Mincio Park manages Valli del Mincio Nature Reserve, one of the most important and largest wetlands of northern Italy, situated in the Municipalities of Rodigo (country hamlet of Rivalta sul Mincio), Porto Mantovano (country hamlet of Soave), Curtatone (banks of Grazie and Borgo Angeli), and Mantua in loc. Belfiore.
At the town of Rivalta, river Mincio sharply changes direction, becoming wider and starting to flow very slowly. In this stretch of about 8 kilometers of river, the limited difference in height between the riverbed and the countryside causes permanent floods and the consequent formation of the marshy area called "la Valle".
The marshes extend for over one thousand hectares and are crossed not only by river Mincio, but also by a myriad of channels of various size and flow and by small stretches of water all flowing in the big basin of Lago Superiore of Mantua.
There are all the characteristic vegetable formations of the marshy environments of the plain, arranged according to the humidity level of the soil. The cane thickets are the most showy formations of the landscape of the Valli, but there are also many herbs and flowers: sedges, bulrush, loosestrife, epilobium, hibiscus. The free stretches of water are covered in summer with floating vegetation (see the flora of Mincio Park).
The cane thickets represent the house for the Eurasian Bittern, the Purple Heron, the Marsh Harrier, the Water Rail, the Spotted Crake, and the Little Crake; Starlings and Swallows use it as a protected place where they can rest. Where the cane thicket runs along the water, Eurasian Reed Warblers and Great Reed Warblers, Little Bitterns, Bearded Reedling, Savi's Warblers, Sedge Warblers, Little Grebes and Great Crested Grebes build their nest. And on the raised platforms of marshy vegetation, Coot and Moorhens nest. Night Herons, Squacco Herons, Little Egrets, Gray Herons, Mute Swans, and many ducks come here looking for food, like the Kingfisher and the Marsh Harrier.