
This easy itinerary lasts about an hour and a half and starts at km 49.900 of the via Aurelia. A gate opens onto a dirt track, which winds among pleasant cultivated farms for about 1 km; at the end, there is a parking area and a wooden building, which is where the visits starts.
In the first part, the path follows the round wood of the Macchiatonda reserve until it reaches a “pool” inhabited by many frogs and dragonflies. It then crosses several small bridges and reaches the area where tortoises are kept. By walking southwards, visitors can follow the coastline with its wide brackish plains, and finally reach the marshes. Here you will find huts for bird-watching, from which you can watch low-flying wild geese and many migrating species of birds which cross the sky of the reserve. Follow the path until you return to the starting point.

Time 1.30 hours
Marked itinerary Yes
Difficulty easy

For further information, contact:
Centro visite della Riserva presso il Castello di Santa Severa. Tuesday and Thursday 10.30-12.30, Saturday and Sunday 10.30-12.30/17.00-1900. Tel. +39 0766-571097.
E-mail: www.parks.it/riserva.macchiatonda; info@riservamacchiatonda.org; www.wwf.it/oasi

Area
Via Aurelia