An adventure in the Maremma National Park, on the trail of San Rabano

An exciting trek on the trail of San Rabano, the ancient abbey protected by the nature of the Maremma Regional Park The word Maremma immediately brings to mind wild views,…

An exciting trek on the trail of San Rabano, the ancient abbey protected by the nature of the Maremma Regional Park

The word Maremma immediately brings to mind wild views, coastal landscapes and uncontaminated scrubland, a backdrop for outdoor adventure on the hunt for the wild fauna that often reveals itself to passing humans, or out to discover the historical jewels so jealously hidden in the vegetation.
An authentic land protected since 1975 by the Maremma Regional Park – the first park in Tuscany.

San Rabano

San Rabano

The park stretches over around 10,000 hectares from Principina a Mare to Talamone  in the province of Grosseto and its southernmost point is marked by the Uccellina Mounts, a range of hills covered with shady beech woods and Mediterranean scrub from which you can enjoy some incredible views over the coast.
It is an untouched land, a custodian of traditions and crafts from times gone by; in the vast plains along the hills, butteri – the Italian version of cowboys – continue their ancient tradition work of herding animals on horseback.
In Alberese and Talamone you can find the visitors’ centre; once you have purchased your ticket, a shuttle bus service will take you to the departure points of the various trekking itineraries..

Uno dei meravigliosi panorami che si possono godere tra i sentieri del parco

Uno dei meravigliosi panorami che si possono godere tra i sentieri del parco

The prosperous nature of the Maremma Natural Park is further enriched by many historical landmarks. Many towers dating back to the 15th century can be found scattered along the coastline; they were built to control the coast against the increasingly dangerous threat of pirate invasions.

The waters that lap the Tuscan coast were infested by pirates that disturbed the peaceful living of the local populations for around three centuries. There are also numerous archaeological sites dating back to the Etruscan and Roman eras, but the most impressive comes from the Middle Ages: the San Rabano abbey.

Recently renovated, the complex was first built as a Benedictine monastery in around 1100 AD and today you can visit the ruins surrounded by the luxuriant woodland from which the bell tower and tower can be seen emerging from a distance. From Alberese the trekking itinerary starts which leads through beautiful beech woods and landscapes to this unique, timeless place

Il parco è pieno di sentieri da percorrere a piedi, in bicicletta o a cavallo

Il parco è pieno di sentieri da percorrere a piedi, in bicicletta o a cavallo

Once you have purchased your ticket at the Alberese visitors’ centre, the itinerary starts from the village church and is well-signposted.
Having reached the gate, the trek starts in a grassy stretch coasted by green hills to then climb gently into the woods and scrubland.

After a little less than five kilometres – and a 300 metres climb – we catch a glimpse of the ruins of the abbey that almost completely cover the clearing that opens out in the middle of the wood.

From San Rabano we follow the path that leads to two observation points in which the vegetation gives way to spectacular views over the coast, around 600 and 800 metres from the abbey. The intense blue sea lapping against the high rocky coast stretches out as far as the eye can see, broken only by the enchanting Forno Bay: a protected beach of fine sand and crystalline sea which was used to film “Non ci resta che piangere” with Benigni and Troisi.

Return Itinerary to San Rabano:

Distance: 9.4 km
Altitude: 290 mt
Difficulty: average
Means: by foot

Equipment recommended: trekking or sports footwear, water bottle of 1.5lt capacity or more, rucksack.

Maremma Regional Park

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A weekend of history and good wine in Magliano and Pereta

Two medieval jewels frozen in time and located in the Maremma hinterland, the birth-place of Morellino and the custodian of centuries-old buildings. The heart of the Grosseto Maremma beats with…

Two medieval jewels frozen in time and located in the Maremma hinterland, the birth-place of Morellino and the custodian of centuries-old buildings.

The heart of the Grosseto Maremma beats with history and views of enchanting beauty. In this splendid context rise Magliano in Toscana and one of its hamlets, Pereta, two places permeated with a unique and genuine atmosphere, where time seems to stand still.

