Grosseto & Maremma Regional ParkApril 4, 2017 in Italy
As much as we enjoy taking a nose around city sights, we love being out in nature and so had been looking forward to visiting Monti del'Uccellina, within Parco Regionale della Maremma.
We parked up and chose to walk two of the shorter round routes detailed on the area map and accessible directly from the nearby visitor centre. Apart from one other couple we met on their way out we had the place to ourselves.
Information boards showed us what flora and fauna to look out for. The plantlife was good, with wildflowers either blooming brightly under the hot sun's rays or, like the intensly pink cyclamens, taking advantage of the dappled shade. However, the animals were the most exciting and unique feature of the park.
The first track led us into a hillside forest, providing a reprieve from the heat. We needed to keep our eyes on the uneven ground and so took our time, stopping frequently to take in our quiet surroundings. We'd rarely go for more than a minute with out a little Italian Wall Lizard scuttling into a pile of dry brown leaves or collection of branches that looked like they had been washed together by heavy rainfall. Despite having been prewarned, Vicky still got a real shock when Will startled a long green snake and it slithered speedily into the stick pile beside her!
We found what we think was wild cat scat and it was really exciting to see lots of signs of wild boar. There were droppings around areas of disturbed earth where they had been rooting. We even discovered a raised tree root they'd used as a scratching post, with their thick bristly hairs left scattered on the reddish brown dusty earth.
The second of the two routes was at a lower altitude and through the open parkland that bordered the wooded hill. There was a distinctive smell in the air and after a while Will spotted some movement on the slope above us. We looked closer and saw a group of about half a dozen deer at the edge of the trees. They allowed us to get within a few hundred meters before springing off surefootedly out of sight.
We drove away tired but refreshed by the amazing experiences in the park. After doing a much needed grocery shop at a supermarket in the large town of Grosseto, we settled ourselves in for the night at a nearby car park with camper stop.Read more