Piemonte, the land of water. It is known that we have no sea, but our region is abundant in lakes and wetlands and, above all, a dense network of rivers and streams that radiate out from the mountainous chain of the Western Alps and flow into the two main waterways: the Po and the Tanaro.
The Po, the ancient Eridanós that crosses no less than 4 provinces of Piedmont, flows majestically for 7 kilometres in Turin and can be navigated by rowing boats from Ponte della Gran Madre to Ponte di Moncalieri, skirting the charming medieval village of Valentino. Boatmen competed on its waters as early as the 17th century: the first rowing clubs in Italy were founded here and, in 1892, the International Rowing Federation. This tradition continues with no less than eight city clubs and numerous rowing events held throughout the year. Activities also take place in Alessandria on the Tanaro and in Casale Monferrato on the Po.
Along the banks, the protected natural areas of the “Po River Park”, between Alessandria, Cuneo, Turin and Vercelli preserve fauna and biodiversity with environments that can be discovered on the cycling itineraries of the Po Cycling Track, through nature and historical and artistic sights. The UNESCO Reserve - Man and Biosphere Programme of the Collina Po Biosphere , in particular, is an anthropized area covering 86 municipalities in the Turin area where different habitats and historical and architectural excellences coexist along the river axis. There are many itineraries that allow you to reach places of great interest: under the majestic hill of Superga, the Meisin Park includes the area that was the confluence of the Stura di Lanzo stream, the Dora Riparia river and the River Po for centuries; where the Sangone stream flows into the Po, between Moncalieri and Turin, there is the vast urban park Le Vallere, with a picnic area, an educational garden and cycle and pedestrian paths. Between the provinces of Cuneo and Turin, the Sentiero delle Ochette is a nature trail that winds along the river in 14 km between the municipalities of Moretta, Cardè and Villafranca Piemonte. In Casale Monferrato, with the waters of the Sesia, Tanaro and Scrivia, the Po shapes environments where many species of birds can be observed, including herons, ducks and cormorants, goshawks and small waders. In the dense presence of irrigation canals for agricultural use, the 82-kilometre Cavour Canal stands out for its importance and magnificence, flowing between Chivasso (To) and Galliate (No): near this great work that winds through the panoramas of rice fields between Vercelli and Novara, a 60-kilometre cycle route on asphalt and dirt roads goes from Chivasso, passing through Mandria, Mazzè, Saluggia, Borgo Revel and Verolengo.
From the rivers to the numerous impetuous streams: from Val Sesia to the valleys of Cuneo, from Verbano to the Lanzo and Susa Valleys, it is possible to discover otherwise inaccessible environments by canoe, inflatable raft or hydrospeed, or experience an exclusive, totally adrenalin-fuelled adventure, plunging into the gushing whitewater waves or into gorges and waterfalls by canyoning. In many places, the waterfalls and "goje" (small pools of water) on the streams are an irresistible attraction in the warmer months of the year: not to be missed in the municipality of Formazza in Verbano-Cusio-Ossola, is the Toce Waterfall, also known as La Frua: at 1675 metres above sea level and with a drop of 143 metres, it is the highest waterfall in Italy and the second highest in Europe.