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Area Marina Protetta di Torre Guaceto

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Address: Via Sant'Anna 6, Carovigno, Italy
Phone Number:
+39 0831 990882

Torre Guaceto Marine Protected Area (MPA) is located in southeastern Italy...

Torre Guaceto Marine Protected Area (MPA) is located in southeastern Italy (southern Adriatic Sea), it covers about 2220 ha and it was established by the Mininster of Environment with a Decree on December 4, 1991.

The MPA, falling within the municipalities of Brindisi and Carovigno, has a coastaline of about 8 km from the Apani area till the littoral of Punta Penna Grossa and it extends from the shoreline to 50 m depth.

The management authority of the reserve is a consortium composed by the Municipal districts of Carovigno and Brindisi and the no-profit association World Wildlife Fund (Wwf-Italy)

Torre Guaceto, besides a MPA, is also a State Natural Reserve extending for about 1.200 ha, having a marine front of 8 km. It was established by the Ministry of Environment, with a Decree on February 4, 2000.

Besides the reserve includes the wetland of international interest "Torre Guaceto" according to the Ramsar Convention.

Within the framework of the EU programme "Natura 2000" and of the linked Italian programme "Bioitaly", the Region Apulia, according to the EU Habitat Directive 92/43 proposed Torre Guaceto as a site of Communitary Interest named "Torre Guaceto Macchia San Giovanni". Furthermore, the Region Apulia individuated the wetland of Torre Guaceto as a Zone of Special Protection (ZPS) according to the EU directive 79/409 "Birds".

The Site of Communitary Interest includes a marine priority habitat for the EU, the Posidonia oceanica meadows.

The Management Consortium of Torre Guaceto has approved the management plan of the Site of Communitary Interest (Dir. 92/43 EC) "Torre Guaceto Macchia San Giovanni". The document has been sent to the Ministry of Environment for its approval.

Torre Guaceto MPA is divided in three zones, according to the different protection: A Zone, no-entry, no-take zone; B Zone, the General Reserve; C Zone of Partial Reserve.

The coastline is characterized, along the western sector, by a series of small subrectangular coves with pocket beaches, until the eastwads projecting promontory of Torre Guaceto. At east of this promontory the coast is mainly sandy, with reduced rocky formations and low rocks emerging right in front of the promontory and eastwards from it (little isles of Apani), and is characterized by a regular, sinuous coastline. The eastern coastal sector, furthermore, is incised by ten little valleys oriented from South to North, some continuing also underwater.

The inland part is devoted to the typical agricultural practices of the area, continuing the plant cover present also outside the Reserve, with secular olive trees, mixed cultures, and red soils, not covered by vegetation.

In the area between the road and the coast, terrains are in a more natural condition.

The spatial succession ranging from beach, dune, and Mediterranean scrub ends up with agricultural areas (mainly vegetable gardens) and some reforestation.

The second coastal stretch, developing southwards, does not include neither dunes nor beach. It is characterized by a low and rocky coast, with small beaches and whose vegetation reaches the coastline.

The dunes of Torre Guaceto maintain their maximal expansion, since there are wide stretches of grey dunes that reach 15 m in height. The dune environment is diverse and is characterized by habitats of interest for the EU such as: dunes with meadows of Brachypodietalia and annual vegetation; mobile littoral dunes with Ammophila arenaria ("White Dunes"); annual vegetation of marine deposition lines, and the coastal rocks with Mediterranean coastal vegetation, with endemic Limonium spp..

The waters facing on the coast are inhabited by bird species with strong affinity for marine environments (e.g. divers, grebes, petrels, cormorants) and for swamps, like those of the order Anseriformes, that often rest and forage in the waters of the marine reserve). Many anatids rest in marine waters both during migration and in other periods of the year, when they are not active.

The submarine landscape is constantly characterized by two subsequent escarpments, parallel to the coastline and with a medium slope. These escarpments are divided by flat surfaces due both to erosion and, mostly, to deposition.

The rocky midlittoral is characterised by the presence of red algae as Laurencia sp, and Corallina elongata and by a Cystoserietum that forms belts along the rocky littoral.

The rocky infralittoral is characterized by photophylous algae and by sea urchin barrens and encrusting alge accompanied by the few animal species that resist the grazing activity of sea urchins. Posidonia oceanica meadows are one of the most characteristic habitats of the sandy infralittoral. The intricate morphology of the meadows forms a series of microhabitats that provide both food and shelter to numerous organisms, from fish and crustaceans to sponges, bryozoans, hydroids, anthozoans and bivalve molluscs. Patches of Cymodocea nodosa are also present.

