The protected area involves the Reno river golena (floodplain), a small area of land between the river and its embankment that gets submerged when the water is high. It includes also a planitial wood and some reafforestation areas, one of which is 4 hectares big and is characterized by narrow-leafed ashes and pedunculate oaks. Northward the woodland there's an area covered with bushes.
After dozens of years of vegetation's free growing, both of the Reno riversides are now covered with wide hygrophilous groves. The hygrophilous wood alternates with grasslands and with some hollows, occasionally flooded when river overflows.
A golena is a sediment of gravel and sand in the area between the riverbed and the embankment left by a river when, at the beginning of the plain, it looses speed and the stream becomes weak.
The "Golena of San Vitale" is located between the locality of Lippo near Calderara di Reno and Trebbo hamlet near Castel Maggiore. As a natural environment featuring an abundance of plant and animal species, the site is protected as an "Ecological Rebalance Area" of Emilia-Romagna region and has been recognised as European Site of Community Importance.
The area hosts several animal species, like the smooth newt, the agile frog, the European pond turtle, the western marsh harrier, the sparrowhawk, the buzzard, the tawny owl, the owl and the kingfisher.
The "Golena of San Vitale" can be visited along a nature trail equipped with observation points and is accessible for free.
- Nature & Oasis