Point of interest
Nature sites


In the southernmost part of the Vercelli rice-growing plain, there are three areas, almost three islands, which clearly stand apart from the surrounding area and constitute a treasure trove of biodiversity. The Partecipanza Wood and Grange of Vercelli Nature Park was established to protect and manage them.

The Sorti della Partecipanza Wood

A green raft in the midst of rice fields, this is how the Sorti della Partecipanza Wood in the Trino Vercellese municipality is often described. The last vestige of the vast lowland forest that covered the Po Valley, before the great agrarian reclamation works that saw its almost total destruction in the Middle Ages. The Wood can, therefore, be considered a kind of living fossil.

We owe its preservation to a strict tree felling system that has been respected since 1275, when the entire area was assigned in common ownership to the citizens of Trino. To date, members use the wood in accordance with the tradition of past centuries. An area is yearly placed on a tree felling rotation schedule, and then divided into smaller areas known as sorti or “spots”. Each spot is then divided into four (hence the name quartaruoli) and matched to a number. In November, one of the spots is drawn at random by the Participants; hence, it is chance that decides in which area the member may cut his or her share of quartaruoli.

Since 1991, it has been a protected natural area in Piedmont, a large green island of 600 hectares where various animal species find refuge that would find it hard to survive in the surrounding environment so affected by the rice monoculture. The Partecipanza Wood is bright with trees allowing a glimpse of the colours of the sky. It also counts several signposted paths for walking or mountain biking. There is no shortage of picnic areas to enjoy a picnic surrounded by nature, just a stone’s throw from Vercelli.

The Marsh of San Genuario

This area of the park is set in the landscape of the lower Vercelli plain, characterised by the extensive agricultural environment of rice farming. In the early 1990s, the last attempt to use the San Genuario marsh for production purposes was the creation of a fish farm in its core area. The plant, decommissioned after a few years, underwent a process of spontaneous renaturalisation, which was then supported and increased by the Park Authority, which transformed it into a valuable wetland environment. Today, the artificial basins and reservoirs, the dense hydrographic network of slow-flowing canals, the numerous resurgences and fountains are populated by plant and animal species typical of wetlands.

In the context of an area characterised by rice monoculture, the San Genuario marsh area is a significant biodiversity factor, hosting various marsh-type habitats and numerous rare and interesting species, particularly among the birdlife. To book a photo hut in the marsh, please refer to SKUA Nature ( –

The Giant Fountain

Located in the lowlands of Vercelli, in the municipality of Tricerro, the Fontana Gigante area is characterised by the presence of a lake basin formed by eight contiguous bodies of water occupying a total of about 12 hectares. The water depth in the basins is between 10 cm and 180 cm. The origin of these lake reservoirs is linked to the reclamation of natural aquatic environments, and to the excavation of reservoirs for hunting and sport fishing purposes. Indeed, they were disused and then renaturalised.

The Giant Fountain does not lend itself to tourism due to the rarity of the species it hosts. The only compatible activity is scientific research, particularly aimed at monitoring the conservation status of habitats and species.




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