The nature reserve Pian di Spagna between lake Como and Val Chiavenna is a protected area with many itineraries immersed in nature, history and culture.
The Nature Reserve Pian di Spagna and Lake Mezzola covers an area slightly less than 1600 hectares in the municipalities of Sorico and Gera Lario, province of Como, and in the municipalities of Dubino, Verceia and Novate Mezzola, province of Sondrio . This flat area is nestled between several hills belonging to the Alps: the mountain massif of Monte Berlinghera from our Lepontine Alps in the north-west, the granite peaks of the Rhaetian Alps spanning the Valle dei Ratti and Val Codera northeast , while to the south Legnone mountain stands.
In this protected area we find even three different reservoirs: further south the upper part of Lake Como, then the lake Dascio and further north Lake Mezzola. Nature Reserve Pian di Spagna has particular significance from a landscape and naturalistic point of view: dry land, lakes and rivers creates a unique ecosystem in which we find a rich variety of flora and fauna, typical of wetlands and lake environments.
Cane fields are characteristic of this area, especially along the southern shores of Lake Mezzola, and represent suitable habitats for wild birds, while we find hygrophilous grasslands as we get closer to the mainland.
Fauna is very rich and consisting of:
- birdlife: diving ducks (Moretta, Pochard, Ferruginous Duck, Goldeneye) or surface ducks (Mallard, Teal, Garganey, Wigeon), swans, rallidae (Coot), rare sea duck, crested grebes, loons, cormorants, mergansers, gulls and black terns; along streams we find white-trhoated dippers, kingfishers and the grey wagtail. Surely you will also see thrushes, finches, crows, chickadees, woodpeckers and blackcaps;
- invertebrates: bright butterflies, dragonflies and other graceful aquatic insects;
- fishes: brown trout, rainbow trout, shad, whitefish, bleak, carp, chub, roach, the Danube roach, trot, rudd, tench, burbot, eel, pike, perch;
- amphibians: the smaller green frog, the tree frog, the newt and the crested newt, the common toad, which in spring makes long and risky journeys;
- reptiles: in the water you see tessellated natrix and grass snake, commonly called water snake, on earth the wall lizard, the green lizard, the sand lizard, which can grow up to two meters in length.
The Nature Reserve Pian di Spagna and Lake Mezzola is located in a historical and cultural interest area: Forte Fuentes, Forte Montecchio Nord in Colico and the Romanesque church of San Fedelino in Sorico represent two architectural treasures to be proud of.
An environment rich in every point of view that offers interesting tours for every taste. Many itineraries and walks in nature and in history, a lot of observation points located in different parts of the reserve. Ideal for families with children.
The Reserve offers the possibility of personalized, guided tours and recreational-educational activities for schools.
Cover’s image: Ph. Emilio Buzzella
How to get the Nature Reserve Pian di Spagna
- by train: Milano/Tirano libne departure Milano (Central Station) destination Sondrio/Tirano. Stop Colico if you like to see the southern part, otherwise change train: take the one direction Chiavenna and stop in Novate Mezzola. Here you can visit the northern part of the nature reserve.
- by car:
– from Milano, Lecco take S.S.36 (Milano – Lecco – Colico)
– from Como take S.S.340 Regina
– from the north Passo Spluga (close in winter) adn from passo del Maloja take S.S. 37.path n.1
38 km from Lecco