Between the WWF Orbetello Lagoon Oasis and the village of Porto Ercole, we find the beautiful Nature Reserve of Duna Feniglia. This 7-km strip of land (tombolo), with a total area of 474 hectares, separates the open sea from the lagoon of Orbetello and connects Monte Argentario with the hill of Ansedonia.
Instituted in 1971, the park is ideal for jogging, walking or cycling along the beach or along shaded pine-lined roads. It also offers some wooden exercise equipment. On one side of the reserve, narrow paths lead you directly to the amazingly wide sandy beach; while on the opposite side facing the lagoon, there are huts for bird watching.
While strolling in this relaxing landscape, you might come across a statue that remembers Caravaggio. Apparently, in 1609 the famous painter was found dying on the beach of Feniglia, and he later died in the hospital of Porto Ercole.
The flora is composed mainly of maritime pines, domestic pines, cork oaks, holm oaks, marine lilies, junipers and Mediterranean shrub. Among the fauna are many fallow deer, foxes, rodents, some wild boars, and many bird species including the green woodpecker, the hoopoe, the Eurasian jau, the little egret and the mallard.
Even though this video below is in Italian, enjoy the beautiful images from the reserve with its lovely wildlife, beach and lagoon habitats.
(Photo credit for large image above: thetraveljam.com)