Oasi Naturalistica di Isola Sant'Antonio

The Natural Oasis of Isola Sant'Antonio is the result of a long journey that began from a former gravel quarry and farmlands. An in-depth project of natural-environmental re-qualification, which has involved Regione Piemonte, the Authority of the Protected Areas of the Po – Vercelli-Alessandria area, and the Town of Isola Sant'Antonio, has given space back to the Po and its nature, locally transforming the territory. The area, with a total surface of 88 hectares, extends along the right floodplain of the Po, between the Bridge of Pieve del Cairo and the Bridge of Mezzana Bigli, and is inserted into the "System of Protected Areas of the Po River Strip - Vercelli section", inside a Special Protection Area and downstream of a Site of Community Importance. The Natural Oasis of Isola Sant'Antonio consists of two parts: Lake of Brusa Vecchia - former quarry basin with waters of up to 28 metres deep - presents a more structured environment with woods of willows, alders and poplars, native species replanted and trails connecting to the nearby River Po. The wetland area of San Siro - with shallow waters and many intermediate environments between land and water - though of recent reshaping hosts the majority of the bird species (sedentary and migratory) present in the area. The Oasis is intended for scientific research, nature activities, Environmental Education and Interpretation, Birdwatching, wildlife photography and monitoring the fauna and flora typical of the River Po environment. The strategic position of the Oasis, along one of the key ecological corridors of Italy, namely the River Po, allows it to act as a transit point for the numerous species that fly over the territory during migration. The Natural Oasis of Isola Sant'Antonio is reached from Alessandria by travelling first the SP 82, then the SP 87 and, finally, the SP 86. From Genoa and from Milan, you reach it by travelling the A7 - Exit Casei Gerola (PV) and following the signs for Sannazzaro de' Burgundi, Molino dei Torti and Isola Sant'Antonio. In every case, once in the town, you go along the SP 86 as far as the sports field. The area can only be visited accompanied by the guides, by reservation or during events.