nature    environmentally friendly   woods - birdwatching - botanic trail - lakes - rivers
Bed & Breakfast and holiday farm at the foot of the Apennine mountains north of Florence in Tuscany:
Villa Panzano - La Topaia - Sanvitale -
I nidi di Belforte - Attulaio - La Colombaia - Corzano

An age-old love story
On November 17th 1559, Cosimo I dei Medici promulgated a decree to safeguard the woods: it was the first known environmental law. Among other provisions, the ban forbade the cutting and trimming of trees and other vegetation for one mile on both sides of the mountain ridge, as a barrier against gusty winds and to prevent landslides in case of heavy rain.

The protection of the natural environment obviously has very deep and long-established roots in the Mugello countryside.

Passeggiare nel Mugello in compagnia, attraverso campi e boschi, sentieri e prati.A green holiday
The forests, rivers, streams, lakes and lush countryside of this still unspoilt corner of Tuscany welcome visitors to spend an open air holiday and rediscover the harmony lying in the relationship between man and nature.

The best way to come into contact with nature is exploring on foot, by bike or on horseback the many tracks and white roads of the Mugello hills.

Cicogne nel Mugello Oasi naturalistica di GabbianelloAn oasis at the heart of Mugello
But for children of all ages, Mugello also provides the extraordinary opportunity of a visit to the Gabbianello natural 'Oasis', a wetland area of about 25 hectares (8 of them covered in water) in the vicinity of the hamlet of Galliano 5 Km from Barberino di Mugello.

The nature reserve stretches on the north-eastern banks of the Bilancino lake and is an invaluable asset for the preservation and study of wildlife as well as a major attraction for educational purposes and for recreational and social activities. Launched in 2004 after 8 years of works, this important nature reserve is managed for the WWF by a local cooperative and its is classified as ANPIL (Local Territory Reserve) by the Tuscan Regional Systenm for Reserves and Protected Areas.

The Gabbianello Oasis brings visitors in touch with a wetland habitat of great natural interest for the high number of both sedentary species (ducks, mallards, garganeys) and migratory birds.

The most prized wetland species for birdwatching enthusiasts include bitterns, wild geese, white storks, flamingoes and blackwinged stilts, while the sky abounds in birds of prey such as kestrels, buzzards, ospreys, marsh and hen harriers.

Hottonia PalustrisTuscan landscape
Gabbianello is set in a tipically Tuscan natural environment, surrounded with magnificent forests, grazing areas and fields farmed with

Lago di Bilancino foto "Paolo Menchetti"For grown-ups and children
The Oasis is a favourite destination for tourists, day-trippers and families. It is possible to arrange guided visits with qualified environmental guide, and then stop in the pleasant meadow overlooking the lake in front of the visitors' centre for a picnic or to enjoy the sunshine.

Hiking in the woods
Nature enthusiasts will find also elsewhere in Mugello many comparatively rare floral and animal species. Fauna such as deer, boars and mounflons are often sighted; wolves are also back, and even eagles can be seen circling above the state-owned protected area of Giogo-Casaglia.