Sand dunes, beaches beaten by the mistral, a lush Mediterranean vegetation. Further back, in the hinterland, rows of pine trees alternate with copses. An extensive series of canals carrying water to the cultivated fields. At the bottom of the Apuan Alps on the horizon, shining like white marble that still remain as a precious treasure, loved around the world. The coastline from the mouth of the Arno dating back to the north to Lake Massaciuccoli is still a place of absolute natural delights. For a number of favorable coincidences this part of the border of the Tuscan Maremma is largely intact. It has been for eight centuries before, in the Middle Ages, because of malaria that had been running to the hills, leaving farmers and fishermen that became plains wetlands, kingdom of curlews and cranes and wild geese. Then thanks to the great Florentine family of Medici, who chose the coastal area as their private hunting reserves. Doctors disappeared, the land flourished thanks to the reclamation and the channeling of which were masters of the grand dukes of Tuscany, who turned it into these coastal areas panure wild breeding and pasture for cows and horses, but also a well-stocked game reserve, wild boars inexhaustible , red deer, fallow deer, roe deer, and for each species of migratory birds. Passed from hand to hand the seal of Migliarino San Flushing became the holiday haven of Savoy, who became king of Italy. So until the end of the monarchy, when the estate was assigned to the Presidency of the Italian Republic. Okra's villa, just steps from the sea, became the residence of our Heads of State have the benefit of that for decades kept for holidays, hosting famous people, even go boar hunting or fishing in small inland lakes. In 1979 the first place: the area untouched by real estate speculation became a natural park. In the new protected area borders the amalgamating Migliarino San Rossore Coltano and bolster the estates, the so-called bush and the lake Massaciuccoli Lucca, once famous for duck hunting that he hosted in his villa at Torre del Lago, James Puccini, one of the great Italian operatic music. In 1995, a final, final twist: the Tuscany region took on the commitment by signing an agreement with the Presidency of the Republic, to manage for a period of ten years the entire park. In 2000, after a series of restorations, the park was ready to open to the public. And the home of the Okra, has now become a place of representation of the Region of Tuscany, has hosted famous families, like that of Tony Blair. The British prime minister has left his commentary was written in Italian: "Much thanks for the kindness and hospitality, the bikes were beautiful and the children were proud to be the first to have used them."
In 2000 he set off a series of initiatives that were headed to the Visitor Center of San Redness and the Farmhouse guesthouse Sterpaia. The farmhouse, which is located next to the impressive stables of the Savoy family, has a first floor used for conferences and exhibitions. On the second floor a series of rooms, from two to six beds, may be reserved for holidays and "green weeks". The nature opened to the general public could enjoy, especially during spring and autumn, the presence of a very rich bird life during the migration. All of this, we must remember, behind a city rich in history and art like Pisa, suddenly found himself with the gift of a green lung sensational and unique. In recent years the park Migliarino San Rossore is equipped with accommodation facilities such nature as to allow for school trips. "In the park of kings, life as a king" is the slogan launched by the protected natural area managers who have set up a network of services of great importance. You can visit the park with the explanation of the guides, six days a week from Tuesday, you can take carriage rides, the most sought-after, after previous visits to the center of Sterpaia. Is the latest entry into operation of a train which takes visitors with a route of 30 km, the most interesting areas of the park. The train is an exact scale replica of a nineteenth-century German model, still working today with a bio-diesel engine with very low pollution impact, and can carry up to 30 people. The special nature of the park are, even today, the presence of the Maremma wild boar and large herds of deer. In periods of great migrations, especially from October to March, the flooded meadows allow the parking of rare species in Italy as the oystercatcher, curlew small, the osprey, cranes and wild geese. In Lake Massaciuccoli oasis of protection run by the Lipu (Italian League for the Protection of Birds), you can find all kinds of herons, but also the bittern and the kingfisher. At the end of winter activity of the rangers who work in the presidential estate is all about the control of the animals that live in the park brady and the taming of young foals. The park is in fact a real gym for those wishing to take the cowboy profession to a renewed contact with nature. A profession that he had lost for decades and is recovering its strength in recent years. And it is in spring that the sandy areas of the estate, near the coastal dunes, echoing the calls of bee-eaters, the spectacular birds every year, having wintered in the forests of sub-Saharan Africa, they migrate to reach central Europe. Here in Italy the arrival of the bee-eaters coincides with the beginning of the warm season. And these colorful birds (they have all shades of the rainbow) form dense colonies true. The nests, dug in the more brittle the rock walls of ferrous or beaches that are the banks of rivers or channels, are composed of an inner chamber and an unapproachable even one meter long tunnel that leads to the encounter between these magical colorful animals and their offspring. A naturalistic speech deserves the Lake Massaciuccoli. Here birdwatchers take part in competitions where more species sighted people, fans can follow paths with stalking and loopholes for photographs and observations by telescope. And, a few meters from the house of Giacomo Puccini, the Ecotours, a service company based in Viareggio, offers the opportunity to visit the lake and its wonders on board the "Burlamacca". Fascinating world of bird species but also archeology and ancient history: the lake has preserved to this day the remains of a large villa and Roman baths, the local tradition called "holes of Nero."
Charcoal Fabrizio, journalist, writer and expert of environmental issues
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