Parco Fluviale Regionale dello Stirone: a stream set between walls rich in fossils

The park, on the border between Parma and Piacenza and includes both provinces, protects a large fluvial area which stretches for 14 Km from Fidenza up the Stirone River, including also the sides of Mount Santo Stefano and Mount Combu. The village of Vigoleno offers a view over the Stirone valley and of the entire park with its interesting landscape and precious heritage of fossils that have emerged from the Stirone River.


On the sides of the river the vegetation is typical of that found along waterways with plants growing on the exposed river bed (hemp agrimony and cocklebur) and on the banks (willow, white poplar, black poplar and false indigo); various species of birds populate this area, in particular the bee-eater and kingfisher. Moving away from the river there are oak woods and some of the rarest species of this park can be found in the undergrowth: dogtooth violet and burning bush. The meadows are the ideal habitat for the cluster-head pink and certain species of orchids.


Mammals typical of the mid and lower Apennines that can be seen in this park include hares and hedgehogs; badgers, foxes and beech-martens are also present but it is not so easy to see them. In addition to the avifauna already mentioned, the park is host to the hoopoe, great-spotted woodpecker, lesser spotted woodpecker, nuthatch and golden oriole. The park’s herpetofauna is also of great interest. Amphibians include different common species along the river areas of the mid and lower Apennines. As regards reptiles, there is a new arrival in the park: the natrix or viperine snake.


There are many places of interest worth visiting in the park: Vigoleno and its caves, San Genesio with facilities for visitors, alluvial terraces, San Nicomede and the woods, the Open Air museum, the riparian woods in the hamlet of "La Bocca". The Castello di Scipione and Salsominore and also worth visiting (sites of interest near the protected area). For hikers or visitors wishing to learn more about the area we recommend the walks detailed below. From Fidenza to San Nicomede: 4 hours and 30 minutes. From May to August this trail is interrupted to allow the bee-eaters to nest; contact the Ente Parco for information.



IAT Tourist Board Salsomaggiore Viale Romagnosi, 7
Tel. +39 0524 580211 Fax: +39 0524 580219


Visitor Centre and Natural Museum of the Parco Loc. Scipione Ponte, 1 Salsomaggiore Terme (PR)
Tel. e fax: +39 0524 581139 -

Administrative Office of the Consorzio del parco Fluviale Regionale dello Stirone Tel. and fax: +39 0524 574418




How to get here:

Take the A1 motorway and exit at Fidenza-Salsomaggiore Terme: follow the directions for Salsomaggiore Terme and after the town of Ponte Ghiara take the provincial road (SP) to  San Nicomede and Scipione Ponte; the main places of interest of the park are signposted along this road.

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