Tuscany is a land of a thousand faces: the dirt paths surrounded by a thousand cypresses in the hills are the favorite destination for trekking lovers and cyclists.
Here you will find a unique panorama, perfect to be discovered slowly, at a walking pace, enjoying every magnificent view and the nature around you. Combine healthy physical activity with the exploration of a wonderful area, and don’t forget to stop in some cellar where you can taste the wine and products of this land!
Slowly, step by step, among nature, ancient abbeys and castles, vineyards and wheat fields you can enjoy these wonderful views and walk inside a postcard.
Today we are talking about the Pietraporciana Nature Reserve: it is an immense wooded expanse of beech trees that will leave you speechless. The beech forest is located on a large hill of over 800 meters that separates Chianciano from Sarteano and from the Val d’Orcia. Established in 1996, the Pietraporciana Beech Forest is certainly a very special place.
The landscape is characterized by cliffs, overhangs and by these magnificent trees, which thousands of years ago covered the entire area. Some of these caves are still perfectly passable without the aid of special equipment, which deserve attention when walking and approaching them. Here the flora is varied and in the Pietraporciana beech forest you will find particularly rare shrub species throughout Italy. In spring, abundant wild orchids can be observed. During a pleasant walk you can also meet many species of animals. Here live numerous roe and fallow deer, foxes and badgers, but also wild boars, hares and stone martens. For insect lovers, this is the perfect place: many beetles such as the stag beetle (the largest beetle in Europe) and the rare Rosalia Alpina, with its beautiful blue hues, find hospitality here.
And if you are passionate about bird watching, here you can spot some species of woodpecker and a large presence of birds of prey such as some types of hawk, sparrow hawk, owl, scops owl, hoopoe and cuckoo. To visit the beech forest you can cross the simple path that starts from the visitor center and is connected to it with a circular route. Inside you will find a multitude of paths that you can follow on foot, by bike or on horseback.