Il borgo di Pereta

Il borgo di Pereta

There are many Etruscan settlements in the area but the two villages are characterised by their medieval legacy as they exquisitely keep hold of their centuries-old appearance.
The historical centre of Magliano, Italy is still today surrounded by the city walls built under commission by the Aldobrandeschi family who exercised their power over these lands in the 14th century; it was completely restructured under the subsequent Siennese dominion at the beginning of the Renaissance and today is one of the most complete fortifications of the Maremma territory, it can be visited in its entirety with a very pleasant panoramic walk looking over the enchanting surroundings.

The walls contain striking historical palaces, churches and parishes of Romanesque origin, as well as interesting museums such as the Archaeological Documentation Centre which conserves findings from the surrounding area and reconstructions of aspects of life during Etruscan and Roman times; the characteristic alleyways are brought to life by rows of typical restaurants satisfying the eyes and the taste buds with their ancient traditional dishes.

Magliano in Toscana

Magliano in Toscana

But there are also many places worth a visit outside of the walls, too, such as the numerous archaeological sites dating back to Etruscan times, including the accessible Santa Maria in Borraccia and Cancellone necropolises. A couple of kilometres from the town centre you can find the fascinating ruins of the San Bruzio Monastery, a smaller but no less charming version of San Galgano in the far south of Tuscany. The church was built in around 1000 AD by Benedictine monks and has similar architectural details to the nearby San Rabano, and ancient abbey conserved in the wild nature of the Maremma Regional Park.

Magliano in Toscana and Pereta are surrounded by the splendid Maremma countryside which a short distance away gives way to the green highlands of the Monti dell’Uccellina hill range, protected for their naturalistic value by the Maremma Park and the perfect destination for wonderful walks.

Palazzo dei Priori.

Palazzo dei Priori.

The fortified village of Pereta nestles in the rock around ten kilometres from Magliano, along the road to Scansano. As closed in as it is enchanting, it is a medieval jewel that was an important military centre thanks to its strategic position along the road that connected the coast with the mountains. Pereta still has many of the buildings from its past such as the imposing gate – the crenellated Porta di Ponente – and is dominated by the Clock Tower, a defensive tower standing almost 30 metres tall.

Wandering its traditional alleyways, the almost surreal atmosphere is that of distant times; crossing the threshold you find yourself thrown into the era that made this village a treasure trove of history which has reached us today surprisingly intact, under the passage of the pilgrims who used to travel this land during the Middle Ages.

Beyond the Maremma coast, Magliano in Toscana and Pereta are unmissable weekend destinations to immerse yourself in the most fascinating history, good food and excellent wine in the very land in which the famous Morellino di Scansano DOCG was born.

What to see in Magliano in Toscana and Pereta:

  • Aldobrandeschi city walls in Magliano in Toscana.
  • The town centre and historical buildings of Checco il Bello and the Priori.
  • View from San Martino Gate.
  • Church of San Giovanni Battista.
  • Necropolis of Santa Maria in Borraccia and Cancellone.
  • San Bruzio Monastery.
  • Maremma Regional Park.
  • Ponente Gate and historical town centre of Pereta.

Useful informations:

Council of Magliano in Toscana

Maremma regional park

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Talamone, Tuscany: the fishermen’s village which today attracts kite-surfers from all over

A paradise for windsurf and kite-surf lovers, but also for those looking to spend long, relaxing days in the crystalline sea off the coast of the Tuscan Maremma. As small…

A paradise for windsurf and kite-surf lovers, but also for those looking to spend long, relaxing days in the crystalline sea off the coast of the Tuscan Maremma.

As small as it is gracious, the fishing town of Talamone, Italy rises on the rocky promontory dominating the gulf: on one side the splendour of Argentario  and on the other the natural treasures of the Maremma Park.
The historical town centre whose origins are rooted in Etruscan times and which has kept its medieval aspect is overseen by the Rocca Aldobrandesca: a 13th century fort which, in modern times, was used to gather volunteers to set off on Garibaldi’s Expedition of the Thousand.

La Rocca Aldobrandesca di Talamone

La Rocca Aldobrandesca di Talamone

The village is deliciously populated by little restaurants offering dishes of local maritime tradition and is surrounded by little bays embracing a crystal-clear sea; the perfect combination for relaxing weekends of good food, regenerating dips in the sea and aperitifs at sunset on the beach. Talamone is also home to the Laguna di Orbetello Aquarium, a museum of flora and fauna of the Lagoon and the Tartanet sea turtles centre.

