Type of protected area - Where it is located
Typology: A.N.P.I.L .; established in 1998 by the Municipalities of Montemurlo, Prato and Vaiano.
LA.N.P.I.L. Monteferrato occupies an area of 4,486 hectares along the hilly-mountain system that delimits the floodplain of Florence-Prato-Pistoia to the north. The S.I.C. insists on part of the area (Site of Community Interest) of "Monteferrato and Monte Javello", identified by the Tuscany Region.
Monteferrato forest and agricultural landscape (photo www.monteferrato.it)
Fosso Ragnaia and Figline Church - A.N.P.I.L. Monteferrato (photo www.monteferrato.it)
The protected territory is the result of a process of transformation of nature by man. The Monteferrato mountain group is a pre-Apennine buttress characterized from a geological point of view by the presence of ophiolitic rocks. The three peaks, Piccioli, Mezzano and Chiesino or Poggio Ferrato, reach the maximum altitude of 420 meters.
The Monferrato area has been affected since ancient times by human settlements and productive activities. Prehistoric finds have been found at Galceti which testify to the stable presence of man already 30-40 thousand years ago. Further findings testify to human presence even in the Neolithic era and especially in the Bronze Age. The presence of the Etruscan people is also confirmed, confirmed by the important discovery of a funerary memorial stone of the Fiesole type at Montemurlo.
In more recent times (19th century) the Monteferrato area attracted numerous important personalities for the history and culture of the time including the most illustrious Macchiaioli masters, hosted in Villa del Barone by the painter and patron Cristiano Banti.
Flora and fauna
Ophiolithic rocks (and especially serpentines) gave rise to a soil poor in nutrients but relatively rich in toxic elements for plants which, combined with extreme dryness, windiness and high summer temperatures, determines a particularly hostile environment for development some plants. The strong selection of flora limits the presence of individuals to which, however, a significant variety of species is opposed (over 900 species, including higher plants, ferns and cryptogams).
Of particular interest is the fauna aspect of the Monferrato area. Among the mammals there are many species of ungulates, including deer, roe deer, fallow deer and wild boar; among the small mammals we remember the shrew and the oyster bat. Among the predators there are marten, weasel, skunk, badger and fox.
Among the many species of birds present, the green woodpecker, the kingfisher, the lesser harrier, the buzzard nest in the area. Near the wetlands there are some gray heron colonies. Some specimens of golden eagle, probably from the Apuan Alps, have been spotted over the Monferrato.
Information for the visit
The area is accessed from the visitor centers of: To be seen: Management:
- Schignano Via Cintelli, 7
- Vaiano Villa Fiorelli Via di Galceti, 64
- Prato Il Borghetto Via Bagnolo di Sopra - Prato
- Museum of the deportation, Via Cantagallo 250 - Figline di Prato
- Le Volpaie Naturalistic Laboratory - Montemurlo
It is managed in a unitary way through an agreement between the Municipalities of Montemurlo, Prato and Vaiano, the Province of Prato and the Val di Bisenzio Mountain Community.
Municipality of Montemurlo
Via Toscanini, 1
50045 Montemurlo (PO)
To be seen:- Natural Science Center, Via di Galceti 74 - Prato