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Onara Marsh

Resurgence waterscapes and permanent meadows in the territory of the Ezzelini family

Spring-rich resurgent landscapes dazzle those who visit the Onara Marsh. Along the banks of the Tergola River, groundwater that is never warmer than 14°C returns to daylight after a long journey in the depths of the earth, giving life to a lush environment characterized by extremely rare flora – a veritable relic of the Ice Age.

Onara Marsh is one of the most significant sites in the Veneto plain from the point of view of landscape and nature. It formed along a resurgence line where groundwater reemerges, typically featuring a complex weave of emerging ditches and springs, which give rise to the rich vegetation. It is a rare biotope, characterized by the cold microclimate produced by the abundant resurgence waters, and is a haven for unique flora, preserved thanks to the water temperature that never exceeds 14°C.
The area extends for 148 hectares and is the last surviving of an ample series of marshlands, which once occupied the northern part of Padua province. Today it is a protected site, a Site of Community Importance (SCI) and a Special Protection Area (SPA). It is crossed by the Tergola river and was created by the emergence of a groundwater aquifer connected to the Brenta river, making excavations of the river dangerous to the preservation of the marsh itself.
Delving into the evocative, marshy, Onara environment, amid the cane, woods and meadows, we find interesting varieties of aquatic flora and numerous species of avifauna. The marsh is therefore a favourite destination of nature photography enthusiasts. Among the amphibians, we should mention the Italian Agile Frog and the Tree Frog, an increasingly rare species, which favours those areas abounding in aquatic vegetation with good quality water that is undisturbed by humans. The marshy area is also significant from an historical perspective, due to presence of the old church of Santa Margherita, and a surviving hydraulic structure, the mill of Coppo, found on the Tergola, the longest resurgence river in the province of Padua (36 km). The silent rural oratory is a reminder of the period of the Ezzelini family who built their castle here before the year 1000 A.D. That is why they were known as the "da Onara", a suffix maintained until their defeat with the citizens of Padua, who then obliged them to change their name to "da Romano".


How to Get There

By train: the Onara Nature Reserve is located about 4 kilometres from Cittadella station, very well connected to Padova, Vicenza, Bassano del Grappa and Treviso, with good cycle-rail interchange facilities.
By car: Motorway A4 (Torino-Trieste) exit at “Padua Ovest” and proceed North on the SS47 road towards Cittadella; near S.Giorgio in Bosco take the S.Anna Morosina direction and join the SP22 road, then drive towards Onara. Alternatively, take Motorway A31 (Rovigo-Piovene Rocchette), exit at “Vicenza Nord” and proceed towards Cittadella along the SR53 road, then follow the signs towards Tombolo-Onara. Parking is available near the entrances to the Onara Nature Reserve (Via Asilo, Via dei Carraresi).


Opening times for visitors:
Parco Palude di Onara
Where to eat: We recommend “Trattoria Pizzeria San Marco”, which serves pizza and Italian cuisine (Via B. Trento 64, Onara di Tombolo; tel. 049 5993825) and “Bar Trattoria da Kina” (Via Sen. Giovanni da Cittadella 23, Onara di Tombolo; tel. 392 9172944).
Where to stay: near Onara we recommend the “Hotel Rometta”, situated within walking distance of the interesting historic centre of Cittadella, the “Bed & Breakfast Ai Fiori” and the “Agriturismo Ceppo” (farmhouse), which provides a bicycle rental service.

In the environs

Anello idraulico di Padova

The Hydraulic Circuit of Padua

The Saint's City seen from the ancient network of urban canals

Borgo fluviale di Pontemanco

The River Town of Pontemanco

On the trail of the Republic of Venice's hydraulic creations, the Biancolino Canal shines

Bosco Limite a Carmignano di Brenta

Bosco Limite

An innovative project aimed at regenerating the aquifers of the Paduan plain

Museo della Centuriazione Romana

The Museum of Roman Centuriation

The Ager Romanus and ancient land organization between the Brenta and Muson Vecchio rivers