Discover parks and wildlife oases in the Novara area

Parks and attractions for the little ones

If it is true that, as the artist Keith Haring said, “children know something that most people have forgotten”, spending time with them makes us re-evaluate the pleasure of discovering, playing and being enchanted.

After the fourth frescoed church, as magnificent and precious as it is, the interest of a young person tends to fade: in addition to an impressive artistic, cultural and food and wine heritage, the province of Novara is full of parks, structures and activities designed specifically for the little ones – where even adults can learn something.

Gianni Rodari certainly deserves a special mention and the Parco della Fantasia is in Omegna, his hometown. It offers a variety of structures and services such as the playroom, the forum and the museum, highly educational thanks to the help of technology and science. It is also an excellent opportunity to reread Rodari’s nursery rhymes and books, written specifically for children and teenagers. Omegna is also creating a museum dedicated to Rodari, where the emphasis will be placed on the close relationship between the writer and Lake Orta.

Being curious and always looking for new games to play, children love to see or meet animals. Learning about animals and appreciating nature helps to make them more aware of the importance of the environment, to want to do something to protect our fragile earth. The adventures of the great British naturalist, zoologist and explorer Gerald Durrell, who left rainy England to move to Corfu in 1935 with his family, where he devoted himself to discovering the animal world are told in compelling and hilarious books. Reading them should be an inspiration to any young person.

GIANNI RODARI FANTASY PARK

Info: rodariparcofantasia.it

Villa Pallavicino and Park

Next stop, Stresa and the Villa Pallavicino and Park: 18 hectares of park where the fauna and flora coexist in harmony. A private residence acquired by the statesman Ruggero Bonghi in 1855, the Villa was then sold to the Duke of Vallombrosa and finally to the Pallavicino family, who enlarged it, adding numerous species of animals from all over the world, such as zebras, kangaroos and flamingos.

Today the park boasts over 50 species of mammals and birds, many of which live in the wild: go to the farm and you will see that fallow deer, alpacas, llamas and sheep seek contact with humans and the little ones will have fun watching their reactions. In addition to these play-based encounters, which incite respect for the fauna, the park has ample space for beautiful plants and flowers.

Visit the Flower Garden in May for a riot of colours and the intoxicating scent of the rose garden; in the park you can also admire camellias, rhododendrons and hydrangeas, as well as centuries-old plants such as chestnuts and lyriodendrons, beeches, larches and sequoia. A rainbow of colours combined with a host of new adventures await the children this magnificent place on Lake Maggiore.

THE PALLAVICINO PARK

Where: Stresa
What to see: 50+ animal species, the botanical garden
Info: isoleborromee.it/parco-pallavicino

La Torbiera Wildlife Park

In an area where water plays a primary role, the considerable wealth of lakes – large and small – creates areas where humidity is a constant. These places are the ideal terrain for peat bog vegetation and in Agrate Conturbia a park has been created where biodiversity reigns supreme: : the La Torbiera Wildlife Park.

Located in the border area between the plain and the Pre-Alps, the mild climate has favoured the development of a protected natural area, established in 1977; a section is open to the public whilst the rest is a protected area, for the conservation of the wildlife.

The park is home to 400 specimens of 130 species: unusual animals, such as the lesser panda, the clouded leopard or the Siberian weasel are just a few of the inhabitants.

Walks along the path that runs alongside the lake are fostered by numerous school-run educational activities and enable children to discover and learn to respect these fabulous animals.

LA TORBIERA WILDLIFE PARK

Where: Agrate Conturbia
What to see: 130+ specie di animali esotici
Info: latorbiera.it

 

Varallo Pombia Safari Park

Sempre di animali si parla al Safari Park di Varallo Pombia. We always talk about animals at the Safari Park in Varallo Pombia. Fortunately, the concept of “zoo” is outdated: animals are not trophies to show off and here the wild animals live in freedom.

From your, car along the 5 km of park roads, you can see and discover many species from various continents and watch demonstrations not only of birds of prey such as eagles, owls and hawks, but also of parrots and sea lions.

A magnificent experience in close contact with the animal world: giraffes, hippos, lions, elephants and tigers, but also insects, reptiles and colourful fish in the aquarium.

There is also an Amusement Parkwith a Ferris wheel, a pirate ship and a 3D cinema – among the many attractions – and even a trip to ancient Rome thanks to a futuristic show of multicoloured laser beams.

SAFARI PARK

Where: Varallo Pombia
What to see: 130+ species of exotic animals
Info: safaripark.it

Mottarone Adventure Park

Mottarone, the mountain between the Orta and Maggiore lakes from which the view is sensational, has developed an area dense with attractions to suit all the family.

If, on the other hand, you prefer a real shot of adrenaline, don’t miss the Mottarone Adventure Park .

Skiing in the winter months, a dense network of trails for trekking and mountain bike lovers and the new Adventure Parkfor children aged 3 and up. Rope ladders, trampolines, tree passages and much more for safe, exciting adventures. An unforgettable experience to enjoy with friends or family.

Also try the new AlpylandAlpine Coaster, at the top of Mottarone: a 1200-meter rail bob track, whose speed can be adjusted by the participants. It runs all the year round. Speed along the track while admiring the enchanting panorama!

 

MOTTARONE ADVENTURE PARK

Where: Rifugio Genziana, Mottarone Vetta
Info: mottarone.it/adventure-park

Oases and Nature Parks

In a region proud of its environmental commitment, there are numerous protected areas. One example is the WWF Baraggia di Bellinzago Oasis, where the wet environment created by the the rice fields is favoured by various types of amphibians, some at risk of extinction and therefore protected.

In addition, important Nature Parks such as that of the TicinoValley, the Fenera and the Lame del Sesia, not forgetting the Nature Reserve of the Casalbeltrame Marshand the Nature Park of the Lagoni di Mercurago and the Reeds of Dormelletto.

A pleasant maze of memorable scenarios, unexpected encounters in respect of nature. And so, in the words of Daniel Pennac, the “luminous enigmas”, as he called children, can give ample vent to their imagination and take you to a world where curiosity and the joy of new discoveries go hand in hand.

THE NATURAL OASES
  • WWF Baraggia Oasis
  • Ticino Park
  • Monte Fenera Nature Park
  • Lame del Sesia Nature Park
  • Casalbeltrame Marsh Nature Reserve
  • Lagoni di Mercurago Nature Park
  • Special Nature Reserve of the Reeds of Dormelletto



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