Lagoon of Orbetello, bird watching in the paradise of Maremma

April 15, 2015

The lagoon of Orbetello is a real paradise for bird watching: this vast wetland located in Grosseto’s Maremma hosts between 200 and 450 bird species, many of which are rare, such as the curlew, the osprey, the bee-eater, the marsh harrier and the black-winged stilt. The pink flamingo, the great white heron, the Eurasian spoonbill, the pied avocet and the cormorant, also nest and pass through the lagoon.

The presence of all these species is due to the shallowness of the water of the lagoon (of one meter average, but it rarely exceeds two meters), something that allows the birds to easily procure food. These particular circumstances have led the authorities to declare the area "wetland of international importance", protected as a WWF Oasis in the Orbetello di Ponente Lagoon and Patanella Forest Nature Reserve.

Birdwatching inside the wetland oasis of Orbetello Lagoon predominantly takes place via three different routes: the classic and equipped one allows observation of volatile species from nine fixed locations. The second one takes place within the Forest Patanella, where a botanical path was set up and where you can find huts for observation. The third one is that of Casale Giannella, a Spanish country house of the seventeenth century; inside of it, you can find WWF guest quarters housing an exhibition about wetlands and a butterfly garden. Every moment of the day is good for birdwatching but the best time to visit the lagoon is during winter, when the oasis witnesses the concentration of thousands of birds, due to its location along the migratory routes.

You can access the Oasis of Orbetello Lagoon through the SS Aurelia 148,300 km, in Ceriolo III, Albinia - Orbetello (GR). The oasis is open from September 1st to May 1st. The tours are free, departing from Ceriolo, only on Saturdays and Sundays from 9:30 am to 1:30 pm. Closure time is at 3:30 pm. You can also visit the oasis during the months of July and August, but only by reservation and on Tuesdays and Saturdays, at 5:30 pm. For guided tours, groups and schools, it is always necessary to organize the visit beforehand. For more info: +39 0564 898829 (phone) or email

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