Regione Liguria, STL

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InfoPoint STL

InfoPoint

In the middle of the inner city, you will find our information point, with its staff ready to accomodate your needs.

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Flora and Fauna

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Shady woods and Mediterranean scrub, but also corals and river birds

Due to the configuration of the land, biodiversity is one of the main features of the area. From the seabeds to the hill inland there are several kinds of habitats, with so many species of animals. The clear waters offer the possibility of unforgettable dives, while within the River Park there are many opportunities to stop and birdwatching. The beaches, sandy or stony, are often framed by the Mediterranean scrub or touched by elegant pine forests. The villages perched on the high grounds are surrounded by shady woods which in autumn paint the hills of warm and fascinating colours.

The animals that inhabit the area are numerous, both at sea and on land, not to mention the multitude of birds flying in the sky, particularly in the spring season, when migratory species reach the area to nest.

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The flora of the area varies from the garrigue to the Mediterranean scrub, on the coasts, to the woods in the high grounds and in the hinterland.

The plants that characterize the garrigue in the area are thyme, oregano and other herbs. Worthy of note are the white cistus (Cistus albidus) of the promontory of Monte Marcello and the Venus bluebottle (Centaurea veneris) of the island of Palmaria, endemic varieties in the area which can be found mainly in the so-called “macchia bassa” (low scrub). The Mediterranean scrub rules in many coastal areas, with its evergreen vegetation composed by holm oaks (Quercus ilex), the mastic tree (Pistacia lentiscus), the myrtle (Myrtus communis), the buckthorn (Rhamnus alaternus), phillyrea (Phyllirea latifolia) and the strawberry tree (Arbutus unedo). Moving inwards or climbing to the ridges of the many hills that often arise directly from the waters of the gulf, we find the mixed forest speckled with downey oaks (Quercus pudescens), turkey oaks (Quercus cerris) and wild privets (Ligustrum vulgare L.). It is not uncommon to encounter pine forests of Aleppo pines (Pinus halepensis) or concentrations of other trees such as cork oaks (Quercus suber) near Campiglia or the spontaneous grove of cypresses (Cupressus sempervirens) of Vallecchia, inland, a unique example in Liguria. Left apart the influence of the sea, the plants that take over are the chestnuts (Castanea sativa), the elms (Ulmus minor) and the flowering ashes (Fraxinus ornus).

The underwater flora, near the islands of Palmaria and Tino, presents an expanse of Neptune Grass (Posidonia oceanica), the only herbaceous plant on the bottom of the sea.

Among the cultivated plants the vines and olive trees stand out, and they are present a almost everywhere, from the coast inland.

The fauna of the area is essentially the same as the classical types of present vegetation. With regard to the most arid zones and subject to the influence of the sea, the gecko (Phyllodactylus europaeus) deserves a mention, a gekkonidae who lives only on the islands of the Tyrrhenian Sea, and who holds the record for the littlest reptile in Europe. In other areas we find foxes, beech martens and weasels, but also wild boars, squirrels, bats, dormice, moles and many others. Among the birds we can mention the gray heron (Ardea cinerea), the blackcap (Sylvia atricapilla), the Goldfinch (Carduelis carduelis), the ubiquitous herring gulls (Larus argentatus), the bee eater (Merops Apiaster), the buzzard (Buteo buteo) and the sparrow-hawk (Accipiter nisus).

Below the water surface there are several specimens of sea fans (Eunicella singularis, Eunicella warty, Leptogorgia samentosa), cuttlefishes, octopus, damselfish, but also lobsters and sea hares (Aplysia fasciata) just to name a few.

 

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