Near the one-time home and hunting grounds of the composer Puccini , this lake is at the center of a rich diversity of wetland vegetation and spectacular views.
Walking along a timber plank stretching hundreds of yards through the marsh into Massaciuccoli Lake is a bit like emerging upon paradise. As gulls fly overhead and a gentle breeze brushes the water reeds against your feet, you can reach for your camera or spend a moment simply enjoying it all. Do both and turn around so that you can also appreciate the mountainous skyline and panoramic views of grasslands.
The lake has long served as a haven to Italians wishing to escape city life. The composer Giacomo Puccini was one person who loved the lake and its surrounding wilderness. His reputation for residing nearby has even led locals to sometimes refer to Massaciuccoli Lake with the prefix “Puccini.”
A rare blend of ecosystems has endowed Massaciuccoli Lake with an unusual collection of wildlife, especially birds. Take an opportunity to spot a cormorant, western marsh harrier or great crested grebe. These handsome species live alongside varieties of ducks that paddle in circles on the water.
Make an excursion on a boat tour. Guided tours include the Museum of Marsh Ecology tour, which is conducted on the water. Get close to a hawk in flight and learn about how its serene environment has changed over the years. Rent a kayak or canoe and go out on the water for hours of replenishing solitude.
However you decide to enjoy the lake, reserve time to visit one of the restaurants on or near it at Torre del Lago. These restaurants are known to specialize in exotic dishes, including game and fowl, prepared in delicious Italian styles. Savoring some of this rustic cuisine is a great way to enjoy what makes this place so special.
To reach Massaciuccoli Lake, walk west about a quarter of a mile (400 meters) from the town of Massaciuccoli. Most people make the visit a daytrip, but the towns surrounding the lake have hotels if you decide you want extra time to sample the flavors of the Italian countryside.