Fun Activities in Italy's Maremma Natural Park

Fishing with Nets

Throwing the nets out
Throwing the nets out | Source

Maremma Natural Park

In the Southern Tuscany region of Italy lies The Maremma Natural Park (Parco della Maremma), which is a protected stretch of sleepy wilderness, of cowboy lands and cowboys, of oak groves and scrub - and a rocky Mediterranean shore, which also has beautiful sandy beaches.

Once a remote, distinctively wild land and sea (of carbon makers, fishermen and pine nut gleaners), it's now a haven of wild-life and protected beauty. Its coast, its river and its parklands are a dramatic natural paradise for people to visit and explore.

I'm writing about my favorite 3 fun things to do in the Maremma Natural Park though there are other great excursions to chose from (which I'll mention further down).

  • Talamone Fishing Trip along the coast.
  • Horse and Carriage guided tour into the parklands
  • Canoeing along a stretch of the Ombrone River in the Park.

Having fun in boats, canoes and horse drawn carriages is a great way to live the land and the sea which for thousands of years has been protected from the rest of the world by its wilderness and reticence.


Talamone Fishing

Sirena
Sirena | Source
Talamone
Talamone | Source
Paulo the Fisherman 'Il Pescatore'
Paulo the Fisherman 'Il Pescatore' | Source

Talamone Fishing Trip

Paolo runs a daily fishing trip along the shore of the Park with his boat Sirena through the summer. He leaves the small picturesque village of Talamone, (which is at the southern end of the Park) at 7.30 every morning that the sea is not rough and returns at about 4.30 in the afternoon.

He is a conscientious eco fisherman, responsible for sustainable fishing along the coast.

While Paulo personally fishes in the right places and with the correct methods, (and tells you about the fight he's won for eco-fishing public awareness), you participate in a guilt free day of catching fish in turquoise waters, looking across the sea towards Africa - in the happy knowledge that at the end of the day you will be stopping off at a private cove to barbeque all the fish you caught. Along a lazy coast journey back you'll stop for some sun and a deep sea swim.

Paulo's wife prepares tasty food from local produce and aside from the catch, there will be cool local wine from the nearby vineyards to drink, cool mineral water and bruschetta - and fresh water melon that you marvel is still so fresh in such an out-of-the-way location and so sweet! (It will be biological water melon).


Mediterranean Fish Catch

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FishFishFishFishFishFish
Fish
Fish | Source
Fish
Fish | Source
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Fish | Source
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Fish | Source
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Fish | Source
Fish
Fish | Source

Horse and Carriage Guided Tour In the Park

Another fun thing to do in Italy Maremma Natural Park is visit the lands inside the Park - in a comfortable horse and carriage with Enrico. He takes trips out in the early morning, the evening and at night. (I'll be talking about the early evening trip)

The night time excursion has headlights on the carriage that will pick out the wild life, and you stop for a picnic under the oaks (and the moon) to taste local produce and wine.

Information about the tours can be had by contacting the 'Alberese Centre for visiting the Parco della Maremma' + 39 0564 407098

Maremma Horse and Carriage

Horses and carriage
Horses and carriage | Source
The carriages
The carriages | Source

Maremma Cowboy (Buttero)

Maremma Cowboy (Buttero)
Maremma Cowboy (Buttero) | Source

Vivarelli Windmill

Pompa aeolica  Vivarelli
Pompa aeolica Vivarelli | Source

Guided Tour Through the Natural Park Lands

You set off across flat dried land in a buggy which seats about 12, drawn by two heavy-pulling Italian farm horses. Your guide is cowboy Enrico who tells you stories of the land and its creatures and vegetation for the duration of the two hour excursion.

A cowboy rides by, his hat low on his face one of 5 cowboys on the azienda that control the herds on the 4 thousand acres of land (of the 10,000 acres of Park) that is for grazing.

Maremma Windmill

You'll see one of the iconic symbols of the Maremma, a windmill, (or Pompa Aeolica Vivarelli as they are known in these parts)

Remarkably, in Etruscan times, this whole flat area was a lake called Lake Prille which the Etruscan people navigated bringing minerals in boats to the North to be exported round the world.

The land drained and became marshlands for hundreds of years until the Grand Duke Lorena began reclaiming it. Works were finished during Mussolini's times at the beginning of the twentieth century.

