Thanks to their special morphology, the seabeds around the Secche della Meloria are clean despite the nearby industrial port of Livorno. There is a large meadow of Posidonia oceanica that grows at up to 30m deep where you can find examples of Pinna nobilis bivalves. Beyond this depth there are coralligenous colonies with white violescent sea-whip and, close to the Tramontana and Ponente rocks, Cladocora caespitosa pillow coral. The area is dotted with circular depressions called “catini” that have been dug in the submerged rock around the lighthouse and can be up to 15m deep. The steep walls of these catini that are exposed to sunlight are lined with photophilic algae like Padina pavonica and Acetabularia acetabulum. The larger catini have lots of cracks and small grottoes where shade-loving precoralligenous growth thrives. The pebbly seabed is the home of rare species like Branchiostoma
Lanceolatum and a crustacean whose scientific name is Meloriastacus ctenidio that has only ever been spotted here.
The best way to reach the Secche della Meloria is from the port of Livorno. About 12nm further south you’ll find the marina called Cala de’ Medici, located in a large and beautiful bay.