Bandite of Scarlino Nature Reserve
Distance: 20 minutes
Bandite of Scarlino Nature Reserve is a large protected area covering almost 9,000 hectares of fragrant, lush Mediterranean scrub in the area that includes the municipalities of Castiglione della Pescaia, Gavorrano, Scarlino and Follonica, as well as the area that reaches the hills – with Monte d’Alma – and the area that reaches the sea. This strange name derives from the frequent invitations to tender that were issued in the past to sell portions of the forest.
In ancient times, this area was also chosen by man for settlements: evidence of this is provided by many finds that suggest that it was inhabited and exploited for hunting and gathering already in prehistoric times. The Etruscan period, on the other hand, can be seen in an important archaeological site – the necropolis of Poggio Tondo – which is one of the best known in the area.
Within this beautiful Nature Reserve, there are numerous itineraries of great environmental and panoramic interest, both towards the sea and towards the hilly inland area, much loved especially by mountain bike enthusiasts, but also pleasant to cross on foot or on horseback, enjoying spectacular views of the bay of Follonica, the promontory of Piombino, the Elba Island, the Montecristo Island, Punta Ala peninsula and, on very clear days, the mountains of Corsica.
Also part of the Bandite is the Protected Natural Area of the Costiere of Scarlino, an enchanting wildlife oasis, home to some of the most beautiful beaches in Tuscany, which can only be reached on foot, but have crystal-clear waters and views that make them a spectacular destination: these include Cala Francese, Cala Martina and the very famous Cala Violina Cala Martina, Cala Violina.