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Taro River Regional Park

The Taro River Regional Park, also called the “Bird Park”, covers 3,000 hectares following the Taro River for 20 km.


The Taro River is a body of water that has given life to a nature reserve: thanks to its continuous, but irregular flow, aspects of the landscape have been modified and thus a network of symbiotic environments and organisms has been created, which together make up the ecosystem of the Park: from the riverbed to the shores, there are areas with gravel, willows, shrubs, prairies with plateaus and woods that mix with cultivated fields.


The importance of this park is due to its avifauna: the Taro valley, in fact, is an important migration stop for birds, and has been recognized as such by Europe: the park is populated by colonies of herons, from the common tern, to the stone curlew, from ducks to cormorants and the rare bittern.  The Park Centre is located inside the ancient monastery complex of the Corte di Giarola, where there are offices and a visitor's centre.




This Park's biodiversity is extensive in terms of flora thanks to the wide range of environments present in a single area.


Despite the high level of anthropization in this area, the floral checklist includes about 800 species, divided into 100 botanical families: among these there are many Habitat Directive protected species such as orchids, other wetland plants (Typha spp.) and some endemic species, which grow only in limited places and zones.  Recent studies have identified 17 habitats of European interest, 6 of which have been recognized as high value zones according to the Directive guidelines.



The fauna here is one of the most important in terms of conservation efforts. The Taro Park has been designated as an Area of Special Protection and for this reason is part of the Important European Sites of the Nature 2000 network.  This recognition is due to the presence of habitats which host more than 250 species of migratory birds some of which are recognized in Directive 79/409 CEE Birds.


Along the Taro valley, in fact, migratory birds stop here to nest, such as the little egret, the black-crowned night heron, the common tern, the stone curlew, and the sand martin.  There are

also many mammals that make there home in the important area between the mountains and the plains in this Park.


In the river, where the water runs fast along its banks of gravel and sand, there are many fish species typical of Emilian tributaries that run into the Po such as the south European nase, barbs and Italian chubs.  Among the amphibians, which can be seen mostly at the edge of the river where the water flows more slowly or pools, there are green frogs, common and green toads, tree frogs, northern crested newts and smooth newts.


Among the reptiles, worth mentioning are the European pond turtle, the common grass snake which often makes an appearance when swimming in search of prey, and the more unusual dice snake which is the most aquatic snake in the park.

Places of interest

There are many places of interest worth visiting in the park: the Chiesa di Madregolo, Villa Anguissola, Corte di Giarola, the Chiesa di Oppiano, and the Pieve of Fornovo. For hikers or visitors wishing to learn more about the area we recommend the walks detailed below. Lakes of Medesano: 1 hour. Noceto trail: 2 hours. Oppiano trail: 2 hours. From Corte di Giarola to Oppiano: 1 hour and 30 minutes. Ozzano trail: 1 hour and 30 minutes. Chiesuole: 1 hour. Felegara: 2 hours and 30 minutes. Fornovo Taro: 1 hour and 30 minutes.

Parco Fluviale Regionale del Taro
Temporary Headquarters of the Managing Group

Langhirano (PR), G. Ferrari, 5 c/o Unione Montana Appennino Parma Est

Tel. +39 0521 354111 - Fax +39 0521 858260

Information Points

CEAS Aree Protette Emilia Occidentale
Strada Giarola, 7 - 43044 Collecchio (PR)
Tel. +39 0521 802688


Working offices, Visitor's Centre, Tomato Museum, Pasta Museum

Corte di Giarola - Strada Giarola, 12 - 43044 Collecchio (PR)
Tel. +39 0521 802688 - Fax +39 0521 305732



Parchi del Ducato


How to get here

Take the A15 Parma-La Spezia motorway and exit at Parma Ovest or Fornovo Taro. From the Parma Ovest exit, go towards Parma, go past the bridge over the Taro river, then turn right onto the road to Collecchio.  Continue on towards Fornovo and when you have reached Pontescodogna, turn right onto Strada Giarola.  From the Fornovo exit, go towards Collecchio and Parma, and after the town of Gaiano follow directions for the Corte di Giarola which will be on your left.


By bus: you can take Line 6 Parma – Fornovo, which leaves from in front of the train station in Parma.  Get off at the Pontescodogna stop and continue on foot until you reach Giarola road on the right, which will take you to the Corte after about 800 metres, where you will find the Corte building with the visitor's centre.

Last modified Jun 29, 2017

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