The extension of the Orbetello Lagoon is about 27 Km/q. the average depth is about 1 meter, the maximum does not exceed 2 m.
It is separated from the sea to the west and east by two strips of land about 6 km long (the sandy Tomboli of Giannella to NW and Feniglia to SE) and west by the promontory of Argentario. An artificial bridge (the Leopoldiana Dam) connects Orbetello to Monte Argentario and divides the lagoon into two parts: the Levante Lagoon and the Ponente Lagoon. In the past the economy of Orbetello was based on the exploitation of the Orbetello Lagoon and on fishing. The waters of the lagoon are in fact rich in valuable fish such as sea bass, sea bream, mullet and eels. The fish is processed locally and sold in many markets in Italy and abroad. The production of mullet roe and the preparation of shaded eel are undoubtedly the typical local dish.
The lagoon is a wetland of international importance. Many species of birds nest or pass through it, including the Knight of Italy, the pink flamingo, the great white heron, the osprey, the spatula, the avocet, the cormorant and various species of ducks. Part of the Western Lagoon is protected in the WWF oasis of the Orbetello Lagoon and the Patanella wood.
Due to the scarce supply of water from the sea and the introduction of discharges rich in nitrates and potassium salts from agricultural crops, which have led to the proliferation of algae and the consequent depletion of oxygen, the Orbetello Lagoon is a high-risk environment. Numerous legal measures have been adopted to protect it and the Institute of the Commissioner for the Orbetello Lagoon has been set up.
Visits to the Orbetello lagoon are organised from 1 September to 30 April on Saturdays and Sundays. It is open from 9:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., while for school groups on other days with compulsory booking at the Casale della Giannella (where you can visit the Museum, the Environmental Education Centre and stay overnight at the guesthouse).

Oasis of the Lagoon: tel./fax 0564/870198
Casale Della Giannella: tel./fax 0564/820297


  • orbetello via mura di ponente