An overview of Cerbaie territoryA natural wealth and marvel that attracts visitors from all over the world.
The Cerbaie natural area is located in Tuscany, in the town of Fucecchio (FI), in the small towns of Vedute, Pinete, Galleno, Torre and other villages, covering an area greater than 1500 acres and includes two-thirds of the entire municipality of Fucecchio.
The Cerbaie is recognised as an area of Community importance (SIC – Sito di Interesse Comunitario) and an important ecological resource that includes forests of tall trees and lush vegetation where, thanks to the special microclimate, plants species that are extinct elsewhere still survive here.
In the Woods we find pines, oaks, alders, hornbeams, rare species of fir with an underbrush consisting of heather, holly, strawberry trees, viburnums, brugi, ferns and other lesser known species, some of which are very rare.
The wildlife includes badgers, squirrels, porcupines, wild boars and wild rabbits, while birds are woodpeckers, magpies, green woodpeckers and jackdaws, plus countless other species of birds and animals more or less common in the Tuscan scrubs and woods.
The municipality of Fucecchio with funds of the Rural Development Plan and with the technical and scientific support of Cerbaie Eco-Institute, created trails with a total length of about 7.5 km., along which were installed equipment and posters with educational information for enhancing the area and its beauty.
The stretch of the Via Francigena of Galleno is one of the oldest and most renowned locations of famous road. Along this route, from the year of Jubilee 2000 to 2010, there were over 3500 pilgrims marching towards Rome.
Kept in good working order since ancient times, thanks to the contribution of the Association for the Via Francigena of Galleno, it remains one of the few in Italy to preserve its road surface paving and its natural environment as in origin. Thanks to the Association, signs and directions were also added for people from all over the world who desire to take the ancient Road to Roma, also known as Via Romea.
During the year, particularly during the spring and summer periods walks along this path are organized with the participation of people from all walks of life, it is indeed a huge event.
Furthermore, Galleno is of great importance for the Pilgrimsâ€™ House that also houses a good Information Centre known as Punto Informazioni Via Francigena recently inaugurated next to the Church of San Pietro Apostolo at Galleno. The center provides information to al pilgrims and tuorists alike.
Padule di Fucecchio
With an area of about 1800 hectares, the Padule di Fucecchio is the largest Italian inland marsh and is part of the wetlands of international importance.
Located mainly in the municipalities of Fucecchio, Larciano and Ponte Buggianese, but extended to several other towns, is located in the Valdinievole, south of the Pistoia Apennines, between the Cerbaie hills and Montalbano.
Remembered for its naturalistic, hydrogeological and historic importance, protected as a natural reserve, it is a tourist attraction of flora and fauna characteristics and landscape.
The natural reserve of Padule di Fucecchio has three facilities for visiting with three wildlife observatories, one of which was reconstructed according to the characteristics of Carey del Padule. It also offers possibilities for guided nature hikes, some of which even at night, during the spring and summer.
One of the tourist attractions in recent years, for bird lovers, is the chance to visit during the summer some white storks nests, in some areas of the marsh, which return each year to spawn.
For the historical significance the Padule di Fucecchio is linked to the events of the great Medici and Lorena families, was mentioned several times by Leonardo da Vinci, while even more in the past, since the time of the Second Punic War, has played an important role because of its strategic position and role in being able to defend the people from invasion, while in more recent times of World War II , it was the scene of the cruel Massacre of the Marsh at the hands of the Nazis.
Riserva Naturale Statale Montefalcone
The natural reserve of Montefalcone is a protected natural area, located in the municipality of Castelfranco di Sotto (PI) and is one of the important areas of environmental interest within the Cerbaie area, established as a biogenetic nature reserve and natural reserve of animal population.
Inside this reserve, which covers more than 500 acres, fenced and entrusted to the State Forestry Corps, we can find a lush forest, mostly of protected plants and wildlife.
Currently access is free to the public in an area of approximately 8 hectares located in the town of Staffoli, with tutorial itinerary. The remainder is only visible minors and with the permission of Forestry staff.