The protected area with its 726 ha of extension affects 3 municipalities in the Province of Gorizia: Doberdò del Lago (Doberdob), Monfalcone and Ronchi dei Legionari.

It was established with the Regional Law n. 42/1996 in implementation of the national framework law on protected areas no. 394/1991 and subsequently included in the European network “Natura 2000”.

The characterizing element of this Reserve is the presence of two large karst depressions (polje) hosting two lakes separated by limestone reliefs.

Since the Karst is set on limestone, a very permeable carbonate rock, the whole territory lacks a surface hydrography as the water is confined to the subsoil. Consequently, the presence of lakes contrasts the surrounding aridity and allows the development of ecosystems typical of wetlands normally absent throughout the Karst, which give the protected area a high degree of biodiversity.

By walking along the paths of this protected area, you have the opportunity to observe the passage from habitats of arid environments, such as moorland meadows or furrowed fields, to those of wetlands surrounding the lakes.

On the M. Castellazzo hill, which rises above Lake Doberdò, is the Gradina Visitor Center in whose Museum the visitor can retrace, also through interactive tools, the historical and naturalistic aspects of the Reserve and the Karst.

The property also has a bar, a restaurant and a welcoming guesthouse with 20 beds.

The Visitor Center is managed by the Pavees Cooperative Society which also organizes educational activities with schools, excursions and scientific dissemination.

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