Swamps, waterways, birdlife
A few kilometres north of Fucecchio, on Route 436, turn west for Massarella or Castel Martini into a most un-Tuscan district – not a vine, olive or cypress in sight. Meandering lanes take you into the Padule (swamps) di Fucecchio. The strange picture of waterways between long curtains of woods is enhanced by poplars and cane-breaks. Punt-like boats of dark wood, occasional disused mills and tiny huts of the L.I.P.U. (a bird-protection society) are the only signs of human life. From Castel Martini you can walk on easy paths (muddy after rain) across the Paduletta di Ramona, a more varied marshland with abundant birdlife including bitterns, herons, grebes and snipe.