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Nature and environment

A wonderful part of Umbria which borders High Latium and Tuscany, where the balance of the landscape is the hallmark of these places in the heart of Italy, and nature met with the work of man to originate an inimitable landscape: one would feel like not telling you how to reach it not to run the risk that the spell is broken...

» Il Tevere

The Tiber River Park starts from Todi: its many paths not only offer the possibility of familiarizing with nature but also with the many historical testimonies it offers.

After flanking Todi and opening up a passage through the imposing Forello Gorge, the Tiber widens up forming the lake of Corbara, an artificial basin created in the 60s thanks to a dam.
Since Roman times, as the Tiber River crosses it, Corbara Lake has been populated with numerous settlements testified by different findings, such as the hypogeous Etruscan tombs at Montecchio, the Roman site of worship at Scoppieto and the port of Pagliano at the confluence of the Tiber and Paglia.
Nature lovers can stroll along the lakeside, visit the Forello Gorge (the karstic inlets of the Tiber) and the splendid caves next to the lake.

Alviano Lake can be found further down the valley and was formed following the damming of the Tiber for the production of electricity. Due to the gradual sediment deposits from the river, large and significant marshes have formed in the lake making up a rich and very beautiful ecosystem spreading over 900 hectares of which 500 are under water. It is seat of a WWF Oasis: every kind of fish finds its natural habitat here for laying eggs, but above all it is an ideal stop over and nesting ground for an extremely varied bird life with over 160 species of sedentary and migratory birds.





» Oasi di Alviano

The lake Alviano dates back to 1963, following the damming of the Tiber for electric energy production.

Over time its waters were gradually turning into a marsh, creating favourable conditions for an environment where fauna and flora of wet places proliferated. Therefore a reserve was soon established. After being decreed a protected area in 1978 it became part of the Tiber Fluvial Park and in 1990 the basin became a nature reserve run by WWF: 900 hectares of ground and waters giving hospitality to an ecosystem suitable for reproduction and the halt of about 150 species of even rare sedentary and migratory  waterbirds, including cranes, wild geese, fish hawks, and many others.

The entrance to the protected area is located in Madonna del Porto, in the municipality of Guardea, along the S.P. Alviano Scalo-Baschi. Two routes amid nature depart from here,  around 4 km walk in all, well equipped with sheds for birdwatching, observation towers, footbridges and even an outdoor classroom right in the middle of the swamp. Being hidden inside the sheds one can enjoy an unforgettable atmosphere, as in a splendid documentary.

WWF workers whose task is to safeguard the area are always available in order for tourists to enjoy their visits without causing any disturbance. That is why they accompany the less expert to observe events or details that otherwise they would miss. In the marsh there are also a lot of species of amphibious and water reptiles, and coypus among the mammals.
The flora consists of hydric plants, willows, alders and ditch reeds.



» Parco del Monte Peglia e Selva di Meana

It is part of “Sistema Territoriale di Interesse Naturalistico Ambientale (S.T.I.N.A.) Monte Peglia e Selva di Meana” (Monte Peglia and Selva di Meana territorial system of naturalistic and environmental interest) comprising three different protected areas, and is under the management of the “Comunità Montana del monte Peglia” (consortium of communes in the Peglia mountain area).

It extends for 3,255 hectares in the municipality of Allerona, bordering the Natural Reserve of Monte Rufeno in the municipality of Acquapendente (region Latium). The landscape is characterized by a great richness of mainly conifer and broad-leaved woods. It is adjoining the Natural Reserve of Monte Rufeno sharing the same environmental characteristics. This land, scarcely anthropized and therefore almost untouched, offers numerous well-signposted nature trails, such as the ring of Allerona that covers the whole park area.

It is a natural environment of high value which combines the variety of a vegetational and faunistic heritage, one of the richest in central Italy, with a historical, archaeological and artistic one. Inside the protected area rises Villa Cahen, a prestigious residence dating to the beginning of 1900 which dominates the valley of river Paglia and is a popular destination for the original thematic character of the surrounding gardens (Japanese garden, English park, tropical greenhouses).
In the area an interregional park is going to be established upon an agreement between the regions Umbria and Latium, which will also include the Natural Reserve of Monte Rufeno.



» Altopiano dell'Alfina

The plateau of Alfina is situated to the north of Viterbo, following the Cassia road shortly after the lake Bolsena, in that corner of Latium set between the Orvieto area in Umbria and the Val d'Orcia in Tuscany, representing one of the last examples in which agricultural businesses still operate in harmony with the environment.

The area is a mosaic of cultivated and wood areas, small settlements, forests and valleys, which have remained untouched also due to the backwardness and isolation suffered by this area until a few decades ago. Today this land enables its inhabitants to make plans and live in fullness thanks to a combination between agriculture, nature and tourism.

The rare and special natural condition of the Plateau bears a landscape richness as well as a botanic and zoological one, thus an ecosystemic richness as a whole. The rural landscape of the area in fact  connects with and is complementary to the nearby Natural Reserve of Monte Rufeno, forming an only indissoluble land.

The Plateau feeds a thick hydrographic network, such as “Il fosso della Caduta”, a virgin water course that after a spectacular fall flows into the torrent Subissone, the river Paglia and its valley. Also important is the underground water basin originating under the basaltic rocks of the Plateau: it is one of the most important drinking water reserves of the high Latium.


» Riserva di Monte Rufeno

The Nature Reserve of Monte Rufeno, founded in 1983, covers a 2,892 hectare area throughout the municipality of Acquapendente (Viterbo), on the border between Umbria and Tuscany.

The land has the typical morphological aspect of Tuscia, with height differences of over 500 m between the mount Rufeno (735 m) and the hill area below, which is 190 m high. Thanks to the particular geographical position and the historical events of this area the reserve gives hospitality to a very rich flora and fauna with even rare species.

The landscape is characterized by hills, crossed by the river Paglia and completely covered with woods (oak woods, pine forests and a small chestnut grove), riparian vegetation and Mediterranean scrub. The fauna is quite rich and varied, thanks to a variety of ideal habitats offered by the reserve. Some species living in the woods are: the long eared howl, the little owl, the horned owl, the woodpecker, and the jay. Characteristic stone farmhouses which have been restored for didactic and accommodation purposes are scattered in the woods; finally there are also several torrents, ponds and springs which make the excursions particularly pleasant. The Museum of Flowers, situated near Torre Alfina, allows one to appreciate the biodiversity of the area and leads into the world of flowers, illustrating its evolutionary, ecological and cultural aspects and the relationships with the animal world.




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