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Italy’s Treasured Nature Reserves

Italy is the place of beauties: art, history, food. And nature. Let's discover the wildest and most wonderful ones, to be safeguarded for future generations.

Torre Guaceto

The Torre Guaceto Marine Protected Area is a nature reserve located on the Adriatic coast of Puglia in the province of Brindisi. The reserve spans 5,400 acres, about half of which are below sea level. The choices for exploring seem endless, from golden sandy beaches, such as the charming Shell Beach, to sheer cliffs and lush Mediterranean maquis. Numerous marine and terrestrial species populate this natural paradise, including sea turtles and many types of fish swimming in crystal-clear waters. If you love sailing, you can also make use of a state-of-the-art sailing center, which can be easily reached from the car park at the entrance to the reserve.

Capo Rizzuto Marine Protected Area

This part of Italy has been preserved since 1991 and covers more than 37,000 acres on the Ionian coast of Crotone, Calabria, between the Calabrian provincial capital and Isola di Capo Rizzuto. The area is a natural paradise where marine flora and fauna flourish and tourists and visitors alike are fascinated by the red and white beaches of Capo Rizzuto, the sparkling sea, and the multitude of activities to be enjoyed. You can snorkel and dive in the sea, take boat trips or stroll in the unspoiled nature surrounding the reserve.  Baia dei Gigli, Spiaggia Rossa, and the serviced beach at Capo Piccolo are must-see favorites.

Ustica Marine and Terrestrial Nature Reserve

Ustica is a very small island nestled in the north of Sicily, about 32 miles from Palermo. The Ustica Marine and Terrestrial Nature Reserve, created in 1986, is famous for its crystalline waters and marine ecosystem. The Ustica Reserve also includes Mount Anchise, an inactive volcano re-emerged from the depths of the sea.

Calafuria Nature Reserve

The Calafuria Nature Reserve near Livorno extends for nearly 300 acres in the western part of the Livorno Mountains, including the entire promontory of Calafuria and extending inside to include the forest of the same name. Montaccio Hill, rising 800 feet, is the highest altitude in the reserve. The scenic beauty of the reserve consists of the hills of the hinterland, uninhabited and covered in woods, which gently descend towards the sea and the coastal strip. The vegetation consists of Mediterranean scrub with a prevalence of aromatic plants, shrubs, and both small and tall trees including holm oaks, Aleppo, and maritime pines.

Natural Marine Protected Area of Capo Carbonara

This sweeping protected reserve situated on the southeastern coast of Sardinia, in the municipality of Villasimius, can be reached in less than an hour from Cagliari, the Sardinian capital. This is a rich marine environment, with white beaches, clear waters, and the striking Capo Carbonara lighthouse from which you can enjoy a unique view of the nearby Serpentara Island. The beaches of Capo Carbonara are among the most beautiful in Sardinia and are now freely accessible without reservations or restricted numbers of people. To best experience the wonders of this protected area, take an outing on foot or by bicycle along the many paths in the reserve.

Barbara Benzoni

 Barbara Benzoni was born in Milan and lives between Rome and Tuscany. She is devoted to USA, the land of courage and innovation. She’s Peter's super-lucky mum and Ale's wife. Cinema, art, good food and only beautiful things are the themes of her existence. With a degree in Italian literature and a Masters in Sports Management she can both enjoys books and basketball matches. In 25 years she has been organizing sport events all over the world and she’s been lucky enough to meet the greatest champs ever. Curiosity in everyday life and people are her drivers. Her personal icon is Mohammed Ali : "It's not bragging if you can back it up".