The Ticino Park: rice paddies and nature reserves
07 July 2022
Nature reserves and ancient paths
With only birdsong to break the silence of the tranquil natural oasis, take the time to immerse yourself in the spacious Lombard Park of the Ticino Valley, a protected area close to riverbanks. Along the way, you can admire ancient towers, castles, sacred buildings and a few passing animals that thrive in this natural habitat.
Have you ever seen a rice paddy?
The climatic conditions of Ticino make it the perfect area to grow rice: the warm, humid environment helps to obtain a good quality crop, aided by the bountiful availability of irrigation water in the area.
If you have never seen a rice paddy before, you will certainly be fascinated by the way rice is harvested and processed before it reaches your plate. After all, it is no mystery that it has been a distinctive aspect of the local identity for several centuries.
Cultivation began in Milan in 1475 and it is said to have been introduced by Galeazzo Maria Sforza, initially only for the ducal parks and later in all other regional areas. This marked a pivotal moment for agriculture in this part of Italy and production gained increasing importance.
Cycling along the Ticino
The Ticino, Europe's largest river park, is not only an agricultural haven, but also a place of flourishing biodiversity. If you are a plant enthusiast, you can have hours of fun discovering which varieties you can find there. Willows, poplars, chestnut trees and even elder. The succession of fields and small streams also creates a delightful alternation of meadows and forests of oak and alder trees. The best way to explore the area is on foot or by bicycle, leaving behind the busy modern lifestyle and daily routine.
Among kilometres of paths and trails, you will find yourself surrounded by the typical landscape of the Po Valley, offering natural freshwater springs that assist rice-growing and give a splendid green colour to the meadows. A relaxing microcosm to help slow your roll. To get back in touch with nature and with yourself.