In the C zone there are stretches of precoralligenous formations with many organisms in perfect state; particularly numerous are both the yellow and the white sea fans (Eunicella cavolini, Eunicella singularis). Also the bryozoans Sertella sp. e Myriapora truncata are very common.

Coralligenous formations are comprised between 22 and 30 m depth, with discontinuous distribution and forming a series of patches on the sandy bottom. Coralligenous formations become scarcer at depths greater than 30 m, reaching a depth of 45 m, where the sandy bottom is replaced by mud.

Muddy bottoms are inhabited by a rich fauna of molluscs, brittle stars, sea stars, sea cucumbers, vagile and tubiculous polychaetes, with various types of tubular protections.

Torre Guaceto AMP has obtained the Emas II Registration (Reg CE 761/2001) in 2005. In relation to the individuated driving forces (touristic diving, visits on federal properties and nearby areas, illegal fisheries, outflow of water from the Canale Reale and from the wetland, marine pollution) the environmental analysis for the EMAS registration of the Reserve set objectives of environmental conservation.

Torre Guaceto is included in the SPAMI List, according to the Barcellona Convention.

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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

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Beaches - wildlife and nature.

We have visited the same place in different months and obvioulsy there is a big difference between July and October ( in October there is hardly anyone around ) but it remains a... read more

Reviewed 10 October 2016
Venice, Italy
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1,013 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 36: English reviews
Venice, Italy
Level Contributor
13 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 October 2016

We have visited the same place in different months and obvioulsy there is a big difference between July and October ( in October there is hardly anyone around ) but it remains a wonderful place with magnificient beaches -- little rock bays and wildlife at the back of the beaches - many types of birds home there. You can take... More 

Thank skipatroler
Cheshire, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
50 reviews
21 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 September 2016

Nice sandy beach nestled in a nature reserve. A very relaxing spot but can be a bit of a trek from the car depending on where you happen to stop.

Thank Bushra18
Level Contributor
24 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 August 2016 via mobile

Staff are awesome and helpful. Road was close but not a major issue....Traffic could have been manage more but perhaps shortage of Staff. Disable access is great....breathtaking!!

Thank Visnoo S
Prague, Czech Republic
2 reviews
Reviewed 1 August 2016

Beautiful area, wonderful beaches. See is there. Present. As it is. As it is nowadays. So, please, don't pick up shells, pick up plastic. Actually, it is quite relaxing. And it is needed everywhere. Thank you. Will be a pleasure to join that.

Thank marketakin
Level Contributor
12 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 July 2016 via mobile

Found a small beach that was reasonably quiet. One end had waves for the kids to jump in and the other was protected and good for toddlers. Really enjoyed ourselves and will go back. No facilities.

Thank Nik R
Level Contributor
10 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 26 July 2016

Very nice beach, the most clear water with a lot of structures in the sea. good for kids snorkelling. No facilities. No shower/running water/bars. No parking near the beach, only for disabled allowed.

Thank Mark O
Level Contributor
18 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 July 2016 via mobile

We went there thinking we were going to find one of the most beautiful beach in Puglia, seeing the pictures we thought you could swim in vascs of natural sea water, this was NOT at all the thing. Arriving there you must wait in the queue of cars as you must leave your car in the parking but must wait... More 

1 Thank Rowena G
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
3 reviews
Reviewed 25 July 2016

You could be in the Caribbean ! The sea is a wonderful clear blue and a lovely temperature. Many parts of the coast are private with fees payable for you to enjoy the use of their sun beds and facilities. Your choice... We had some great times at Torre Guaceto. One of the nicest beaches I have ever frequented. Dave

Thank daves2pot
Level Contributor
60 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 July 2016 via mobile

If you think the best shores are in the Caribbean sea will be surprised: this part of Puglia can easily compete with Santo Domingo. With the difference that the food served in the bar is coming from slow food. 4eur for the parking and additional money only if you need an umbrella with beds, otherwise just enjoy this corner of... More 

Thank F D
Level Contributor
20 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 July 2016 via mobile

The beach is nice maybe a bit dirty in some places to be a natural reserve, but the water is nice and worm a not really cristal clear but there was a storm right the day before I get there.

Thank Skioppa13

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