The last piece of land to the south of the Maremma Regional Park , Talamone is right next door to kilometres and kilometres of flourishing nature, ideal for exciting treks on foot, by bike or on horseback. The natural park visitors’ centre is found in the aquarium.

Talamone

Talamone

But the outdoor activities for which Talamone is known are water-based and powered by sails. In fact, Talamone is one of the most famous hotspots in central Italy for sailing sports, from kitesurfing, to windsurfing, to sailing. In the bay to the south blow the sirocco, austro, libeccio, gregale and mistral winds, making activities possible almost all year round – an absolute paradise for windsurfers and kiters, while also being suitable for beginners and the merely curious.

Kitesurf

Kitesurf

Along the beach that coasts the provincial road leading to Talamone, novices can find schools offering courses and equipment hire; as well as sailing sports you can also try surfing and paddleboarding.

For days spent at the sea, with unforgettable sunsets and water sports, Talamone is the perfect destination.

What to see and do in Talamone, province of Grosseto, Italy:

  • The medieval village;
  • The Torre Aldobrandesca;
  • The Laguna di Orbetello Aquarium;
  • Aperitif at sunset in the Bagno delle Donne bay;
  • The pebble beach and crystalline waters next to Via dei Mille
  • Talamonaccio Etruscan temple;
  • The Maremma Regional Park

How to get here:

 

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Golf in Tuscany with a sea-view

Tee-time on the greens with a view of the Tyrrhenian Sea: welcome to the Punta Ala Golf Club Resort, the golfing paradise of the Tuscan Maremma. At the very end…

Tee-time on the greens with a view of the Tyrrhenian Sea: welcome to the Punta Ala Golf Club Resort, the golfing paradise of the Tuscan Maremma.

At the very end of the promontory, famous for its port and Yacht Club, there is no middle ground when talking of Punta Ala, a resort that offers only the very best to those searching for relaxation and entertainment.

The ideal union can be found at the Punta Ala Golf Club Resort, a structure with 60 hectares of land just a few kilometres from Castiglione della Pescaia, where the greenery is not merely that of the golf course but above all the colour of the Mediterranean scrub that surrounds and embraces the greens.

Il Golf Club Punta Ala

Il Golf Club Punta Ala

The Golf Club was founded in 1964 and has 18 holes of varying difficulty. It is still today one of the most renowned in Europe. The structure also boasts the Combinata Vela Golf, an annual occasion organised by the Golf Club including culinary events for an all-round holiday.
In the hottest hours of the day or between holes, the Club House is the perfect place for a rest, as you enjoy the view over the scrub and courses stretching out to the sea and the sweet rolling hills behind which the sunsets. Here, you can enjoy a relaxing chat with friends or decide to discover the local flavours, the best of which are the fish dishes

Giocatori di golf

Giocatori di golf

The Punta Ala Golf Club Resort is an almost obligatory stop for golf enthusiasts and professionals, an unmissable experience that can only be postponed long enough to enjoy a hearty breakfast in the Club House sea-view panoramic terrace

Contacts

info@golfpuntaala.it – +39 0564 922121

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Follonica: dinner on the white sands of Maremma

A meal of seafood on Follonica’s seafront and a walk along the beach – the perfect end to the perfect day in the Tuscan Maremma. Follonica, Italy is one of…

A meal of seafood on Follonica’s seafront and a walk along the beach – the perfect end to the perfect day in the Tuscan Maremma.

Follonica, Italy is one of the seaside jewels of the coastal Maremma, renowned for its white sands, crystalline waters and the true flavours of the sea. Just a few kilometres from Punta Ala and Castiglione della Pescaia, it is the perfect place to enjoy a fish dinner on the seafront.

Lido balneare di Follonica

Lido balneare di Follonica

A number of top-rate restaurants face directly onto the beach, places where the salty air fills the rooms, the perfect accompaniment to the flavours of local cuisine; you can find tradition and the relaxing atmosphere so typical of seaside towns in the Oscar Club, renowned for its fried dishes, and in the La Baracca, whose flavoursome dishes are brought to life with colourful aesthetic touches and where you can eat on the sand itself.

Ristorante Oscar Club.

Ristorante Oscar Club.

