The path begins at the rest area beyond the village of Massaciuccoli, where you will find a fountain dedicated to the geologist Renzo Zia, discoverer of the ancient spring whose dedication has contributed to preservation of our splendid wildlife.
This path winds through the natural park of Migliarino – San Rossore – Massaciuccoli, the biggest marshland of Tuscany, of the cultivated reclamation land and following an anti-clockwise direction it begins by skirting the shore of the lake of Massaciuccoli.
Here you can observe the luxuriant vegetation and wildlife in all its splendour: marsh canes (Phragmites australis), falasco (Cladium mariscus), marsh hibiscus (Hibiscus palustris).
Continuing, we find three equipped rest areas for keep fit activities and refreshment areas in shaded greenery.
The firs named “Eucalyptus” (Eucaliptus camaldulensis) a species introduced in ancient times as it was considered efficient against malaria which infested this area.
The second, “black polar” (Popoulus nigra); the third, “the bald cypress” (Taxodium disticum), of the sequoia family and of sought after wood.
Following the path leads you back to where you began.
Massaciuccoli, a picturesque locality set among green terraced hills covered with olive groves includes the lake of the same name. This is perhaps the most interesting and complete tour: combining luxuriant vegetation, antique culture and breathtaking views, make it an extraordinary beautiful path.
The excursion begins at the small harbour near the LIPU office with a visitors centre and guest quarters. Of great naturalistic importance are the wooden walkways skirting the cane ticket adjacent the lake where you reach bird-watching huts and may observe many species of which the marshland falcon (Circus aeroginosus) or the buzzard (Buteo buteo).
Following the Via Petra a palude, you will find on your right remains of a splendid Roman villa, part of a small settlement equipped with thermal baths. It is believed that a pagus was located in this area during the Roman epoch with the port having a thriving commercial activity.
Of great importance is the civic antiquarian, housing many relics of the Roman era and a splendid mosaic pavement. During renovation many new important relics have been brought to light.
Take the pathway on the left uphill until you reach the remains of the thermal baths. On a terrace on the furthermost slope of the hill of Monte Aquilata you will find the remains of a typical villa d’otium of the Traiano epoch (1st century D.C.) owned by the Venuley family, land and ceramic factory owners in the Pisan territory. The residential part of the upper terrace has disappeared due to the construction works of the Pieve di San Lorenzo, probably built on an ancient pagan temple. Continuing on your route you can observe the silhouette of the Villa Minutoli Tergini one of the most charming ancient villas of the municitpality of Massarosa built on remains of an antique watch tower and centre of an immense Massa (large rural agglomerate with a villa at its centre) of the nobleman Cuccolo (from which came the name Massaciuccoli) during the Longobard age.
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