Riserva Naturale Provinciale Diaccia Botrona

Park in Bassa Maremma

The marshes surrounding the coastal town of Castiglione della Pescaia are an important shelter for migrating birds, and this 12.7-sq-km nature reserve off the SS322 is a wonderful chance to explore this flat yet fascinating landscape. Boat tours (adult/child €12/6; 5pm and 6.30pm Tuesday to Sunday mid-June to mid-September) enable you to spot waterfowl, heron, flamingo and other species; book in advance.

Boat tours leave from the visitor centre in the Casa Rossa Ximenes, a handsome sluice-house commissioned in the mid-18th century by Grand Duke Pietro Leopoldo I of Lorraine to help reclaim the marshes for agriculture and reduce the area's horrifyingly high levels of malaria. The visitor centre features a multimedia display (in Italian only) about the reserve's wildlife, the building and the reclamation.