The Pantanello Natural Park – 70 km south-east of Rome – reopens to the public on Sunday 7 October.
The park is adjacent to the Gardens of Ninfa, located near Sermoneta at the foot of the Lepini mountains. Established by the Caetani family among the old town’s mediaeval ruins, more than 10,000 shrubs, plants and flowering trees from all over the world grow in the gardens.
Over Pantenello’s 100 hectares it is possible to observe how the Pontine plains looked before being drained in the 1930s and undergoing subsequent industrial and urban development in the 1970s. In 2004 the Roffredo Caetani Foundation reintroduced marshlands to the park, returning a lost ecosystem, a revival of vegetation, botanical species and wildlife as well as seeing it become a major stopover and breeding ground for migrating birds.
Visits to Pantanello are restricted to the autumn and winter months to avoid the birds’ breeding season. The park is open to the public every Sunday from October to March, with guided tours by expert naturalists, starting at 10.00. The tour lasts two-and-a-half hours and, although it follows recognised paths, visitors should wear footwear appropriate to a natural setting.
To reserve a guided tour of Pantanello, email firstname.lastname@example.org, up to three days in advance of your visit. Special group tours can also be arranged during the week provided there is a minimum of 20 participants.
For full information, including directions and tour price, visit www.fondazioneroffredocaetani.org.
Images are by courtesy of the Fondazione Roffredo Caetani