Diaccia Botrona Nature Reserve

Diaccia Botrona Nature Reserve

Extending over a thousand hectares of surface area, the Diaccia Botrona Provincial Nature Reserve, near Castiglione della Pescaia, is a true ecological paradise and one of the most significant wetlands in Europe. The protected area is considered the gene bank of the Maremma.

The Diaccia Botrona Provincial Nature Reserve is a protected area located in the heart of the Maremma Grossetana Tuscany, between the seaside village of Castiglione della Pescaia and the provincial capital Grosseto. The Diaccia Botrona Oasis is all that remains today of the ancient Lake PrileLago Preglio – navigable in Roman times. Judged to be one of the most important wetlands at European level (classified exactly as wetland of international importance compliant with the Ramsar Convention of 1971), Diaccia Botrona offers a precious and incredible ecosystem which houses a significant variety of living microorganisms, both animals and plants: in short, it is a real genetic bank of the Maremma. The area, established as a reserve in 1996, is today spread over approximately one thousand hectares of surface area, of which seven hundred are occupied by swamps with its rushes and reeds – where some species of orchids live, some remarkably rare – visited every year by about 200 species of birds: peregrine falcons, ospreys, red, white and gray herons, harriers, kites, egrets, crested cuckoos and the beautiful pink flamingos. Different types of reptiles and mammals also live in the Provincial Nature Reserve of Diaccia Botrona, such as tortoises and grass snakes, coypu, foxes, badgers, hedgehogs, porcupines, while in the slightly sweet and slightly salty waters shellfish and sea bass are mixed with eels and pike.

The Ximenes Red House and the Multimedia Museum

Inside the Diaccia Botrona Provincial Nature Reserve, there is the famous Fabbrica delle Cataratte, better known as Casa Rossa or Casa Ximenes, one of the most authentic and representative symbols of the history of the Tuscan Maremma, a building much loved by the Maremma people. Built by the Jesuit father Leonardo Ximenes in 1765, by will of the Grand Duke of Tuscany Pietro Leopoldo di Lorena, Casa Rossa Ximenes was born as part of the works of Reclamation of the Grosseto Maremma, was to be used to rehabilitate the marshes of Castiglione della Pescaia, regulating with its locks the flows of sea and river water that flooded Lake Prile. Today the house has been renovated and houses the evocative and interesting Casa Rossa Ximenes Multimedia Museum. The multimedia path allows you to observe live all the animals present in the protected area thanks to the use of cameras, which can be operated from different stations inside the building, which reproduce their movements on large screens.

Resources on the Diaccia Botrona Provincial Nature Reserve

  • Diaccia Botrona Nature Reserve – Wikipedia article on the wonderful protected nature reserve of Diaccia Botrona.
  • Ximenes Red House Multimedia Museum Official website of the multimedia museum (in the Maremma Museums portal) with opening hours, closing days, prices, history of the building, services, activities and contacts.