Terre di Sacra: nature reserve and farm
The Nature Reserve and Terre di Sacra’s farm play an important role in Capalbio. Love for the territory, respect for Nature and the wish to provide the best hospitality services. These are the principles that moved the owners in the past and that still guides them today.
The history of S.A.C.R.A, of Capalbio and Lake of Burano Nature Reserve have been intertwined for about one hundred years.
It all started one day back in early 1920’s when Marquis Uberto Resta Pallavicino got stuck in Capalbio due to a train failure. It was love at first sight between the Marquis and this untamed and wild corner of Maremma.
The Marquis Uberto, the friends of his who decided to join him on this entrepreneurial journey in Capalbio and all the laborers and employees at S.A.C.R.A., have always put the land’s interests at the first place, before their own. The land reclamation, husbandry and agricultural innovations were motivated by ‘redeeming the land’ and not by easy profits.
The Nature Reserve at Terre di Sacra as a moral commitment
Terre di Sacra’s owners have always been in love with their own territory. A feeling that has been going on for nearly a century and that the estate has proven by defending its agricultural character from the attempts of transformation and intensive exploitation caused by raw materials in the land: peat and magnetite.
Imagine Lake of Burano: a stretch of water between sand dunes, surrounded by lush vegetation with rushes and reed-beds. It is the perfect habitat for birds and animals looking for a sheltered spot. Burano was unquestionably a heaven for hunting and fishing. Profiting from hunting activities could have been the easiest way but Terre di Sacra’s owners wanted the territory to profit.
Safeguarding one’s own work and defending natural environment without being allured by industrial and mining alternatives.
A moral principle that led the owners to the partnership with WWF in 1968 to establish the Oasis of Lake of Burano, within the estate’s boundaries, Terre di Sacra’s Nature Reserve, the first in Italy.
A beautiful lagoon, dominated by Buranaccio Tower and surrounded by rushes, reed-bes and Mediterranean maquis. The heart of this untouched coast, a place where you can watch rare plants and numerous water bird species, some non-migratory and thousands of others coming to spend the winter there.
WWF Oasis of Lake of Burano and that of Orbertello Lagoon nearby, with their white and grey herons, ospreys, shoveler ducks and the amazing pink flamingos, have a great naturalistic attraction and represent a national glory known worldwide.
Also, in Orbetello, you cannot miss the Aquarium of the Lagoon and the Tartanet Center in Talamone, a recovery center for marine turtles.
The farm and biological production
Terre di Sacra’s Nature Reserve, beautiful Lake of Burano Oasis and hospitality are only some of the activities at Terre di Sacra.
In history, farm activities, livestock farming and products’ sale have played a key role in the company’s accounts. Terre di Sacra’s founders wanted to bring the best technologies, machineries and technical proceedings available in Lombardy to Capalbio.
The results were astonishing for that time. To give an example, horses bred at Terre di Sacra were selected for the Italian Royal Family in the 1930’s, an unexpected success.
Farming and agriculture in the respect of nature have been the core of the farm’s activity from the very beginning. We have already told how the first founders of S.A.C.R.A. brought new technologies and entrepreneurial spirit into a wild and inhospitable land.
The aptitude to look ahead is part of Terre di Sacra’s DNA, who applied biological standards to agriculture and farming far before they were trendy. Biological farming sustains the health of animals, the environment as well as the health of final consumers.
Since 2017, the farm is officially organic: all raw products come from the farm itself or biological producers and all production or transformation processes are carried out following defined regulations and standards. This puts nature and animals before a market logic that encourages intensive farming and the use of pesticides and drugs.
Maremmana cows bred at Terre di Sacra graze in a wild state at Macchiatonda and the forage they are fed with is produced solely by Terre di Sacra. There are currently 80 Maremmana cows at the farm, bred for their exquisite meat, which is poor in fat and rich in proteins.