of protected land that encompass a cross-section of the most important natural environments to be found in the Oltrepò.
This is a unique example of hanging marshland, and the last testimony of the Valli Grandi Veronesi, an enormous wetland system of more than 30,000 reclaimed hectares, containing extensive reed beds and marshes and more than 175 species of bird.
This contains the second largest natural forest in the province of Mantua, and features all the typical environmental features of the Po: active and inactive oxbow lakes and oxbows, sandy walls and course sand.
It is the only island in the Po that has existed since the 17th century, and it was permanently inhabited until the second half of the 20th century. In addition to its interesting 19th century building, the island also features a rare lowland forest, poplars and some superb monumental trees.
This contains the final stretch of the Secchia, and is characterised by uneven river bends and a number of massive hydraulic plants, a testament to the age-old work of controlling the waters carried out by the inhabitants of the Oltrepò mantovano.
The vast urban park is the result of environmental restoration of three clay pits, containing a Roman archaeological area in the centre of which is the Church of San Lorenzo and the Oasi Falconiera, which is dedicated to the conservation of over 180 bird species.
This park features large recently built riparian forests, poplars, willows and wetlands where old clay pits and drain holes once were. The redevelopment took place in 2000, and has led to the planting of more than 300,000 trees.
The park owes its name to the presence of one of the first colonies of bee-eaters that settled along the Po. It features landscape typical of the lower course of the river such as cultivated floodplains, hydrophilic forests, oxbow lakes and coarse, sandy banks. It also hosts the important Agro Mantovano-Reggiano and Revere water plants.
Divided into four sub-regions and over 7,000 hectares in size, this is the largest protected area of the Oltrepò mantovano parks system and contains all the natural features (running water, coarse sand banks, oxbows, drain holes, riparian forests) that are typical of the area.
the woodswillow groves, oak, helm and poplar woods
the rivers and flood plainsflowing waters, sandy areas, riparian woodlands, oxbow lakes both active and lying in dead channels, floodwater pools, poplar woods and arable land
the marshesreed thickets, fens and wetland habitats
the countrysidesmall lowland forests, hedges, rows of trees, borders of planes, solitary trees, vegetation growing on the banks of ditches and canals (reed and bulrush thickets and fens), wetland habitats in ditches and canals, pulping plants and abandoned quarries, permanent meadows, alfalfa fields, fruit orchards and vineyards, poplar and timber plantations and cultivated land
THE TARABUSO BIRD The Great Bittern is found in the swamps of Ostiglia, the only pensile swamps in Italy due to reclamation and compacting of the surrounding soils (it is two metres higher than the surrounding countryside!). The bittern lives between its reeds but it is very difficult to see because, if feeling threatened, it stretches its neck upwards and blends perfectly into the surrounding vegetation!
The pike (Exos lucius) is characterised by its duck beak-like mouth, with strong sharp teeth.
different animal species, some of which are of the utmost importance at European level, such as the purple heron, the marsh harrier, the Italian agile frog....