The Sile River
The Sile is the longest river to come from resurgences in Europe. It flows for its entire length, on the mild Veneto plain between Treviso and Venice Its status as a parkquite rightly means that its fascinating features are protected.
The Sile has its source in resurgences, genuine “sources of the plain” which go on to form the Sile and numerous minor water courses in the Treviso Marca. The constant flowing of water and the steady current mean that the river is continuously navigable and easy to use for hydraulic purposes, as can be seen from the numerous mills.
The first stretch of the river is the most interesting part in terms of the natural environment and includes the area of the sources, lots of woods, pools, wetlands, meadows and low, marshy banks. One thing that must be seen is the “Great Oak” – a superb, isolated Pedunculate Oak in an area with a number of striking biotypes, including bogs. Perhaps the most interesting environment of all is the “Marsh”. Packed with plant and animal species, it is the last strip to have survived the centuries of reclamation schemes, which were concluded in the 1960s.
Once it gets past Treviso, the river meanders a great deal, with wide stretches, secondary branches, high banks, lakes in former quarries, thick poplar groves, farmland and aristocratic villas immersed in the greenery. The natural banks give way to a towpath system that was once used to pull big boats against the current. Nowadays it is popular with people who enjoy spending their free time in the great outdoors; bike and walking paths, you are in contact with nature but can also see the work done by people over the centuries. The best way to visit the park is by heading along the river in a boat, exploring its thousands of hidden treasures.
Photo: Marc De Tollenaere