Valli del Merse e del Farma

“[…]sboccammo in uno splendido prato in riva al Fiume Merse. Era questo molto largo e profondo in quel punto, fiancheggiato da alti pioppi tremolanti e superbi prati smaltati da infiniti fiori.[…] Dei cavalli pascolavano silenziosi[…]; delle bianche nuvole vagavano per l’azzurra volta del cielo. Non un rumore per la campagna immensa: tutto taceva nella solennità delle ore pomeridiane”

Augusto Andreucci

In central Tuscany, straddling the provinces of Siena and Grosseto, flow two rivers, the Farma and the Merse, one a tributary of the other, whose valleys are prime examples of Italy’s wild and uncontaminated nature. Indeed, four Nature Reserves are to be found here as well as three Natura 2000 sites, which act as safe havens, offering protection to habitats, rare plants and animals. A thousand different tracks, all pleasantly rich in unique natural features, crisscross these valleys so miraculously unspoiled by past human activity, allowing you to enjoy hikes in spectacular, magical surroundings. You may walk through endless forests where even now the wild cat hunts, passing from the Mediterranean forests of Quercus suber and Quercus ilex to the mountain forests of Fagus sylvatica, Betula pendula and Taxus baccata. Walk over the uneven terrain of rocky scrubland, smell the scents of a thousand aromatic plants and brightly coloured flowers, wade across crystal clear streams where the Austropotamobius pallipes still lives and where Cinclus cinclus dives with timeless skill. Rocky cliffs act as perfect observation posts from where to admire the stunning views and follow the soaring flight of Circaetus gallicus and, to add the final touch, in summer you also have the chance to swim in beautiful, refreshing pools which form along the course of the Farma