Daino_Oasi WWF Bolgheri



“In the beginning there was Bolgheri. Then came WWF Italy”

This was how, in 1984, the founder of WWF Italy, Fulco Pratesi, emphasised the importance of this reserve, which became the first private Italian wildlife oasis in 1959, at the behest of its owner, Mario Incisa della Rocchetta.

In the area extending from the coast between Marina di Bibbona and Marina di Castagneto Carducci to the famous cypress avenue of Bolgheri, the oasis covers more than 500 hectares of coastal tombolo, reeds, fresh water ponds, waterlogged meadows and woods and agricultural areas. The guided tour along an easily walkable path offers a general overview of the typical flora and fauna. The flooded woods of narrow-leafed ash are of particular value and render this environment unique. Also of great beauty are the coastal dune woods, which separate the ponds from the natural beach, with species such as the sea lily and sand rocket.

Oasi WWF Bolgheri

The different habitats and great variety of plant and animal species of this wetland of international importance, a remnant of the ancient swamp of the Upper Maremma, can be visited along a circular route with 6 wildlife observatories. These locations offer good views of the varieties of water birds that come and go according to the seasons. The winter flights of thousands of ducks, the large flocks of lapwing, the wild geese, the comings and goings of the marsh harrier and the peregrine falcon are extraordinary. In spring, numerous species of wading birds pass through, such as the black-winged stilt and the black-tailed godwit as well as the purple heron, the little bittern and the little egret. Since 2008, the Oasis has been home to a pair of white storks, who have returned to nest in the upper Maremma after an absence of about 200 years. Migratory nesting species include the golden oriole, the European roller, the rare great spotted cuckoo, the great reed warbler, the reed warbler, the red-backed shrike and the swallow. The lesser spotted woodpecker , the Eurasian wryneck, the short-toed treecreeper and the robin nest in the flooded wood. The beach of the Oasis is home to the rare Charadrius alexandrinus shorebird, a small wader found on natural beaches.

There are several species of reptiles such as the European pond turtle, the land tortoise, the green whip snake, the four-lined snake and the green lizard. Amphibians include the newt, the common water frog and the pool frog. In the marine area, the Caretta caretta sea turtle occasionally lays its eggs. Many mammals, such as roe deer, fallow deer, wild boar, porcupine, fox, marten, stone marten, weasel and dormouse also populate the area.

Visits are by reservation only. A discount on admission on the same day to the Orti-Bottagone Regional Nature Reserve is available by presenting the Bolgheri Oasis ticket. Every Saturday in June, July and August, a night trek of the wildlife refuge, departing at 18.00 and returning at 23.00, offers the opportunity to observe much of the wildlife, enjoy a packed dinner on the beach and then return in the dark through the pine forest. Special events are organised from time to time and information will be published on the Oasis’s Facebook page.