The Reserve

The Acquerino Cantagallo Nature Reserve is a protected natural area located in the heart of the Apennine Mountains. In 1998, the Tuscany Region established the reserve which covers 1.867 hectares (4.613 acres). From a naturalist point of view, it is the most magnificent area in the whole of the Valbisenzio Valley. It is renowned both for its land, which is mostly untouched and wild, and for its national forest.

The nature reserve is dominated by the mighty Mt. Bucciana (1.224 m./4.015 ft.) where many streams flow. All the streams join to form the Bisenzio Springs. Starting from Mulino della Sega, the main valley twists and turns from the North. Towards the South, it divides into many steep valleys dominated by sharp ridges. The main centre is the semi-abandoned village of Luogomano which is where you can take in the entire view of almost all the reserve.

Towards the East, the view is dominated by the Poggio di Taglianico-Cavallaie ridge. Here, you can find the ancient Tabernacoli Way. Towards the South, the Javello mountain range stands out on the horizon. These mountains divide the valley from the Prato Plain below. Instead, towards the West the Vallone delle Barbe disappears behind the dominating and steep North face of the Poggio Alto (977 m./3.205 ft.).

Mappa sentieri Riserva Naturale Acquerino Cantagallo
The area of the Reserve is covered by dense chestnut and beech woods. Conifers are also present in these woods after a reforestation project was carried out after the Second World War.

In the Nature Reserve, there is also a great variety of animals, which is very important for biodiversity. Here, you can find a thriving deer population. In addition to fallow deer and roe deer there are wild boars, small rodents and common Apennine predators, such as martens, foxes, badgers and weasels. Other important animals are wolves and wildcats. These species have now disappeared permanently from other Italian forests.

Numerous buildings are scattered throughout the area, evidence of agroforestry in the past that was vital to the local economy. You can find old farms, drying houses for chestnuts, huts and barns, most of which are now in ruins. The only remaining buildings are the Cascine di Barbe, Vespaio, Spedaletto, Cave, and the farmhouse in Cerliano. The farmhouse was given the same name and then, rebuilt using the same stones, which collapsed due to total lack of maintenance.

Nature and Wildlife

The Acquerino Cantagallo Nature Reserve is the ideal place to be in the outdoors and experience unique emotions at one with nature. During excursions in the Reserve, it is not uncommon to see many of our shy inhabitants watching you from afar through the trees. The Reserve is, also, home to numerous protected species, including the freshwater shrimp, the fire salamander and the spectacled salamander. Discover more about the nature and animals in the Reserve.


Beech, chestnut and ancient trees.

This is the magic of the untouched nature of the Reserve.


Deer, roe deer, fallow deer, wild boars, foxes, wolves and many others.

Here are the inhabitants of the Reserve!

Visit the Reserve

How to get to the Reserve

There are two main roads to get to the Acquerino Cantagallo Nature Reserve: one is from the village of Cantagallo, and the other is from Cascina di Spedaletto, where you can find the Visitor Center and information boards.
From Cantagallo
From the Tuscan side, take the regional road S.R. 325 from Prato as far as Vernio, then continue to the left following the signs for Cantagallo. From the Emilia Romagna side, take the A1 motorway and exit at Roncobilaccio. From here, continue to Castiglione dei Pepoli. Then, take the S.R. 325 for Montepiano. Once you have arrived at Vernio, turn right for Cantagallo.
From Cascina di Spedaletto
From the Tuscan side, take the road from Pistoia to Candeglia and Acquerino. Just before arriving at Acquerino, turn right for Spedaletto. From the Emilia Romagna side, take the A1 motorway and exit at Roncobilaccio. Follow the signs to Castiglione dei Pepoli and from there to Lake Brasimone, as far as Lake Suviana, then to Acqua and finally Acquerino; after passing Acquerino, turn left for Spedaletto.

Where to stay

After a hike in the Acquerino Cantagallo Nature Reserve, it’s time for a well-deserved rest. Check out the available places where you can stay and eat in the area!
The Acquerino Cantagallo App

Discover our App

Download the Acquerino Cantagallo App. The Acquerino Cantagallo App includes three unique tracks, designed to give the opportunity to immerse into the history and the nature of Acquerino Cantagallo Nature Reserve and surrounding areas. Each trail has its own characteristics that distinguish it; find out more details in the sections dedicated to the three tracks.

Discover the app

App Acquerino Cantagallo link

Contact us for more information

Lupo di notte nella Riserva Naturale Acquerino Cantagallo
To receive more information about the area, the Reserve, the Association and our activities, feel free to contact us. The Acquerino Cantagallo Association is always ready to welcome ideas and suggestions and answer your requests.

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