Established in 1988, Tor Caldara Regional Natural Reserve covers about 44 ha. It lies on the Tyrrhenian coast, in the southern area of Rome and its territory belongs to the municipality of Anzio. Recently ranked as one of the Sites of European Importance, Tor Caldara is a real treasure with rare evidences of the ancient coastal forests that occupied the entire coastal area of the southern Lazio. The wide diversity of natural species all concentrated in this small territory, is only one important feature of Tor Caldara, which is as well characterised by both geological and human long histories. The most abundant habitat is the evergreen Mediterranean forest that is dominated by two evergreen oaks: holm-oak and cork-oak., Under the influence of the sea winds the forest gently turns into the short and intricate Mediterranean “macchia”. In the areas closer to the sea it is possible to see the vegetation of the cliffs and residues of the coastal dune vegetation, while located in moister areas on thicker soils, it is possible to find patches of deciduous forest with deciduous oaks (Quercus robur, Q. frainetto, Q. cerris and the hybrid Q. crenata Q. cerris x Q.suber). In the areas surrounding the two little water streams mainly riparian vegetation can be found, along with common alder and poplar, while the wet and highly mineralised environment of the former sulphur mines favours the growth of rare royal fern and Agrostis albula and the very rare thermal bunting. Finally, close to wetland grows the hygrophilous vegetation with swamp-small reed, rushes and Thypa.
Besides the typical birds of the Mediterranean “macchia”, in the period between May and July, especially in the area of the odl mines, nests in the reserve a colony of bee-eaters. The bee-eater is a migratory bird with gaudy colours.
Altogether, sedentary, migratory and erratic birds populating Tor Caldara form a community composed by more than 70 species. Mammals are represented by 15 species, including the rare wild rabbit, porcupine, fox, weasel and dormouse, Amongst the 9 species of reptiles inhabiting the reserve the endangered European pond, hermann's tortoises , grass and aesculapian snakes can be found, while the 6 species of amphibians include frogs, toads and common newt.
Invertebrates are represented by many species including insects that feed on wood as the rhinoceros beetle or great capricorn beetle (3-5 cm =1.18-1.97 inch long).
On top of cyst flowers it is often easy to see insects like the Paratriodonta romana, a scarabaeidae endemic of the Latium coast.