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The Argenta Valleys are one of the few examples of fresh water wetland which exist in continental Europe. This system was spared from the drainage thanks to its hydraulic function: the Argenta valleys serve as "cassa di espansione" by retaining the flood waters of two tributary rivers when the Reno is swollen. In this area there is a thick network of channels which regulate the flow of the waterways.

 

This environment, rcognised as internationally important by the Ramsar Convention – in the Emilia-Romagna Po Delta Park there are no less than 11 Ramsar areas- is an example of flora and fauna of what probably used to be the characteristics ofthe marshlands covering vast areas of the Po valley. In the oasis there are bed reeds, bulrushes, lamineti, wet meadows and higrophile woodlands of the Traversante river. Many birds are attracted by this specific vegetation: purple herons, squacco herons, spoonbills, ospreys, whiskered terns are only some of the many species spottable here.

Argenta
Of Roman origins, the name of the place should come from the silver reflexes on the valley waters and surrounding wetlands. Historians believe the City used to be a forced stage in the itinerary from Ostiblia to Ferrara and Ravenna.

Pieve di San Giorgio
Two steps away from the Campotto Valleys, there is Pieve di S. Giorgio (2 km from Argenta), probably dating back to the 6th century. It is all built in bricks with a small bell gable. The marble door of the 12th century shows on its sides the allegoric representation of the main activities and characteristics of each month of the year; in the central lunette a scene of St. George martyrdom. Inside there are traces of the ancient frescos.

Celletta Sanctuary
Two kilometres from the centre of Argenta, on the stateway towards Ravenna. It was originally a renaissance cradle, then it underwent some baroque restyling and was finally restored in the second half of the 20th century.

San Lorenzo and the Cappuccini Monastery
It is an addition to the original structure of 1556. The Monastery is now an active cultural centre which also hosts a civic library.

S. Croce Oratory
Elegant and harmonious, it presents an important façade in terracotta, work of the architect G.B. Aleotti from Argenta (1546 – 1636).

San Domenico – Civic Museum
This single-nave building with side niches was restored in 1973 and it preserves frescos of the Ferrarese-romagnola school of the 16th century in the area around the apse. At the centre there is an archaeological section, while along the perimeter there is the picture gallery with important works by Benvenuto Tisi da Garofano, Antonio Aleotti, and Scasellino.

Museum of the drainage – Salarino
Industrial archaeology interpreted in a modern key: this is the proposal of the Salarino museum which, through history and modern solutions, offers a visit to the places and machinery which made drainage of the land possible.

Casino di Campotto – Museum of the Valleys
A countryside artefact of the first half of the 19th century, this Casino hosts sections of the Museum of the Argenta Valleys with a library, a photographic library, exhibition and didactic video halls.

Casse Campotto and del Bassarone
"
Casse di espansione" for the water situated between the Reno and the Idice torrent. An area of over 600 hectares which is the ideal habitat for many animal species and for Passeriformes in particular, such as reed warblers, great reed warblers and reed buntings.

Travesante Woodlands
European oaks, ash-trees, white poplars, white willows are the main tree species present in this hygrophile woodland, occasionally prone to floods, which extends over 130 hectares.

Vallesanta
It is the wetland between the Indice and Sillaro torrents. Adjacent to Vallesanta, there is a wet meadow of approximately 30 hectares.

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