The Celestina Oasis is located near Campagnola Emilia, in the province of Reggio Emilia. It was created at the end of the 1990s thanks to a donation by Maria Celestina Freddi, a Lipu member and nature enthusiast who left 12 hectares of her property to the Association in her will.
What was once an agricultural property was transformed into a wetland in 2001 thanks to the collaboration of the then Parmigiana Moglia-Secchia Land Reclamation Consortium (now the Central Emilia Land Reclamation Consortium). Two reservoirs are dug, which also act as expansion tanks, connected to the drainage canals of the surrounding area. Lastly, the Visitor Centre and the Observation Hut are installed. The Celestina Oasis was officially inaugurated in spring 2005 thanks to the collaboration of the Campagnola Emilia Municipality and then from 2009 of the Reggio Emilia Province. Since 2012, thanks to funding from the PSR-Rural Development Programme, the Oasis has been equipped with an observation tower.
The landscape of the Oasis is gradually evolving: the various plantings of native trees and shrubs have formed a series of hedges and shrub patches, while reeds have colonised the water bodies. Among the animals, the most important presences are undoubtedly birds. Among the nesting birds are the Black-winged Stilt, the Lesser Grey Shrike, the Common Tern, the Little Bittern, the Moorhen, the Mallard and the Tree Sparrow.
The most interesting species can be seen during the migration period. Among the waders, we have seen the Whimbrel, the Curlew, the Little Stint, the Dunlin, the Ruff, the Marsh Sandpiper, the Spotted Redshank, the Greenshank, the Lapwing, the Wood Sandpiper, the Black-tailed Godwit, the Common Sandpiper and so on. In spring, the Little Tern and the three species of marsh terns,the Black, the White-winged and the Whiskered can be seen, while in autumn the Little Gull has been observed. Among the birds of prey observed are the Black Kite, Marsh Harrier, Montagu’s Harrier and Hen Harrier, Sparrowhawk, Buzzard, Kestrel, Hobby and Peregrine.
Services and facilities
The visit is best started from the Visitor Centre, where there is a small photographic exhibition illustrating the “history” of the protected area. Following the path, you first reach the turret and then the observation hut. From the hut and also from the masking at the small lake, it is possible to observe the ponds and the life they host.
The Visitor Centre has a classroom and toilets, and is accessible for the disabled. The Oasis, along the nature trail, is equipped with artificial nests for small birds, notice boards with educational panels, a wooden gazebo with benches, tables and a canopy, and an open-air classroom.
To visit in the area
The naturalistic area of the Novellara and Reggiolo Valleys, recognised as a SCI and SPA site, of which Oasi Celestina has been part since 2012, is just a few kilometres from the Oasis itself. The entire province of Reggio Emilia is also rich in interesting historical and architectural sites: the Corte di San Bernardino in Campagnola, the Rocca di Novellara and the Rocca di Reggiolo, to name but the nearest, are all worth a visit.
Location: Via Reggiolo, 21 42012 Campagnola Emilia (RE). A few kilometres north of the town of Campagnola Emilia, in the lowlands of Reggio Emilia.
Open to the public: The Oasis is open to the public on Saturdays and Sundays with varying hours depending on the season (please contact the Oasis Manager). Visits are also possible during the week by reservation. It is possible for schools to visit on any day by prior arrangement with the Oasis Manager.
How to get there: The Oasis is located north of the town of Campagnola Emilia. Take via Reggiolo, near the sports field of the oratory, and continue for about 2 km. The Oasis is on the left. From the A1 motorway, exit at Reggio Emilia and follow the road for Bagnolo in Piano and Novellara, then Reggiolo until you reach Bernolda, turn right for Campagnola and, after passing a small bridge, after 1 km on the right, you will reach the Oasis. From the A22 exit at Reggiolo-Rolo, then follow the directions for Reggiolo above.
Surface area: 12 hectares
Telephone: 340 6964168
Manager: Luca Bagni