San Bartolo Regional Natural Park, established in 1994, covers an area of approximately 1,600 hectares of land and includes the municipalities of Pesaro and Gabicce Mare.
It has very striking natural features: the overhanging cliffs form a distinctive seascape with the presence of fossilised fish and rare chalk crystals.
At the foot of the cliffs runs a thin beach of gravel and pebbles, formed by the collapse of the walls above and rich in fossils, once used to pave the streets of Pesaro. A scenic road leads to the ancient villages of Gabicce Monte, Casteldimezzo, Fiorenzuola di Focara, Santa Marina Alta and the cosy little port of Baia Vallugola.
The vegetation of Monte San Bartolo is characterised by mixed forests of oak and black hornbeam and rare species such as maritime flax, bulrush, cliff carrot and the shining fragrant broom.
Famous for the presence and migration of numerous bird species, including the peregrine falcon, migratory birds of prey including the honey buzzard and marsh harrier as well as a very rare species: the pallid harrier, which comes from Africa and then nests in Eastern Europe.
Five paths lead to small natural oases and spectacular views.
The cultural heritage is no less impressive: the Villa Imperiale, a meeting place for intellectuals and artists including Torquato Tasso and Pietro Bembo; other examples of aristocratic residences are Villa Caprile, where Casanova and Stendhal stayed, built in the 17th century by the Mosca family and famous for its splendid Italian-style garden with its amusing water features, Villa Vittoria, home of Caroline of Brunswick, and Villa Almerici.
There is no shortage of archaeological excavations either: in the locality of Colombarone there are the remains of a noble villa built at the end of the 3rd century AD, rich in mosaics and site of finds such as bracelets and coins, glass and amphorae.
The Park Authority organises activities ranging from nature excursions to motorboat trips, festivals and cultural visits.
Park Institutional Headquarters
Viale Varsavia 61121 Pesaro (PU)
+39 0721 268426
Photo credit: Regione Marche