Parco del Mincio
The protected habitats, the landscape and the territory
Foto della testata
Versione per la stampa Versione per la stampa
Torna alla versione classica
Home » Territory » The protected area and the Nature Reserves » Central Mincio

Vallazza Nature Reserve

A small port is the departure point for guided hikes across the area, reachable on foot from Bosco Virgiliano in Mantua. The site features charming paths immersed in the green nature, and leading to Forte di Pietole, one of the widest napoleonic strongholds in northern Italy.
Southwards, a cycle-pedestrian itinerary through the fields cultivated with wheat and forage leads to the Etruscan archaeological area of Forcello. Along this route there is a 20-meters high nice tower offering a general view of the territory.
The SCI/SPA (Site of Community Importance/Special Protection Area) "Vallazza" develops over about 6 km, on a surface of about 521 hectares in the municipalities of Mantua and Borgo Virgilio, where the Mincio river leaves the Lago Inferiore and extends on a large wetland. The Vallazza Nature Reserve extends on a surface of about 496 hectares.


After the Masetti dam, on Mincio's left riverbank, there are two spontaneous willow woods, almost only consisting of white willows. There is a relevant presence of spring snowflakes too. The large water stretch between the two riverbanks is rich in floating plants, with large expanses of white water lilies, yellow water lilies and water caltrops, as well as fringed water lilies and spiny naiads. Besides the many poplar forests of the upper areas, many shrublands consisting of desert false indigo can be found in this area. Furthermore, there are many marsh and water plant species, some of them are very rare and endangered: they are 31 species, that is the 11% of the site's total flora. Among the alien species there is the lotus flower, a species coming from India, which was brought in the lakes of Mantua since 1921.


In the site there are 42 bird species of community interest, 9 of them are nesting species. There are also 128 bird species divided into non-migratory, migratory and wintering birds. It is worth mentioning the several colonial herons (purple herons, great egret, grey heron, black-crowned night heron, squacco heron, little egret, cattle egret), the great cormorant, the grebes and the ducks (little grebe, great crested grebe, mallard, mute swan), the common kingfisher. In the sites there are two amphibian species and one reptilian species  of community interest: the Italian agile frog, the northern crested newt and the European pond turtle.
In Vallazza, in a willow wood on the left riverbank called "Garzaia", there is a colony of 5 nesting species: black-crowned night heron, squacco heron, little egret, cattle egret, grey heron. In winter also the great cormorant builds a roost within the site, where on average about 1,300 specimens live. It is one of the most significant roosts in Italy.
Among the 89 registered species of invertebrates it is worth mentioning the hermit beetle and the large copper.
(foto di Stefano Mariga)
(foto di Stefano Mariga)
Vallazza, grey heron
(foto di Stefano Mariga)
Great Egret
(foto di Renzo Nichele)
Vuoi inviare una segnalazione di inaccessibilità di questo sito web?Invia segnalazione
2024 © Ente Parco del Mincio
Piazza Porta Giulia, 10 - 46100 Mantova (MN)
Tel 0376/391550 - Fax 0376/362657
Certified mail: