The Lipu Mediterranean Habitat Centre (CHM) is located at the mouth of the Tiber River, near the Ostia waterfront. It is a nature centre built in an area previously occupied by an open-air rubbish dump, infamous for having been the scene of the death of Pier Paolo Pasolini.
Created as an alternative proposal to a devastating oceanarium (a sort of zoo-lager for animals that would have destroyed the entire mouth of the Tiber), after a difficult battle brought forward by the Lipu of Ostia in the mid-1990s, it was subsequently integrated by the public administration into the new Tourist Port of Rome, with, among other things, an important function of environmental mitigation and compensation.
Today, the Ostia Mediterranean Habitat Centre (currently undergoing further expansion) includes a successful environmental reconstruction of a coastal pond, in which over 200 bird species have already been recorded amidst lush aquatic, riparian and scrub vegetation, There are rare breeding species such as the Purple Heron (the largest colony of which is found here in Lazio), which can be easily observed, among others, together with the Little Grebe, Little Bittern, Little Crake, Bittern, Marsh Harrier, Black-winged Stilt and many waders and ducks, such as the rare Ferruginous Duck.
Services and facilities
A nature trail leads to three large wooden huts for birdwatching and facilities dedicated to nature photography, while an open-air teaching room and the Mario Pastore visitor centre host cultural, awareness and research initiatives, as well as the many volunteer initiatives of Lipu Ostia (including first aid for hundreds of wild animals each year).
The place where Pasolini disappeared, after decades of degradation, has been recovered and equipped as a literary garden, while more recently the Pier Paolo Pasolini Literary Park® has been established.
The centre from the hide no. 3 (photo M. De Silvi)
To visit in the area
The Art Nouveau historical centre of Lido di Ostia and the Litorale Romano State Nature Reserve: Mediterranean maquis, extensive pinewoods and mixed woodland, wetland and dune vegetation, river environments together with vast expanses of meadows and cultivated land characterise the reserve together with an exceptional historical and archaeological heritage (the excavations and the village of Ostia Antica are only 10 minutes away from the Oasis). Inside the reserve is the Lipu Oasis of Castel di Guido.
Locality: Via dell’Idroscalo, (at the car park of Porto Turistico di Roma). Cap 00121 Ostia Lido (RM). In Ostia Lido, mouth of the Tiber (behind the Port of Rome)
Open to the public: The visitors’ centre is open on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. On Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. there is free access to the oasis, while guided tours are available every day of the week by prior arrangement.
How to get there: From Rome, by car, take the Grande Raccordo Anulare (ring road), exit no. 28 Ostia – Via del Mare, take the Ostia seafront turning right (northwards), drive to the end and turn right onto Via Carlo Avegno. Follow the road to the end and turn left onto Via dell’Idroscalo and after the second roundabout turn left into the Porto Turistico di Roma car park. In the car park, the Mario Pastore Visitor Centre is a wooden chalet.
Surface area: 20 hectares
Telephone/Fax: 379 2348635
Responsible: Alessandro Polinori, Luca Demartini