The main embankment: the water-scooping plants

From Mondine to Sabbioncello: a land reclaimed from water


The main enbankment

This work allows the Padana Plain to exist, with the appearance it has today. Without the embankment, the land here would be organized differently. The embankment and the land reclamation of the area allow the civil organization and the settlement of people as they are today. The itinerary (about 30 km) winds along the top of the left embankment of the Secchia, from Mondine to S. Siro. Going on the right embankment of the Po, you arrive at Sabbioncello. The route can be followed on foot, by bicycle, on horseback and by car. As well as the places mentioned, it is possible to notice votive chapels, ditches , irrigation channels and farms which sell produce directly to the public.

Rural buildings are with us along the whole itinerary, and include some remarkable examples. Sadly, rural buildings are often abandoned, especially in the high-water bed areas This undoubtedly means an enormous waste of resources. The recovery and abandoning of rural buildings is noticeable throughout the itinerary.


The water-scooping plant has five turbo-pumps with vertical axles able to drain a flow of 40 cubic metres per second. The Secchia is the receiver of the whole system. Besides, this plant feeds the irrigation network. In fact, beside the water-scooping machines a propeller pump with a horizontal axle has been assembled, in order to meet the water requirements of the Canale di Carpi (Canal of Carpi). This irrigation covers an area of 26,000 hectares. The park is remarkable. A short distance from here, it is possible to view the bridge-channel of S. Prospero.


Several aspects of the built up area testify to its close vicinity to the river. The building on the left, at the beginning of the incline, still has the stone writing "hydraulic store" on it. On one of the pillars, downstream from the bridge, you can notice the water-gauge, controlled by the Magistrato del Po (Magistrate of the Po: he governing body of the Po).


Rotta (Bursting of the banks of the Po)
This event dates
back to 20th April 1960. Large areas of the districts of Moglia and San
Benedetto, even some areas a long way from the river, were flooded. The
enbankment subsided in the zone between corte Bruciata and corte Brisa di

Chiaviche Borsone
The building is very old and operated until the 1930s.
In those days, the drainage waters collected by the "Agro mantovano reggiano"(drainage consortium) used to be discharged into the Secchia, and conveyed to what is now the S.Siro-Moglia di Sermide canal.

High water bed
Downstream from the Borsone drain there is the widest high water bed, called "Pietra e Capretta", which corresponds to the "Imperiata" on the other side of the river.

S. Siro
An important water junction, at the crossroads of an important area of land reclamation.
There are two plants to visit:
- the first is the "Parmigiana-Moglia" water-scooping plant for the drainage of water into the Secchia (its imposing plant, its machines, its park from the mid 1920s);
- the other plant is for the inverted sifon under the Secchia, for the discharge of water at Moglia di Sermide. It is run by "Agro mantovano reggiano".

The plant takes water from the Po and transports it along various canals to reach the province of Modena.
It operates from mid March to mid October, and it was opened in 1956.



For visits contact the following organisations:

Consorzio di bonifica
"Parmigiana-Moglia", Reggio Emilia
Phone: 0522 443211 per
Mondine, Bondanello e S. Siro

Consorzio di Bonifica "Agro
mantovano reggiano", Mantova
Phone: 0376 222780 per S.

Consorzio di Bonifica "Burana", Modena
059 416511 per Sabbioncello.

We would like to thank Sergio Minelli and
Luigi dal Pan


  • Mondine pumping station
  • Moglia pumping station
  • Sabbioncello pumping station
  • Map location
  • Floodplain