Discovering five protected natural areas of the Bolognese plain, through five symbolic animals (and plants). The route offers guided nature activities, birdwatching spots and cycling itineraries. The areas can be visited all year round but the best time are spring and autumn for the presence of migratory birds, flowerings and brightly colored foliage.
The European pond turtle found in the naturalistic area called La Bora, located near San Giovanni in Persiceto, not only a favorable habitat for living, but also a repopulation center. In this place, every year, many baby turtles grow safely and are released into the environment when they are able to get by on their own.
Yet, this is not the only reason why the Bora is such a magical place: a natural wetland area of about seven hectares, with a large pond populated by many species -especially birds-, a small wood, hedges, wooded spots and a small prairie.
The area features an equipped path for self-guided tours, which flanks two sides of the basin and then enters the woods. Along the shielded path there are three observation points, a shed and some illustrative panels about the species that can be seen. The area is connected to San Giovanni in Persiceto’s centre with a cycle / pedestrian path.
The white stork has become the "mascot" of the natural area Vasche ExZuccherificio of Crevalcore (Former Sugar factory’s pools), since a couple of these majestic birds spontaneously chose to nest in the area, a ritual that has been uninterrupted for twenty years now.
Today the pools are home to a varied marshy environment that has become rare in the cultivated plain: free water basins, reeds and wet meadows. Birds are certainly one of the main attractions, especially during the migratory passage (between March and April and between September and October). During different times of the year we can observe the gray heron, the black-winged stilt, the mallard or the cormorant.
The area is accessible on foot through a tour path and is equipped with three shielded observation points and information panels. Visits and events are organised periodically as part of the "Nature of the Plain" initiatives.
A map of the natural area is available here.
The fireflies that light up the summer evenings are one of the wonders of the La Bisana ecological rebalancing area, located between Galliera and Pieve di Cento.
Naturalistic monument of great environmental interest, the Bisana floodplain forest is a rare example of a humid riparian forest of the lowlands, once widespread throughout the lower Po valley. In this area the Reno river changes direction and heads towards the Adriatic Sea, creating a large floodplain area generated by the accumulation of debris. In front of us lies the “Bosco della Panfilia” (wood of the Panfilia), already in Sant'Agostino territory, in the province of Ferrara.
Thanks to the naturalness that this prized area has maintained, various natural habitats managed to survive and are now home to a great variety of animals and especially birds, which represent the main fauna of the wood. Here we also find a luxuriant and diversified flora, ranging from willow to English oak. Inside the Bisana, which can be visited freely during the day, there are paths that can be accessed on foot and by bicycle.
A map of the natural area is available here.
The bright colors of the kingfisher can be seen along the water channels of the Ex Risaia di Bentivoglio (former rice field of Bentivoglio), a natural environment full of charm - also known as Oasis "La Rizza" - which brings the visitor back to the landscape of ancient times, when wetlands and woods were characteristic of large parts of the Bolognese plain.
In this corner of the plain, the white stork has returned to nest after centuries, as well as many other species of birds that use the vegetation of the wetland or the wood to build their nests.
The area is accessible through walking and cycling paths, and is equipped with huts for birdwatching and nature observatories, one of which includes an underground room with viewers for underwater observation. Next to the “la Rizza” Visitor Center there is also a restaurant and a hostel, which are open on weekends.
Initiatives and guided tours are periodically organised inside the oasis.
The water lily is one of the enchanting botanical species that can be found in the WWF fluvial oasis of Molino Grande, a natural area located within the “Parco dei Gessi e Calanchi dell'Abbadessa” (Park of Gypsums and Abbadessa Gullies), in the locality of Idice in San Lazzaro di Savena.
The area protects a stretch of hygrophilous wood along the Idice stream near the ruins of an old mill. A fluvial environment with spectacular vegetation, that has been left to grow freely for the past 25 years. The fauna is typical of the floodplain areas: we find various species of birds and mammals such as foxes, badgers and squirrels.
A path of about 2 km runs along the Idice stream: an ideal place to spend a few peaceful hours and observe some monumental trees, rare species of birds and the typical flora of aquatic environments.