If you are looking for gourmet romance the Relais Torre Mozza is the place for you. This striking residence on the seafront offers breath-taking views over the wide, intense blue of the Tyrrhenian Sea.

Tramonto sul mare.

Tramonto sul mare.

  • Oscar Club:

+39 0566-52588

  • La Baracca:

+39 0566-40750, +39 339-4661111

  • Relais Torre Mozza:

+39 0565-252102

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Rocca di Frassinello winery: Renzo Piano’s masterpiece

Top of the range wines, colourful landscapes and throwbacks to the past all in a single experience discovering this winery masterpiece. A visit to the Cantina Rocca di Frassinello means…

Top of the range wines, colourful landscapes and throwbacks to the past all in a single experience discovering this winery masterpiece.

A visit to the Cantina Rocca di Frassinello means abandoning the usual concept of a wine-tasting tour and accessing a more artistic and historical dimension in a full-bodied experience.
The structure, designed by the famous architect Renzo Piano, is immersed in almost 90 hectares of splendid vineyards and is without a doubt one of the most beautiful artistic wineries in Maremma and Tuscany.

Rocca di Frassinello

Rocca di Frassinello

Located on one of the highest hills in Gavorrano, Rocca di Frassinello dominates the surrounding vineyards as fare as the eye can see, all the way to a glimpse of the sea on the horizon. Wine lovers are treated to a preview of genuine Tuscan flavours with the colours of the vines, and nature opens its arms to you as you sit outside and taste her fruits.

Wine lovers will be keen to enter the wide range of varieties produced in the winery: among the famous Italian grapes cultivated here the Sangiovese and Vermentino are worth a mention as well as some very unique and famous French grapes: Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot and Shiraz.

Vista sulla struttura di Renzo Piano e sulle vigne.

Vista sulla struttura di Renzo Piano e sulle vigne.

Lovers of art and architecture, on the other hand, will find themselves admiring this creation by Renzo Piano, Italy’s top architect.

The idea behind the winery is that of a true monumental work of art, but its main attraction is the main hall: the beating heart of the production where they keep the barriques of wine at rest. The Barricaia – as it is known – is an underground room below a large, column-less ceiling; its large steps around the walls give visitors the impression of having walked into a beautiful auditorium or the ancient amphitheatres of classic tradition, and conceal tables that can be pulled out and set for enjoyable and unique samplings.

Another peculiarity is the internal frame of the hall, which allows the most curious visitors to witness all the phases and functions of the winery’s production cycle

Una sala dove degustare un ottimo vino, in un'atmosfera magica.

Una sala dove degustare un ottimo vino, in un’atmosfera magica.

But the Rocca di Frassinello is also home to some wonderful historical pieces: we find ourselves in the middle of an exhibition, a small museum containing valuable archaeological findings discovered over the years in the neighbouring Etruscan site.
Visitors can discover the remains of the ancient Etruscan necropolis in an exhibition set up by architect Italo Rota, designer of the Wine Pavilion at Expo and the Musée d’Orsay in Paris.

This artistic winery has expertly blended the already wonderful strong points of the territory in a single immersive experience: an occasion that lovers of good wine, art and archaeology simply cannot afford to miss.

Open daily with the following timetable:

  • spring/summer from 10am to 1pm and from 2pm to 7pm
  • autumn/winter from 9am to 1pm and from 2pm to 6pm

How to get here:

Photo courtesy Cantina Rocca di Frassinello

 

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Wine tasting in Tuscany: Petra, the masterpiece winery.

The perfect weekend between nature, architecture and wine-making, the Cantina Petra is one of the most famous artistic wineries in the Maremma. Protected by the magnificent Metalliferous hills in Val…

The perfect weekend between nature, architecture and wine-making, the Cantina Petra is one of the most famous artistic wineries in the Maremma.

Protected by the magnificent Metalliferous hills in Val di Cornia and enveloped in the green heart of the Maremma vines, the Tenuta Petra Winery is an unmissable destination for wine lovers.
A visit to the estate does not only mean the fantastic opportunity to immerse yourself in the typical Maremma countryside, but also the chance to sample the great Cantina Petra wines, enjoying a unique scenery in which architecture and nature meld together in an artistic winery designed by Mario Botta.

