Le Valli di Argenta – Argenta wetland

A story of people and water

A unique environment to discover

Surrounded by the wildlife reservoir Parco regionale del Delta del Po, the Valleys of Argenta are considered among the largest freshwater wetlands in northern Italy. Their suggestive landscape tells the story of the symbiosis between the locals and their water.

The wetland began to form around the twelfth century, when a branch of the Po river could no longer receive the water of the many minor rivers that flowed here. The flood waters of the torrents formed a large freshwater which was only reclaimed at the beginning of the 20th century. Today the valleys are used during as emergency basins during the flood season to receive the water surplus, which is later discharged into the Reno river using locks and water pumps.  There are three main compartments: Cassa Campotto, Valle Santa, Cassa Bassarone. These oasis are recognized as “Wetland of international interest” by the Ramsar Convention in 1972, “Oasis for the safeguard and protection of fauna and flora” in 1977.

In 1995 it became a Natura 2000 Network site, because of its location along migratory routes, which makes it a fundamental area for wintering, resting and breeding of numerous species of birds.

Worth seeing

Field trip trails…

One of the best ways to discover the beauty of the wetland is on foot or by bike. In fact, the area offers several hiking trails, some of which are pedestrian and cycling paths with free access, others, like the Oasi di Campotto, are subject to compulsory booking have to be booked in advance.

In this section we have created an online map of the whole Parco Regionale del Delta del Po area with some suggested routes for both hikers and amateur cyclists. For sports enthusiasts there is a path of about 50Km that connects the hostels of Anita and Campotto along the left bank of the river Reno, which leads directly to the Adriatic Sea.

This route is also a portion of one of the Major Pilgrimages, precisely the “Via Romea Germanica” which runs almost 2200 kilometres from Stade (Germany) to Rome. It crosses 3 countries in 94 stages: 44 in Germany, 4 in Austria and 46 in Italy. In the Middle Ages and for the following centuries, it represented one of the many routes through which Kings, Saxon Emperors and Swabian Sovereigns and all the pilgrims of the time maintained ties with Rome. For more information consult the site dedicated to the “Via Romea Germanica”.

Clicking the button below you can download a more detailed map that collects all the routes and services of the Argenta Valleys Park.

Flora and Fauna

Throughout the area, thanks to the considerable variety of environments, there are over a thousand species of plants and animals typical of wetlands. In particular, there are four main habitats:

1) The cane thicket, dominated by the swamp reed .

2) The “lamineto” with the white water lily.

3) The wet meadow destined to ecological rebalancing.

4) The hygrophilous wood of the Traversante, a formation of lowland woodland that extended all over the Po Valley before the reclamations.

In these habitats it is not uncommon to come across various species of marsh birds including flamingos, spoonbills and little mines. Among the mammals, we must remember the noble deer, fallow deer, fox, porcupine, skunk and squirrel.

There is also an interesting fish project focused on the reintroduction of the pike, to counteract the presence of invasive alien species, such as the Russian catfish which, over the years, has wiped out the native fauna.

The Argenta wetlands – a photogallery by Sergio Stignani

Museo delle Valli

The Ecomuseo delle Valli is located at the entrance of the Oasi di Campotto, inside an ancient rural building of the 18th century.  It was used as a museum in 1991 and underwent a restyling and updating in 2007.

The building holds the logistic hub of the Ecomuseo and one of the many Environmental Education Centres (C.E.A.) of the Emilia Romagna Region and is the heart of all the activities that take place in the Parco delle Valli di Argenta. It describes through images, objects and models the history, culture, traditions and nature of this territory. Here it is also possible to organize guided tours of the Oasis.

Information

Entrance without guided tour: full price € 3,00 – reduced price € 2,00

Admission with guided tour: full price 4,00€ – reduced price 3,00€ (only on reservation for groups of at least 5 people)

Open from Tuesday to Sunday

from 9.00 a.m. to 1.00 p.m. and from 3.30 p.m. to 6.00 p.m.

In the months of JULY and AUGUST open from Tuesday to Sunday from 9.00 a.m. to 1.00 p.m. and in the afternoon by appointment for groups of at least 5 people.

CLOSED every non-holiday Monday, January 1, 24, 25, 26 December

Where is it located: Via Cardinala, 1/c – 44011 Campotto di Argenta (FE)

>> http://vallidiargenta.org/museo-delle-valli/

Museo della Bonifica
Reclamation Museum

The Saiarino water treatment plant, seat of the museum, is a splendid Art Nouveau building inaugurated by King Vittorio Emanuele III in 1925. It is the heart of the large drainage system on the right bank of the Reno river, which guarantees hydraulic safety to the territories of the lower Po Valley. It is an active water treatment plant that tells visitors the thousand-year-old history of the relationship between locals and water.

The visit to the Museo della Bonifica starts from the Chiavica Emissaria building and continues with a walk through the park, surrounded by a collection of the first machines used in the reclamation of the marshes. We then move on to the Sala delle Pompe (Pump Room): it contains six impressive early 20th century waterworks.

Information

Entrance only with guided tour: full price € 4,00 – reduced price € 3,00

OPEN Tuesday to Sunday

only guided tours departing at 9.00 am and 11.00 am.

Reservation is mandatory

Guided tours also in the afternoons during opening periods by appointment for groups of at least 5 people.

CLOSED every non-holiday Monday, the first week of January, the second and third week of August and the last week of December.

Where is it located: Strada Saiarino, 1 – 44011 Campotto di Argenta (FE)

>> http://vallidiargenta.org/museo-della-bonifica/