NATURE AND LANDSCAPE
A few kilometres from Sabbioneta lie the 16 municipalities that make up the Oglio Sud Park, a river park that extends for more than 12,700 hectares in the provinces of Cremona and Mantua. Created to protect the area's typical wetlands, the park is home to many varieties of plant (rushes, willows, alders, poplars, oaks) and animals, particularly birds.
The best-known protected areas are the Riserva Naturale Le Bine, not far from Calvatone and 23 km from Sabbioneta, and the Riserva Naturale Torbiere di Marcaria, a nesting site for herons.
Within the park there are countless cross-country routes on secondary roads, both paved and unpaved. Moreover, the entire course of the river inside the park is followed by the Greenway dell'Oglio on its right bank, signposted with dedicated information boards.
For more detailed information, CLICK HERE. http://www.ogliosud.it/
Info: Parco Oglio Sud: [email protected] Tel. 0375 97254. Ecomuseo Valli Oglio Chiese
DISTRICT EMBANKMENTS - Area of environmental importance
According to early documents, work on the embankments began in the 12th century, and was completed under Gonzaga rule; the most recent refurbishment to the banks dates back to the first half of the nineteenth century.
The extensive development of these embankments (some 18 km) means that they encircle most of the present-day municipal area, becoming an ideal observation point for the beautiful towns in the vicinity: the fortified city of Sabbioneta, the hamlets of Breda Cisoni and Ponteterra with their magnificent Baroque parish churches, the town of Villa Pasquali with a church by Antonio Galli Bibiena, and the Marian Sanctuary of Vigoreto.
The embankments were designed primarily to protect low-lying areas in the triangle formed by the rivers Oglio and Po, to prevent flooding from the Agro Cremonese and the areas of Commessaggio, Gazzuolo and Casalasco-Viadanese. In the sixteenth century the structures also had a military function as part of Sabbioneta's system of defences.
The embankments are best appreciated on foot, by bicycle or on horseback, offering fabulous glimpses of nature as well as evidence of hydraulic architecture, a rare example of the harmony possible between the works of humans and the natural environment. The landscape is characterised by broad swathes of native vegetation inhabited by fauna typical of the valley areas (amphibians and reptiles, birds and mammals; in recent years specifically, there have been sightings of a colony of common dormouse, a small rodent that inspired the logo of the nature reserve).
CYCLING ROUTES - Mantua - Sabbioneta
A mixed-use cycle route on roads also open to cars, but with very little traffic. The itinerary was designed with the aim of encountering the standout art and nature of the area, while also ensuring maximum safety. Over 47 kilometres - 3 or 4 hours' cycling - you can lose yourself in the gorgeous countryside, among vineyards and apple orchards, shady woods and vast expanses of cultivated fields.