Una vista dall'alto della cantina

Una vista dall’alto della cantina

The estate – which includes both the architectural masterpiece as well as the wine-production business – is immersed in 300 extraordinarily beautiful hectares of vines.

Its undoubtable charm lies in how completely it is integrated with the surrounding landscape: constructed with a single main body, the rest of the winery is almost entirely dug into the hill. The vinification process is undertaken in the cylindrical structure while underground you can find the ageing tunnels, a place reserved for the barriques and, at the end of a long corridor that reaches to a massive wall of rock, the Rivadossi Altar: this is the part of the winery dedicated to meetings and reflection.

Particolare dell'interno della cantina

Particolare dell’interno della cantina

Easily recognisable from the exterior thanks to the majestic stairway that leads from the vineyards to the very top, the architectural structure guarantees a breath-taking view that visitors can enjoy in complete relaxation from the external terrace, with a view over the vineyards that stretches over the Tyrrhenian Sea all the way to the islands nearby.

Another hidden jewel of the winery is the two “enchanted” spots which have greatly influenced the wine-producing history of the area of Suvereto: the Princess’ Vine and Princess Elisa’s Garden. Created by commission of Elisa Bonaparte for this area of the Maremma, the ancient designs for the vineyard and the herb garden were followed to the letter: in the garden, visitors are overcome by the perfume of the herbs which seems to fill the air with a veil of magic.

La vigna di Elisa Bonaparte

La vigna di Elisa Bonaparte

The winery’s restaurant, open upon reservation, gives you the chance to sample and rediscover the flavours and aromas of Tuscan tradition, tasting local typical products together with the perfect choice of Petra wine.
Tenuta Petra and its Winery are synonymous with hospitality and discovery, and represent an unmissable experience for experts and the merely curious alike amongst the aromas, flavours and the greenery of the Maremma.

Information:

The winery is open every day from 9am to 7pm.

Telephone number:  +39 0565 845308

Email: visit@petrawine.it

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Le Mortelle winery: the elegance and tradition of wine-making in Tuscany

A first-class winery that produces wine through gravity-flow, dug into the Maremma hills just a stone’s throw from the sea of Castiglione della Pescaia. The Cantina Le Mortelle is a…

A first-class winery that produces wine through gravity-flow, dug into the Maremma hills just a stone’s throw from the sea of Castiglione della Pescaia.

The Cantina Le Mortelle is a sought-after destination for those looking to discover the elegant charm of the Tuscan vineyards of the Maremma. Between flourishing lands and a breath-taking view over the coast on the horizon, the estate is home to ancient know-how and the story of a real “wine family” that has passed down from generation to generation, located a short distance from Castiglione della Pescaia.

La cantina

La cantina

From the top of its hill, the winery dominates the entire estate and looks out towards the splendid 170 hectares of flourishing vineyard; there are plenty of things to do, including a taste of Tuscany food and wine tour where you can visit the winery and also enjoy lunch here.

The true beauty of the winery is its close relationship with the land: thanks to its partially underground cylindrical shape and its division over three levels, the structure allows for an exclusively gravity-flow productive cycle, in full respect of environmental sustainability.

Le botti all'interno della cantina

From the top of its hill, the winery dominates the entire estate and looks out towards the splendid 170 hectares of flourishing vineyard; there are plenty of things to do, including a taste of Tuscany food and wine tour where you can visit the winery and also enjoy lunch here.

The true beauty of the winery is its close relationship with the land: thanks to its partially underground cylindrical shape and its division over three levels, the structure allows for an exclusively gravity-flow productive cycle, in full respect of environmental sustainability.

Il panorama dalla cantina

Il panorama dalla cantina

Visitors are free to access each level where they can witness all the phases of wine production: from the moment the grapes arrive on the top level, to the vinification in the middle floor to the lower basement floor where the wine is aged in barrique or bottles, away from the light and safe in the very heart of the hill.

A visit to Le Mortelle is a visit of discovery of one of the most ancient wine-producing traditions on Tuscany’s wine map: a true temple to wine, from its majestic architecture to its efficient production.

