Just a few kilometres from the hubbub of tourists visiting Pisa and its splendid piazza dei Miracoli, there’s an island of nature that sits silently and far away from the changes of urbanization. We’re talking about the Migliarino, San Rossore and Massaciuccoli Nature Park, a protected site that includes wet areas, marshes, sand dunes and the large Lake Massaciuccoli, once an ancient salt water lagoon.
The park’s area roughly overlaps with a dune plain formed during the Bronze Age, at the point where the Arno flows into the Tyrrhenian Sea. The territory encloses 16 nature reserves and 4 Natura 2000 Sites of Community Importance. One of the Migliarino Park’s unique elements is its geographic location: it’s truly an oasis of nature in a densely urbanized and industrialized coastal area, offering a breath of fresh air to this stretch of coast located so close to the intensely trafficked beach.
Since 2003, the park authority has worked to offer the chance for everyone to visit its most valuable environments. For this reason, a few walking routes were designed that are equipped with crossings, bridges, wooden ramps and special structures that can aid sights and sounds, allowing for visitors with limited mobility and sensory disabilities the chance to visit this corner of Tuscany.
The San Rossore Estate is the most important environment in the park: hugged by the Serchio to the north and the Arno to the south, the area conceals dense pine groves and woodlands of deciduous trees from the old-growth forest. The estate’s accessible itineraries zigzags through dunes and tombolos, marshes and woods that hide a wealth of fauna and flora.