The windmill pumps sweet water up from deep down under the ground.

Maremma Parklands

Inside the wooded groves
Inside the wooded groves | Source

Herd of Grazing Maremmana Cattle

Herd of Maremmana Cattle
Herd of Maremmana Cattle | Source

Maremma Cattle

You will see herds of Maremma cattle - gentle pale blonde beasts with huge horns.

You'll see a hare in a hedgerow, deer leaping across the path, pheasants. You could see fox or wild boar.

Enrico leads the horses through a gate and into shady groves of oak, wild olive and cork trees - the horses in a slow trot. He tells you about the grasses, the history of this field, that wall and about migrating birds.

Marianum Thistle

The Marianum thistle
The Marianum thistle | Source

Wild Flowers

He tells you that in the spring there are orchids! Licorice plants grow here, wild olive trees and wild asparagus. There are midget palm trees and a midget olive trees too. Enrico tells how the thorny Marianum Thistle growing in the woody fields is said to have made Jesus' crown and the oaks made Italian railroad tracks.

In the Park on the Way Back to the Azienda

Along the pine tree lined road back to the Azienda
Along the pine tree lined road back to the Azienda | Source

Pine Trees

The road back to the farm is shaded by an evening sun behind the pine trees. The horses keep an even pace as you end your second really fun thing to do that's on my list.


River Ombrone River Excursion in the Park

A Guided Tour By Canoe

The third fun thing to do in Maremma Natural Park is to go on one of Roberto's three guided canoe trips, which leave from the side of a bend in the river Ombrone every morning and evening during the summer.

There is a an early morning bird watching trip at seven, a morning trip at nine thirty and a night time trip that leaves at nine. They are all two hour excursions - and they are fun! (There is an English speaker on the canoe if you book and ask for one).

  • Wear sports shoes.
  • If you have very young children, or you can't swim, dress in a life jacket.
  • A hat is a good idea!
  • A bottle of water.
  • Binoculars too.
  • Bring a light sweater on the early morning or night time trips.


Canoeing in Maremma Natural Park Ombrone River

Canoeing on Ombrone River
Canoeing on Ombrone River | Source

The 3 Fun Thing to Do in a Canoe

3 Fun thing to do
3 Fun thing to do | Source
8 person Canadian stabilized canoe
8 person Canadian stabilized canoe | Source

Grey Mullet and Sea Bass fish and Eels in the River Ombrone

You will be paddling down the River Ombrone on an excursion in a 'Canadian stabilized canoe' . The dark green river is salty for twenty kilometers before reaching the sea so incredibly, there are salt water fish in it (such as grey mullet and sea bass) as well as fresh water creatures such as eels and river snakes.

Roberto tell us more stories than we can keep in our head about Night Herons, woodpeckers falcons and American turtles. You might see a rare bird in these parts on a branch of a dead elm tree - The Roller (Ghiandaia Marina). You'll spot muddy dips by the side of the river where the wild boar come to roll around

Two hours flow by.

Canoeing the Ombrone River

Canoeing  the Ombrone River
Canoeing the Ombrone River | Source

Parco Della Maremma Visits

It's best to call and make an appointment before the trips. It's also a good idea to ask which ones have translators! (The number is below and so is the link for more information).

During the summer there are a number of other exciting itineraries:

  • Guided walking tours that will take you either through the rugged terrain between medieval towers, or along the rocky shore with a stop at a private beach.
  • Birdwatching hike for parties of 8 persons or more
  • Night time visits into the park that last 3 hours can be organized
  • Bicycle itineraries. You can always hire a bike at the Alberese Center
  • At Talamone there is an aquarium
  • From Talamone there are breathtaking walks to private beaches

During autumn and winter you may visit the park without guides on bicycles and on foot from 9 in the morning until an hour before dusk.

Entrance to the Park is via the SS 1 Aurelia, 7 kilometers south of Grosseto, exit Rispescia-Alberese. The Park 'Center' (for tickets and information) is in Alberese.

Tel: 39 0564 407098

e mail: centrovisite@parco-maremma.it


Driftwood House

Driftwood house my children made.
Driftwood house my children made. | Source

Marina di Alberese Park Beach

It's a wild, four mile long beach without concessions. It is a part of the Park lands, reachable by bus from Alberese or by bike. There is parking for a limited number of cars, (which keeps the number of beach-goers down to some sort of minimum', but you need to get there early in the morning).

