- Active & Green
Brabbia Nature Reserve: the most important wetland in Lombardy.
The Brabbia Marsh is the largest wetland of the Varese territory:
today it is a protected area and access is permitted with bicycles, but cyclists are required to stay on the trails. The naturalistic oasis occupies over 400 hectares between the Lakes of Varese and Comabbio.
Cyclists can enter from the south, on a cycle path that goes up from Varano Borghi at the locality Cassinetta di Biandronno. The most convenient access, however, is at Inarzo, a charming little town that can be reached from the north (Cazzago Brabbia), or from the south, after passing through another picturesque village: Bernate.
The Brabbia Marsh is the owned by the Province, but the area is managed by LIPU (Italian League for Bird Protection). The Brabbia Marsh Natural Reserve is certainly very interesting, with a variety of different habitats and abundant wildlife. In fact, 160 species of birds have been sighted in the protected area, including the rare ferruginous duck and the snipe.
In migratory seasons, visitors can observe nine different species of ducks, including the garganey and the northern shoveler, and different birds of prey such as the unmistakable osprey . There are also many types of passerines, also thanks to the ringing station, and on several occasions, the elusive bluethroat has been sighted.
Where the vegetation is more dense, we find the salciaiola, also called Savi's warbler, the great reed warbler, the Eurasian reed warbler and the marsh warbler. We advise cyclists to leave their bicycles outside the main animal observation area and to explore on foot, preferably with a pair of binoculars. Guides and volunteers from LIPU, moreover, also provide guided tours (reservations required) and there is an interesting calendar of events to choose from.