Nature and photography lovers as well as birdwatchers will definitely enjoy excursions in the Fucecchio Marshes, a vast wetland inhabited by colonies of herons and other aquatic species that have found their ideal habitat here. The nature reserve is the largest inland marsh in Italy and covers about 2,000 hectares. It is set between the Valdinievole and Montalbano.
In addition to the wealth of landscapes and nature, the marshes have maintained the attraction of historical events related to the great Medici and Lorraine families.
Significant evidence remains of human interventions that, over the centuries, have shaped and modified the very structure of the wetlands: the canals and the port system, signs of ancient and important waterways; the Medici bridge in Cappiano, a hub for activities related to water regulation and fishing management, as well as an important route along the Via Francigena; the Capannone farm complex, which was one of the main landings in the Valdinievole; and such industrial archeology buildings as the tobacco drying houses.
Plaques on sheds or along the marsh embankments tell of a more recent story, of the tragedy of the barbaric slaughter committed by the Germans on 23 August 1944. Some activities in the marsh area related to the use of marsh grasses still remain: the collection and weaving of sarello (tufted sedge) and sala (drooping sedge) – used to “re-cover” chairs and flasks, gaggia (false acacia) and other typical wetland plants which are still used by a few skilled artisans.
For information and guided tours:
Centro R.D.P. del Padule di Fucecchio
Via Don Franco Malucchi (già via Castelmartini) n. 115, 51036 Larciano (PT)
Phone & fax +39 0573 84540
On the web:
Documentation and Support Center