The best way to enjoy a day at the beach is to make a house out of the driftwood and your sarongs as my sons did here in the picture, bringing your picnic and water with you.

Natural Park Quizz

Where to Get Food

Italy is famous for great food and there are many restaurants all around but the best way to enjoy a day out or a night out in the Park is to discover firstly which guided tours offer food:

Paulo makes a barbeque of the fish you all catch.

Enrico offers a night time picnic of local foods such as salami and olives and cheese

There are other tours and walks that offer local foods and the Park Center will tell you when you contact them.

But aside from all that the Park offers, the other best thing to do is to stop at the local bread shops in any of the local villages where local women make a great assortment of fantastic sandwiches made with pizza bread (called Schiaccia). It's best to get there early because there are lines of hungry people waiting!

Or you could go to the local alimentari (grocery shop or supermarket) and buy local fruits and cheeses and salamis and make your own picnic. There is so much to chose from and it's all so delicious.

Happy holidays.

In Italy, in Southern Tuscany, The Maremma Natural Park (Parco della Maremma) is a protected stretch of sleepy wilderness, of cowboy lands and cowboys, of oak groves and scrub - and a rocky Mediterranean shore, which also has beautiful sandy beaches.

Once a remote, distinctively wild land and sea (of carbon makers, fishermen and pine nut gleaners), it's now a haven of wild-life and protected beauty. Its coast, its river and its parklands are a dramatic natural paradise for people to visit and explore.

Italy Tuscany Parco della Maremma and Shore

show route and directions
A markerOmbrone river Grosseto Italy -
Ombrone, Grosseto Province of Grosseto, Italy
[get directions]

Canoe Trip with Roberto begins here

B markerTalamone Orbetello Italy -
Talamone, Orbetello Province of Grosseto, Italy
[get directions]

Eco Fishing Trip with Paulo leaves from Talamone

C markerPrincipina a Mare Grosseto -
Principina a Mare, 58100 Grosseto Province of Grosseto, Italy
[get directions]

Horse and Carriage trip with Enrico into the park begins here.

© 2012 Penelope Hart

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Comments 8 comments

LauraGSpeaks profile image

LauraGSpeaks 4 years ago from Raleigh, NC

Wow, this is an outstanding hub. Everything about this hub makes me feel like I was right there in Maremma National Park. Beautiful photography and well descripted hub.


GoodLady profile image

GoodLady 4 years ago from Rome, Italy Author

Thanks Laura, so pleased you felt you were here in the Park.


RTalloni profile image

RTalloni 4 years ago from the short journey

What a beautiful look at the sea and coastline. I'm ready to pack and go right now. How I enjoyed the boat ride! Due to motion sickness a video is the only way I can be on the water as opposed to in it. Thanks much for this look at Maremma National Park and a glimpse of some of its people and wildlife. Beautiful!


GoodLady profile image

GoodLady 4 years ago from Rome, Italy Author

So pleased you enjoyed the video boat ride. I'm upset with it, because there's a black line that cuts off too much of what should be in it...but most of it is there! Thank you for your kind comments.


AliciaC profile image

AliciaC 4 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

This is a very enjoyable hub, GoodLady! I love hubs that let me explore the world from my computer, and this hub certainly does that! The videos, photos and description make a very interesting and useful article. I would love to visit the Maremma Natural Park and explore it by boat, horse and carriage and canoe as you did. It looks like so much fun!


GoodLady profile image

GoodLady 4 years ago from Rome, Italy Author

Well, we hope you will make it. We have guests who are going out with the cowboys as I write this (he's a cowboy from Australia). It's just beautiful. Thank you so much for your comments.


Minnetonka Twin profile image

Minnetonka Twin 4 years ago from Minnesota

Thank you so much for letting me go these wonderful places. This was so serene and enjoyable and I loved the peaceful music that played with the video of the fishing trip. How fun that in this day in age, I can go on vacation without leaving my house.


GoodLady profile image

GoodLady 4 years ago from Rome, Italy Author

Oh you are just so, so supportive! And I'm really pleased you enjoyed my video. You're the first person to comment on that and I loved making it! It's great we can travel virtually anywhere! Thank you for your appreciative comments.

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