Open daily with the following timetable: 

  • spring/autumn from 10am to 5pm 
  • summer from 10am to 8pm  

For more information and to book a guided visit of the Antinori winery:  

visite@lemortelle.it, +39 0564 944003  |  +39 347 4610704 

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Capraia, pearl of the Tuscan archipelago

A wild pearl in the Mediterranean: trekking and boat trip itineraries to discover the uncontaminated nature of Capraia Of the seven pearls of the Tyrrhenian that are under the protection…

A wild pearl in the Mediterranean: trekking and boat trip itineraries to discover the uncontaminated nature of Capraia

Of the seven pearls of the Tyrrhenian that are under the protection of the National Park of the Tuscan Archipelago, Capraia is without a doubt the wildest and the first nucleus of the park itself: dominated by Mediterranean scrubland, its virgin cliffs are marked by a single, tiny village with few houses and a small port. Nature reigns supreme, with its rare flora and fauna.

Until recently, Capraia had long been used as a prison island: a fact that limited human influence and construction thereby increasing the charm of the place. The buildings of the former Penal Colony today make up a heritage of buildings recognised as “common property”, now accessible to local inhabitants and tourists. Along the panoramic road that leaves the port you can visit the area coasting the crystalline waters of the sea.

Edifici abbandonati dell’ex Colonia Penale.

Edifici abbandonati dell’ex Colonia Penale.

Lovers of marine beauty will be spoilt for choice by the experiences offered by the island: near the town, you can access the sea in four different ways to go diving, and boat trips leave the port every day. Navigating the coast you can see the falesie: these spectacular crags are found inside the cliffs, home to a rich variety of fish species. But don’t forget to take time out for a dip in the prettiest coves. 

For the more adventurous amongst you, Capraia is at its best when visited on foot. Its wildest side can be explored following the itineraries outside of the town, each one on a discovery of a different corner of paradise, further exalted by clear views of Elba Island and Corsica. 

Corsica all’orizzonte.

Corsica all’orizzonte.

  • Cala dello Zurletto 

Around twenty minutes walking, this is a very easy excursion passing through typical Mediterranean scrubland. From the centre of the town, we walk towards the Forte di San Giorgio: overlooking the sea, this spectacular castle was built in 1540 by the Republic of Genoa. Continuing, we pass the helipad until we arrive at a fork in the path: to the left we reach Bellavista, a natural terrace overlooking the cliff; to the right there is a short climb and then we descend to the cove where we can enjoy a regenerating swim in the green-blue waters.  

  • Former Penal Colony  

This path is of intermediary level and starts from the port: passing alongside the Church dell’Assunta, we leave the inhabited centre to climb along an asphalted road that eventually becomes an easily seen, wide dirt track. Climbing, each bend in the path gives us yet another, magnificent view. We soon reach the arch that used to lead to the prison and pass the abandoned buildings of the colony; the peace and perfumes of the sea contrast with the ruins and echoes of the past condemned. Feelings of freedom and confinement fuse together in this unique atmosphere. Along the path we can spot various species of birds: the perfect place for birdwatchers.  

  • Punta dello Zenobito 

From the town square, we pass the church of San Nicola on the right taking the ancient mule track (dating back to 1545) which used to connect the inhabited centre with the Zenobite Tower. This itinerary is challenging due to its length, climb, sun exposure and the final, uneven track. After around three hours’ walk, we reach the Zenobite Tower, a watchtower built in 1545 on the chimney of one of the island’s two ancient volcanoes. Here we can look over the Cala Rossa, so-called for the volcanic rock of which it is made. A breath-taking scene over the sea and times gone by, embraced within a wild and incredible nature.  

Return itinerary Cala dello Zurletto 

Length of route: approx. 2.0 km 

Climb: 80 metres 

Difficulty level: easy 

Means: by foot 

Departure point: Google Maps   

Return itinerary Ex Colonia Penale  

Length of route: approx. 10.00 km 

Climb: 300 metres 

Difficulty level: average 

Means: by foot 

Departure point: Google Maps  

Return itinerary Punta dello Zenobito 

Length of route: approx. 16 km 

Climb: 800 metres 

Difficulty level: challenging 

Means: by foot 

Departure point: Google Maps  

Recommended equipment: trekking shoes, water bottle of 1.5l or more, rucksack with approx. 20 litre capacity. 

Useful sites:

http://www.islepark.it/

How to reach:

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