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The Traversante Wood


The environment
Between Casse Campotto and Valle Santa there is a strip of hygrophilous wood of about 150 hectares, the remaining part of a hygrophilous lowland forest, a type of wood that was widespread in the “Bassa Padana” (low Padana plain) before the land reclamation works carried out from the 15th century onwards.

The wood has a relatively young vegetation and is subject to natural renewal, besides it is expanding thanks to the reforestation interventions of broad-leaved trees that were taken by the Renana Land Reclamation Consortium. 


The woody area is normally emerged, it is flooded in exceptional cases, when the flood expansion fields reach their maximum capacity, and the surrounding areas are flooded with water. Beyond the Bontea Canal, which defines the eastern limit of the flooded wood, there is the Bird Ringing Station of INFS.

The flora
The Traversante is a hygrophilous wood whose main trees are the field elm (Ulmus minor), the narrow-leaved ash (Fraxinus oxycarpa) and the white poplar (Populus alba), of high naturalistic value (synt. Carici remotae-Fraxinetum oxycarpae).
The brushwood layer is made up of the species mentioned above and of Cornus sanguinea, Prunus spinosa, Rhamnus catharticus, Rubus caesius, Alnus glutinosa and Clematis viticella. The Traversante wood is important for conservation, because it has a plant community that was very common in the Po Valley before the big land reclamation works between the 19th and the 20th century, which is extremely rare nowadays.

In the eastern area of Traversante there is a little freshwater basin, called “Cavone”.

Open water areas are characterized by a vegetation of high naturalistic value (synt. Nymphaeetum albo-luteae) of hydrophytes anchored to the bottom, but with leaves and flowers that float on the surface (Nymphaea alba, Nuphar luteum, Polygonum amphibium), together with species that are totally submerged (Myriophyllum verticilatum, Ceratophyllum demersum).

In the emerged areas of the Cavone basin there are riparian woods with the following species: white willow (Salix alba), white poplar (Populus alba), grey poplar (Populus canescens) and field elm (Ulmus minor). The brushwood layer consists of the species mentioned above and common dogwood (Cornus sanguinea) and alder buckthorn (Frangula alnus), often with the lianas Clematis vitalba and Humulus lupulus. The grass layer has hydrophilic and mesophilic species (synt. Salicetum albae). Around the Cavone there is an interesting group of Hippuris vulgaris, of extremely high naturalistic value because it is the only site of the park where this species can be found (Corticelli 1999).

The flora consists of many rare and protected species, such as the white water lily, the snowflake, the greater bladderwort and the Common Mare’s tail (Pellizzari and Pagnoni 1998)


The fauna 

The Traversante wood includes a heronry where little egrets, night herons and squacco herons nest. In the past few years almost the whole colony of cormorants (250 couples) moved to this site.

Also hobbies nest here, and there is also a community of perching birds of woody areas, that is quite large for an inland plain (Costa 1998, Toso et al. 1999).

The Museum of the Argenta Valleys is in the building called “Casino di Campotto” in Via Cardinala and is open to the public from Tuesday to Sunday. The Traversante wood can only be visited with guided tours, with the staff of the Museum of the Valleys. The Historic naturalistic documentation center presents an essay on the evolution of the territory, on the fauna and the flora of the area. In 1992 the museum was awarded the Prize of the Council of Europe as best naturalistic museum of the year (tel. 0532/808058). From the museum it is possible to go on guided tours to the Western side of the Traversante wood and to the  Campotto – Bassarone flood expansion field, tel. 0532 808059.




CTR 1:25.000: 222 NE; 222 NW; 204 SW; 204 SE


150 ha



Owned by

Renana Land Reclamation Consortium


Renana Land Reclamation Consortium: agreement with the Municipality of Argenta and the Delta Park




Hydraulic restriction as flood expansion field according to the Royal Decree 3267/23.

Environmental restriction according to Law 431/85; currently subject to a restriction by the Decree-Law 490/1999.

Wildlife sanctuary of the “Valleys of Argenta and Marmorta”, according to the resolution of the Provincial Council 269/9330 of 18/07/1997.

Ramsar area of the “Campotto and Bassarone Valley” (1303 ha), according to the Ministerial Decree of 21/10/1978, published on “Gazzetta Ufficiale” no. 360 of 28/12/1978.

The Traversante wood lies within the boundaries of the Po Delta Park according to the Regional Law 27/1988 and within the boundaries defined in the Station Territorial Plan, resolution of the Municipal Council no. 132/17096 of 28/08/1991 (Area B).

Special protection area (IT4060014) “Valle Santa e Valle Campotto” (Santa Valley and Campotto Valley), according to the directive 79/409/EEC (1713 ha) and site of community importance (IT4060001) “Valle Santa,Valle Campotto” (Santa Valley,  Campotto Valley) according to the directive 92/43/EEC(1922 ha).




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