San Colombano Park
San Colombano Park covers an area of about 730 hectares in the municipality of Suzzara, in the floodplain overlooking the villages of Riva and Tabellano. The area is home to vast riparian forests of recent construction, poplar groves, arable land, spontaneous willow groves, sandy areas, wetlands in correspondence of old clay quarries and “bugni” (characteristic sheets of water created by the breaking of an embankment during flood events).
During the naturalistic requalification works carried out by the Municipality of Suzzara since 2000, more than 250.000 plants belonging to the main autochthonous species of the area have been planted: white poplar, black poplar, white willow, field elm, oak, ash, frangula, pallon di maggio, dogwood, elder, cornelian tree, etc.
The fauna consists of the typical species of the floodplain environments and of the associated woodland formations. Among the birds we can mention the red and green woodpeckers, the sparrow hawk, the hobby, the little egret and the night heron; among the reptiles the collared natrix and the whip snake; among the amphibians the tree frog and the common and crested newts. In 1702 the area was the scene of the bloody battle of Luzzara for the succession to the throne of Spain. Today, in correspondence of the church of the ancient village of Riva dedicated to the Irish saint Colombano, there is the Memorial of Reconciliation, a megalithic monument that recalls the tradition of the stones circles of preceltic Ireland.
In the Park there are also a didactic wood, a river mooring, a wide parking, a refreshment point, a public green area and a system of comfortable pedestrian and bicycle paths that allow to discover the most naturalistic areas. The access is free and allowed in all periods of the year compatibly with the levels of the river.
San Colombano Park is connected to the other protected areas of the Oltrepò Mantovano Park System by the Parks Cycleway; it is also along the Eurovelo EV8 route and the 2d cycleway of the province of Mantua.
This is a FSC®certified area: FSC forest management certification confirms that the forest is being managed in a way that preserves biological diversity and benefits the lives of local people and workers, while ensuring it sustains economic viability.