Situated along the river depression of Dora Baltea under the town of Saluggia, the reserve covers an area of 237 hectares in the bag between the Provinces of Vercelli and Turin. Ritano Nature Reserve lies in an area mainly used for agricultural purposes and consists of a part of dry land characterized by cultivated fields, poplar groves, and a holm. The landscape has been changed by the floods of September 1993, November 1994, and October 2000, when the river eroded a large strip of riparian land. From a naturalistic point of view, Ritano holm is particularly interesting: here coppice vegetation spontaneously grows with riparian and invasive species like the ash tree, robinia, poplar, willow, elder, and alder. As far as the historical-architectural features are concerned, in the Reserve there are the imposing 19th century hydraulic engineering works of Prese dei Canali Farini and Scolmatore, the latter also called Subsidiary Canal, built in the 19th century within the great rice field irrigation system having Canale Cavour as its main route. The area is particularly interesting also for aquatic sports like kayak, hydrospeed, and river canoeing, enjoying the water games created by the hydraulic junction of Canali Farini and Scaricatore, or the watercourses of Dora Baltea for river descents, discovering in this way very interesting and not otherwise visible natural landscapes. An enhancement program for the area is under study, in order to promote the visit on foot, by bike, and by canoe.
Isolotto del Ritano Special Nature Reserve is safeguarded not only by the establishment law of River Po Park, but also according to the regional law no. 47 of 3rd April 1995 "Norme per la tutela dei biotopi", the Decision 85/338/CEE of 27th June 1985, and the Directive 92/43/CEE of 21st May 1992, since it has been considered as "ecological entity of great interest for the conservation of nature" and therefore subject to the environmental-landscape regulations according to law 8th August 1985, no. 431 and the European regulations, recognizing it as SCI – Site of Community Importance (code IT1120013).