Looking for unforgettable moments? Choose a one-day or a weekend-long trekking experience in Maremma, in the Nature Reserve of Monte Labbro. Landscapes, culture, nature, history and even a bit of transcendental meditation.
If you want to experience emotional moments and to discover landscapes of rare beauty In Maremma, Autumn is the best season of the year. Just a few minutes- drive away from Terre di Sacra’s beaches and villas, Maremma’s inland is the place to be to discover incredible stories in wonderful locations. Trekking in Maremma brings you closer to cultural treasures, amazing landscapes and historical landmarks.
Nature Reserve of Monte Labbro
For a one-day or a weekend-long trek we suggest exploring the territory of the Nature Reserve of Monte Labbro. This nature reserve is a protected area located in the municipality of Arcidosso, in the province of Grosseto, south-west of Monte Amiata.
The reserve is a protected area of 600 hectares of great interest for its environment, wildlife, landscapes and historical sites but also for its mystical significance. This place is also a point of reference for trekking lovers as well as climbers and mountain bikers.
Thanks to the reserve’s peculiar location, the area offers unique views over the countryside and the surrounding territory. Within the reserve’s boundaries lie the Monte Amiata Wildlife Park, the peak of Monte Labbro (1193mt), the Tower Giurisdavidica, related to the history of Davide Lazzaretti, and much more.
Spotting the nature reserve’s wildlife
Spotting the nature reserve’s wildlife
The ideal start for a trek within the Nature Reserve of Monte Labbro is the Visitor Center of the Monte Amiata Wildlife Park and network of Nature Reserves. The Visitor Center is in the hamlet of Zancona that is part of the municipality of Arcidosso, a 1-and-a-half-hour drive from Terre di Sacra. At the Visitor Center you will easily find all the necessary information and a guide whom you can possibly hire for an excursion.
You can trek on your own as well as ask for park guides to lead you, especially if you want to spot the animals in the reserve.
If you wish to bring all your family, you can just stroll around chestnut and beech forests that will offer you spectacular views of the amazing fall foliage color. For those who love spotting animals in their natural environment, this is the perfect place to spot wild boars, roe deers, fallow deers, foxes and wolves as well as polecats, wildcats and badgers. The area is also a paradise for birdwatchers: over 120 different bird species have been counted so far.
The hermitage of Davide Lazzaretti
With a classical 2-hour trek (7.2 km long and about 460mt above sea level) starting from the Visitor Center at Zancona, you can reach and visit the hermitage of Davide Lazzaretti. Davide Lazzaretti was a charismatic and to a certain extent controversial preacher who affirmed in the second half of 1800. He founded his own Church with a very active retinue. His activity grew so much that it started worrying the Church and the new-born Italian State. His preaching was opposed in different ways, and he ended up being shot dead by policemen in 1878 in Arcidosso, where you can find a Museum dedicated to him.
Meditation at Merigar West Buddhist Center
The nature reserve is a placed filled with energy and mysticism. It is not a case in fact that here is the Buddhist Center of Merigar West. It is a Center for Buddhist Studies, founded by Tibetan Master Chögyal Namkhai Norbu that taught here for many years and where he died in 2018. Starting from the hermitage of Davide Lazzaretti you can reach the Center after a 5.4 km-long walk, mostly downhill, and you can complete it in 1 hour and 10 minutes.
The Buddhist Center can be visited upon booking or during the dates fixed by the Center and published on their website. In the Center you can take part to meetings, conferences and group meditation sessions.
Exploring Santa Fiora and Arcidosso
An interesting visit within the nature reserve is Santa Fiora, an authentic and perfectly preserved 15th century fishery. The fishery is now a city pond. Santa Fiora can be reached by Merigar West with a 1-hour trek (6.7 kilometers, downhill).
Still in Santa Fiora, you can visit the Church of Madonna delle Nevi. The most peculiar characteristic of this church is its glass floor under which you can see a natural water source coming out of the rocks upon which the Church is built.
In the end, you cannot miss a tour of Arcidosso, the Rocca Aldobrandesca and the Museum ‘Centro Studi Davide Lazzaretti’; Arcidosso is about a 50-minute flat walk (4.3 kilometers) from Merigar West. You may consider taking into the account the way back from Arcidosso to the starting point, Zancona, which is 2.5 kilometers away and can reached in about 40 minutes (153 meters above sea level).
A reason to visit Maremma in Autumn
Walking in the reserve and discovering the fascination of this area is an extraordinary 1 or 2-day excursion, especially starting from Terre di Sacra’s Villas or Glamping. Most of all, trekking in the Nature Reserve of Monte Labbro is an activity that can be done by everybody, from children to elderly people. The trail is accessible for everyone, and different levels of difficulty can be chosen. The reserve offers an amazing view over the surrounding countryside and its mountains. Exploring it in Autumn is an unforgettable experience.