Siena province natural preserves

PIETRAPORCIANA – Chianciano Terme

Communes: Chianciano Terme and Sarteano.Calcareous rocks and an unusually low beech-wood characterise this reserve which was probably a sacred place in remote times, as borne out by the beeches themselves which, as a symbol of majesty and solemnity, it was forbidden to fell. Area: 341 Hectares

BOSCO DI SANT’AGNESE  – Castellina in Chianti

On the small Sant’Agnese Wood Reserve, consisting chiefly of cypresses alternated with cultivated land, you will also find the Parish Church of Sant’Agnese, a fortified construction which in the 11th century belonged to the Sienese but was subsequently passed over to their Florentine rivals. Area: 271 Hectares

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ALTO MERSE (SISTEMA DELLE RISERVE DEL FARMA MERSE) – Chiusdino

Communes: Chiusdino, Monticiano and Sovicille.This zone, evocative for the continuity and extent of its woodlands, also includes ancient villages such as Brenna, Orgia, Torri, Stigliano, Spannocchia and Pentolina, as well as the mediaeval fortifications of Montarrenti, Frosini and Castiglion che dio sol sa (Castle that only god knows).Area: 2000 Hectares

LA PIETRA (SISTEMA DELLE RISERVE DEL FARMA MERSE) – Chiusdino

Communes: Chiusdino and Roccastrada (GR).Almost totally woodland with very few inhabited areas, the Reserve lies between the Farma and Farmulla torrents. Its name refers to the rocky spur on the Grosseto side which separates the two waterways.Area: 530 Hectares

LAGO DI MONTEPULCIANO – Montepulciano

With the lake of Chiusi, the lake of Montepulciano is all that remains of the vast marshland that occupied much of Val di Chiana up to the age of the Medici. The long works of reclamation had begun with the Etruscans.Area: 470 Hectares

FARMA (SISTEMA DELLE RISERVE DEL FARMA MERSE) – Monticiano

Communes: Monticiano and Roccastrada (GR).With its extraordinary vegetation and rare animal species the Reserve can boast naturalistic aspects that are unique in the Province of Siena and among the most interesting in Italy.Area: 1561 Hectares

BASSO MERSE (SISTEMA DELLE RISERVE DEL FARMA MERSE) – Murlo

Communes: Murlo, Monticiano and Civitella Paganico (GR).The extremely gentle landscape features an alternation of hillocks and broad stretches of flatland. The historical-cultural importance of the zone dates to the 12th century when Murlo Castle itself was the seat of the fief of the Archbishop of Siena. Area: 1743 Hectares

PIGELLETO – Piancastagnaio

The Pigelleto Reserve includes protected plant species such as the silver fir (known as pigello in local parlance) documented in certain of Titus Livius’ writings. During the 12th – 14th centuries, silver fir was used in building the Duomo of Orvieto and the Basilica di San Giovanni in Laretano in Rome.Area: 862 Hectares

LUCCIOLA BELLA  – Pienza

Communes: Castiglion d’Orcia, Pienza and Radicofani.The Reserve includes the most characteristic stretches of this zone. From the abandoned smallholding for which the reserve is named there is in fact a splendid view over Val D’Orcia: a 360° panorama of barren clay countryside, erosion furrows and ancient villages, as far as Mounts Cetona and Amiata.Area: 1148 Hectares

CORNATE E FOSINI – Radicondoli

Communes: Radicondoli and Montieri (GR).Rich in meadows, garrigues and rocky cliff faces (a true paradise for several rare birds of prey species that nest here) the reserve also includes Fosini Castle which belonged in the 12th century to the bishop of Volterra and in the 14th passed on to the Pannocchieschi family, owners of the nearby Elci Castle.

CASTELVECCHIO – San Gimignano

The Reserve protects heterogeneous plant species and also includes the evocative ruins of Castelvecchio Castle, an important mediaeval fortress which was probably built in the Longobard period. Area: 734 Hectares

Where to stay in Siena

There are numerous high quality hotels, villas, apartments and agriturismi (Farm stays) available in Siena, check them out and make a reservation here.