San Lorenzo Park
“From clay pit to a place for the history and nature of the Po Plain”
Set up in 1990, the San Lorenzo Park represents the first experience in the province of a Supra-municipal interest local Park, a type of wilderness area established “bottom-up” from the local population’s desire to create “a place to show off the history and nature of the Po Plain”.
Entirely within the boundaries of the municipality of Pegognaga, the park is situated around three expanses of water which originated with the clay pits exploited until the 1970s. In the wilderness area, which measures 54 hectares, 37 hectares are assigned to a public park and 10 to a nature reserve (raptor reserve), while the remaining part contains a Roman archaeological area with the Pieve matildica di San Lorenzo church at its centre.
The suitable restoration of the ecosystem with these newly formed lakes has attracted 180 species of birdlife, including great crested grebes, numerous anatidae and, above all, one of the most important heron colonies in the province of Mantua.
The park has visitors’ centres, observation huts, discovery paths (botanical, birdlife, sensory), a bird ringing station for scientific purposes, sport fishing pits, rest areas and convenient car parks.
In partnership with local associations, the park offers a varied program of environmental education courses on subjects such as botany, ornithology, archaeology and sport fishing, as well as a workshop of audiovisual and literary documentation.
The urban park area is freely accessible year-round, on foot and by bike, while access to the raptor reserve is strictly regulated – if you wish to visit, it is recommended to contact the managing institution.
San Lorenzo Park is located along the Parks Cycle Route and the Oltrepò Mantovano cycling itinerary No.2.
Managing institution: Municipality of Pegognaga
Established in: 1990
Area: 54 hectares
Protection status: Local Park of Supra-municipal interest
Environment Office, Municipality of Pegognaga
T +39 0376 5546220
San Lorenzo Park
You can enjoy the following surprising experiences in the San Lorenzo Park
- Relax in a green and tranquil oasis which the local community created from ex-quarrying area.
- See the incredible quantity of birds in the raptor reserve, one of the richest areas of birdlife in the whole Oltrepò.
- Find out about the past through the historical stratifications visible in the park – from Roman times (2nd century B.C. – 4th century A.D.), through the Matildic period (12th C.), to the age of the great Mantua-Reggio Emilia drainage (1901-1907).
What happens in the park through the seasons?
- New leaves appear on the trees
- We are in full breeding season and the heronry – the herons’ “housing estate” – is bustling with activity
- Grebes perform their amazing courting displays
- Frogs, newts, reptiles and small mammals become active again
- The drainage canal is full for the irrigation season
- The little Bittern – Europe’s smallest heron – can be seen frantically going to and from its nest
- The wetland tortoises bask in the sun to get warm
- Once the irrigation season is over the drainage canal is almost empty
- The trees lose their leaves
- When the breeding season is over, the heronry is empty
- Frogs, newts, reptiles and small mammals retreat to sheltered spots where they will spend the winter
- At sunset, cormorants, cattle egrets and great egrets return to their roosting site for the night
- Hundreds of wild ducks swim quietly in the waters of the Oasi Falconiera (Raptor Nature Reserve)