BERIGNONE NATURE RESERVE

   

The area of Tatti-Berignone

The nature reserve of Berignone is highly important from a naturalistic point of view, because of its good conservation work, the high level of nature present and the vast biodiversity

Walking around in the reserve makes it easy to immerse oneself in the hills and the forest. The lively water of the streams, tributaries of the Cecina river, breaks the silence of the forest: it’s sort of a big wooden island in the middle of a sea of fields. It’s home to wolves, roe deer, fallow deer, boars and different birds.
This is where one of the most loved places of the area is located: the Masso delle Fanciulle. It’s a small beachy stretch along a bend of the young Cecina river, beloved by locals for taking a dip in the hot summer months.

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The significant naturalistic, historic and cultural values of the Upper Cecina Valley are protected within an important system of Nature Reserves known as “Berignone Forest”; Monterufoli-Caselli Forest” and “Montenero”.

Just a few kilometres from the Etruscan city of Volterra, the “Beignone Forest” Reserve contains many of the different environments typical of the Cecina Valley area, from forests to fluvial ecosystems, scrubland and traditional agricultural ecosystems.


Crossing the Reserve means plunging into a vast forest landscape, where the hillsides are covered
by deciduous woods, holm oak groves, and scrubland, only occasionally interrupted by traditional agricultural ecosystems. A visit to the well-known “Tatti Oak wood” is interesting, one of the most important areas for plants near Volterra.
e extensive Berignone forests provide important breeding sites for many animal species: a concentration of burrows, lairs and nests of the predators which emerge from the forest in search of food.
An example is the short-toed eagle which hunts snakes in the fields and along the streams whilst hiding its nest in the forest. e many other birds of prey in the Re- serve, such as the peregrine falcon, the honey buzzard, the black kite and the sparrow-hawk, behave in a similar way as do certain animals such as the wolf.
Until the 1960s these woods were intensely exploited by man, shown by the numerous relics of the by- gone activity of charcoal burners in the Reserve. e small Monterufoli horse, a local breed suitable for clearing undergrowth and following narrow paths, was used by the woodcutters and charcoal burners.

In this continuous forest it is not difficult to locate the River Cecina network and the many streams such as the Sellate and Fosci; they are natural environments of great interest often with steppe-like habitats where rare and threatened birds, such as the stone curlew, the short-toed lark and the nightjar, choose to nest.

In the striking Botro al Rio ravine, as far as the area known as Red Grotto, Grotta Rossa, it is possible to see from close-up the downcut- ting of the typical lake formations and the abrasion caused by water from the stream. is powerful erosion has created steep, reddish rock faces, now dominated by the mass of the “Torraccia” or Bishop’s Castle, one of the most interesting and attractive mediaeval settlements in the Volterra area.

The nature reserve in Valdicecina

Discover the flora, fauna and geology features of the reserve

the Castello dei Vescovi in Berignone

Photo Credits: Davide Bettini, Massimo Gentili, Mauro Barsacchi

Our Routes

Ideas for your walks and hikes

The Dei Vescovi Castle

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Type of route: walking trail
Lenght: 7,076 Km
Level: easy

The Tatti Forest

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Type of route: walking trail
Lenght: 6,953 Km
Level: advanced

Hiking loop of the “gola del rio”

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Type of route: walking trail
Lenght: 11,870 Km
Level: advanced

The northern slopes of Monte Soldano

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Type of route: walking trail
Lenght: 4,853 Km
Level: easy

Cycle tour of the Berignone and Tatti Nature Reserve

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Type of route: cycling, horseback riding
Lenght: 24,506 Km
Level: medium/advanced for cycling, advanced/expert for horseback riding

Landscapes, castles and rivers between Pomarance and the Berignone nature reserve

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Type of route: cycling, horseback riding
Lenght: N.A.
Level: medium/advanced for cycling, advanced/expert for horseback riding

Landscapes, castles and rivers between Pomarance and the Berignone Nature Reserve - VARIANT

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Type of route: cycling, horseback riding
Lenght: N.A.
Level: medium/advanced for cycling, advanced/expert for horseback riding

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Consorzio Turistico Volterra Valdicecina Valdera S.c.r.l.
Piazza dei Priori 19/20 - 56048 Volterra (PI) - PIVA 01308340502
Operation/Project allocated within the framework of the POR FESR Tuscany 2014-2020