A few kilometres from the coast of Castiglioncello, nestled in the Pisan hills, there is an oasis of biodiversity where you can relax and listen to the song of numerous water bird species. This is the LIPU (Italian Bird Protection League) Lago di Santa Luce Nature Reserve, which has become a Site of Community Importance (SCI), founded on the artificial reservoir built by Solvay Italia in the 1960s to supply the company with water. With over 180 registered species, the reserve is an important resting area for migratory birds and every season offers unexpected sightings.

Uccelli migratori lago riserva LIPU Santa Luce

In winter, multi-coloured ducks such as common pochards, ferruginous pochards, Eurasian widgeons and teals are in the company of herons such as the little egret and the great white heron, osprey and cormorants put on an evening show. In summer, the reeds are populated with small and inconspicuous birds with an unmistakable song such as nightingales, great reed warblers and Eurasian reed warblers. In the morning, the kestrel and the buzzard patrol the fields while the marsh harrier flies above the oasis; at night, the barn owl and the other nocturnal birds come into action. But the most spectacular season is spring when it is possible to observe the elaborate mating display of the great crested grebes, who are emblem of the Reserve.

Uccelli migratori lago riserva LIPU Santa Luce

A unique and exciting experience, this is the ideal place to spend a day relaxing in the company of, watching and learning to recognise these intriguing animals. Along the southern shore of the lake, a 1 kilometre Nature Trail with descriptive panels and areas for observing and spotting animals has been created and is also accessible to families with small children. Guided tours, organised by expert and enthusiastic guides, invite young and old to get in touch with nature, approaching its inhabitants with respect and consideration and following their footprints and calls.

Riserva LUPU Santa Luce

The reserve also has a Visitor Centre, which offers various environmental education activities, excursions, workshops, nature holidays and evening events. A modern protected area where the commitment to nature conservation is integrated with the promotion of nature tourism through active experiences and habitats to discover. Immersed in a profound silence interrupted only by the rhythm of nature, the Santa Luce Nature Reserve offers the opportunity to discover the world of migratory birds that arrive, stop and then leave, to return, year after year, to be admired among the reeds of this small body of fresh water a stone’s throw from the sea.