Florence, as we know, is not really close to the sea. It is also known that it is one of the hottest and sultriest cities in summer. There is a highway called "Firenze Mare," which leads from Florence to the beaches of Versilia. But, if you decide to go for a weekend to take a bath, you must spend hours and hours in traffic. However, there are freshwater alternatives quite close to Florence, where you can spend a day bathing and cooling down while avoiding the stress of traffic.
Lake Bilancino is located in the Mugello area, in the province of Florence. It is a swimming lake, with refreshment areas, bathing establishments, games for children, and all the comforts to spend a day in complete relaxation. For those who love nature, near this lake, there is the WWF naturalistic oasis. For those who prefer shopping, the Barberino Design Outlet is nearby too.
Parco dei Renai is the "sea of Florence." A sandy beach in town, ideal for lovers of sunbathing and outdoor life in summer. The park offers a large equipped beach, with umbrellas, deck chairs, and sunbeds. There's a bar for drinks, a snack, or a quick meal. The checks on the quality of the water are carried out periodically and regularly; they guarantee that you can swim in complete tranquility in the waters of the lake. There is also a semi-Olympic swimming pool and a restaurant, a playground for children, and, of course, an ice cream parlor. For lovers of sports and outdoor life, there is a climbing wall, a hiking trail with the possibility of bike rental, and several soccer and volleyball courts.
In the Valle dell'Inferno flow the Torrente Rovigo and Veccione, which form natural pools and small waterfalls with crystal-clear freshwaters. These waters offer an excellent alternative to the warm city, giving the opportunity to rest, refresh, and spend a day in nature.
For trekking lovers, in the natural reserve Valle dell'Inferno and Bandella there are several nature trails. For history, art and religious places lovers, we find the Badia di Moscheta, a 10th-century religious complex nearby too.
Fiume Santerno is a river rich in lakes' formation, where you can bathe. The large white rocks along with its course form natural beds, where you can lie down and sunbathe. The place is tranquil, and the landscape is relaxing. Just before moving from Tuscany to Emilia Romagna, the river forms a waterfall, called Rio dei Briganti, and it's about 20 meters high.
Fiume Cecina flows in the area of Volterra, and the bathing area can be reached after a trek through the woods. The luxuriant flora and the azure waters of the river create unforgettable landscapes. This river offers several places to swim, but the most beautiful is the Masso delle Fanciulle, where a large pond has been created.
Torrente Lima is a river born in the Abetone area, well known for the postcard views it offers. The narrow streets of Cocciglia and the Blue Lagoon are famous: the paths of Cocciglia are gorges carved into the rock by the erosion of limestone. Inside this gorge, a natural pool with blue water and a pebble beach has been formed. It was consequently named the "Blue Lagoon." From here, it is possible to dive. In the same area, there is the Canyon Park, an adventure park well worth a visit.
After a day spent in one of these places, surely your mind will be in peace. Florence and its "beaches" are a pleasant and interesting alternative- or even a conscious choice- for all those who love nature and outdoor life. Tuscany, after all, is not only about art and monuments, but also nature, a lot of nature!
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