Follow the embankment up to Cremona, the city that is the closest to the river. You will see teams of rowers gliding swiftly on the water and cyclists cycling along the embankment. Here you will also find the first river port, since here the river is fed by the Alpine waters of the river Adda and the streams flowing down from the Apennines and ecomes navigble. Trebbia, Nure, Arda, Parma, Taro: hundreds of streams give their generous contribution to the Great River. Protected by the high embankments, noble looking villages dot the landscape: Viadana, Pomponesco, Guastalla, Gualtieri, with their splendid squares, arcades and town-hall towers.In Boretto you can take a boat along the river take a look at the roofs of the villages sticking out behind the embankment or at the barges gliding slowly amidst the morning fog. Here you can really esperience the river and feel its pulsing life.
The embankments become higher and higher to protect the flatland from floods. The land along the river is precious. In order to understand the origins of the rural landscape of the Po Valley you should stop at the Abbey of San Benedetto Po. It is an extremely evocative place, where you can learn about the story of the Grand Duchess Matilde di Canossa, one of the most important figures of the Italiab Middle Ages. Explore the countryside and you will discover a network of waterways and canals, all accompanied by service roads where you can easily ride your bike. The landscape is the result of the work of the monks of the Abbey and of many generations of farmers, who reclaimed the land and built embankments and canals to tame the river and its branches. Until the Middle Ages, the river used to overflow and change its course, creating new river beds and leaving behind marshes and lagoons, inhospitable places not suitable the life of man.
Follow the river Mincio upstream and you will arrive in Mantua, surrounded by lakes full of waterlilies and lotus flowers. Here you can discover the splendour of the Gonzaga family in the Palazzo Te and in the city of Virgil. There are so many beautiful things to discover that you will have to stop in the city and enjoy the relaxed rythm of one of the cities with the highest quality of life in Italy.
Resume your journey following the river flowing slowly between the towns of Ostiglia and Revere, river ports founded on a natural narrowing of the river, where you can take a boat to the island Boschina, the most ancient island of the river, dating back to the 18th century. You can see a sparrowhawck flying in the sky: there are some places, like this heaven for birds, where the po river maintains its wildest nature.