Hello hikers and cyclists!
Welcome to another post in our series exploring "hikes by train" near Rome and in the region of Lazio.
Did you know that there’s a nice little nature oasis hidden away (Oasi Lipu), and just about 30 minutes away from Termini station?
Prepare to embark on an adventure to the kingdom of Swallows, House Martins, and Swifts, where you’ll encounter the biggest herd of Maremma cows in all of Lazio. Immerse yourself in the beauty of the Roman countryside from bygone eras.
This protected area is being maintained by LIPU, the Italian League for Bird Protection ("Lega Italiana Protezione Uccelli"). Their mission is to protect Italy’s wildlife, with a main focus on birds. You may have never heard of LIPU, but they are one of Italy’s most important environmentalist organizations, next to WWF, Greenpeace and Legambiente. There is also a UK branch that supports the Italian wildlife, you can learn more about them here. LIPU manages protected areas all over Italy; in Lazio next to Castel di Guido they also maintain the Parco Naturale di Pantanello and the Centro Habitat Mediterraneo Ostia.
What can you expect?
Enjoy a hike through what looks like the ancient Roman countryside, with a constantly changing landscape – from meadows, to fields, to woods and a big amount of animals living here, including foxes, wild boar, and many bird species, including the Swallow and the House Martin.
- Rich biodiversity
- Maremma cows
- Two circular nature trails
- Accessible by train
- Official difficulty scale: n/a
- Best period to visit: Generally all year round, but best avoided in summer months, or in rainy periods
- My difficulty assessment: Medium (the trail itself is very easy, but a challenge for some could be the distance from the train station and the lack of clear trail marks).
- Elevation gain: 110m
- Elevation loss: 110m
- Type: Out-and-back (Loop inside LIPU Oasis)
- Length: 14.5km
- Time: about 4 hours
- Trail quality: Mostly easy to walk, beware that the trail is not very well marked and there is a good chance you’ll bump into wild boars or other animals and it’s in a very remote area
Some things to be aware of
⚠️🐗 The park is abundant with wild boar, and it is not uncommon to hear their sounds or catch a glimpse of them within the LIPU Oasis, particularly when visiting during quieter days with fewer visitors. It is important to note that wild boars generally do not seek out human encounters, especially as they perceive such encounters to be risky during hunting season when they venture outside the park. Consequently, they tend to avoid human contact to the best of their ability.
How to get there
Getting to this park is easy: Take the SS1 (Aurelia) heading towards Civitavecchia, and then take the exit for Castel di Guido. Once you’ve arrived, conveniently park your vehicle near the Parrocchia Spirito Santo. From there, set out on foot and follow the clearly marked signs leading you towards the remarkable Oasi di Lipu.
By public transport
You can take the train from Termini to Maccarese-Fregene. Trains take about 30 minutes to get there. The ticket costs 2,60€ (one way). Make sure to check the available departure times and connections on https://www.trenitalia.com.
You could also bring your bicycle and bike until the Oasi di Lipu, or do the entire round on your bike – in fact, this trail is also popular with cyclists. Keep in mind that you need an additional ticket to bring your bike on the train (3,50€). Also, try to avoid rush hour, to make sure there’s a space for your bicycle. Some trains have dedicated wagons for bicycles.
Welcome to Maccarese Fregene! We are very close to the Tyrrhenian Sea to the West, while our destination is bringing us East! First we have to get out of the train station and make our way in direction of the cemetery (Cimitero di Maccarese). We follow Via del Maccarese, which brings us to a more and more isolated road with a nice view of the countryside. After crossing a bridge, after a while we can see the cemetery on our right side. As we proceed the main road takes a right turn, however we can make out a little trail continuing straight. That’s our entry point!
The narrow trail continous partially adjacent to a wood, at times briefly entering the wood, with some uneven ground. Just follow the path until eventually…
…we come across a wider stretch of the road road. Keep right and follow the road which eventually leads you up to what looks like an agricultural factory. At this point we leave Via di Maccerese, briefly cross Via Gaetano Sodini, and proceed on Via Quarto delle Colonne.
After a while we see a little road leading us to the right and we come across a sign welcoming us to the Lipu Oasis. Here we can now start to enjoy the trails hidden inside this reserve. There are several trails you can choose from (Sentiero delle Rondini, Sentiero degli Allocchi, Sentiero degli Aironi, Sentiero del Nibbio), which are all more or less visible along the way. Once you finish the loop inside the Reserve, you’ll return the same way you came from.
Want to get more out of this hiking experience?
- Book a guided hike with a certified hiking guide, to enjoy this experience in safety and to learn more about the flora, fauna, and to discover some hidden gems along the way!
Reach out to learn about our private hike and group hike availabilities.
- Alternatively, purchase a self-guided hike for a highly detailed trail description, local tips, and everything you need to start exploring on your own safely and organized: Get in touch with us to learn more.