San Cataldo State Nature Reserve

This post is also available in: Italiano (Italian)

The San Cataldo State Nature Reserve, which covers some 70 acres, is a protected natural area of the Puglia region, established in 1977.

The proximity of the sea and the strong winds, as well as the low anthropogenic impact and a series of fires that have occurred over the years, have dramatically diversified the very appearance of the reserve which today features very different habitats: an artificial pine forest, a natural one born spontaneously after the fires, the Mediterranean scrub with a prevalence of strawberry trees (Arbutus unedo), mastic trees (Pistacia lentiscus), and myrtle (Myrtus communis), several marshy stretches of water with marsh reeds (Phragmytes australis) and sedge (Cladium mariscus), an holm oak wood (Quercus ilex), and some impressive populations of eucalyptus (Eucalyptus globulus).

The animal species are mostly represented by foxes, hedgehogs, badgers and weasels; the reptile species include grass snakes, pond turtles, toads, frogs and Holarctic tree frogs. The local migratory routes involve red and grey herons, mallards, teals, and coots.
There are also several nocturnal birds of prey such as scops owls.

Recommended paths

Swamp path: it winds through the various habitats of Reserve, starting from the planted pine forest, going through the Mediterranean scrub and the holm oaks, then reaching the very swamp.

Path of the orchids: it runs on a portion of the very Swamp Path, then reaches the meadows where many species of wild orchids bloom.

Path of the acorns: open from November to March, it runs across several different woods (pine forest, holm oaks and the Mediterranean scrub), eventually reaching an educational area: right there, visitors can play an active role by planting some seeds of native herbs in the pots.

Then, those very plants are transferred to the most degraded areas of the reserve, such as those most affected by fires in the early 1980s.

This post is also available in: Italiano (Italian)


Ufficio Territoriale Biodiversità, Via Alcide de Gasperi 3 - Martina Franca(TA)

080 4306471

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