The Po River Valley
The Countryside around the Po River is now a huge expanse of fields, but once was a vast brughiera of swamps and forests. The village of Trino, at the crossroad between the old Roman military camps and the medieval towns of Milan, Turin, Vercelli and Asti, was a sacred forest called Lucedio (Lucus Dei), where the Cistercian monks settled in 1123 and built an abbey.
Near the Settlement, there is still a forest – Bosco delle Sorti della Partecipanza di Trino – managed with sustainable socio-criteria since 1202 and from 1991 a public park under FSC protection. Elsewhere in the Po Valley, the monks slowly reclaimed and brought the land under cultivation creating a new eco-environmental system, the Pianura Padana.
In the Monferrato area by the Po river, the Pianura is an expanse of rice fields divided by canals and flooded in spring time, the so-called Terre d’Acqua, a water-land populated by many migrant animals – herons, storks, swallows. In between the fields there are many old and unique farmhouses, the so-called grange, built by the monks at a distance of half a day’s walk from each other. The reflections of sun rays and moon lights on the still water that covers the flat fields design a very particular landscape, which has been also captured by many artists.
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A Travel Experience with Knowledge Tourism
The Parco Fluviale del Po e dell’Orba is a park with conservation and environmental protection of the cultivated lands is assigned to the EcoMuseo delle Terre d’Acqua located in the Antica Riseria San Giovanni, founded in the 15th Century, which preserves the original plant and a 17th Century watermill. It also houses the Museo delle Macchine da Riso.
Palazzo Mossi (Mossi Palace) in Frassineto Po is where the Centro di Interpretazione del Paesaggio del Po shows environmental changes, the many historical, natural and geological events which over time have changed the landscape and the current configuration of the area.
Po River Tours a travel and education experience for families and groups to discover the history, traditions and cultures of this major waterway: Boat Tours; Culinary Experiences – wineries, breweries and local food; walking, biking, canoeing, horseback riding; museums and cultural attractions; accommodations and transfers.