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The alphabet of nature

Cavaliere d'ItaliaBlack-winged Stilt

Himantopus himantopus


It is a water bird, called wader for the very long legs. Its wings and black beak contrast with its shiny white body.
The black-winged stilt live in groups in lagoons and swamps, but they also adapt easily to artificial environments such as rice fields and salt pans.

A colony of black-winged stilts can be observed in the Cervia Salt Pans. It is a species protected by national law n. 157 of 1992.





Common HawthornBiancospino

Crataegus monogyna


It is a large shrub, taking its name from the characteristic thorny branches and white flowers. It has a compact and ramified crown, with a grey-brown bark.
Extremely long-lived, it is able to survive more than 500 years.

It is an important component of the shrub layer of the Cervia Pinewood and the Natural Park, it can be found in the area adjacent to the railway. Some specimens can be found at the Duca d'Altemps Wood.




Rovo Elmleaf blackberry

Rubus ulmifolius


It is a brambly evengreen shrub, growing at the edge of the woods and along the paths. Fast growing and with strong thorny branches, it creates natural barriers.

It is the most widespread spontaneous shrub species in the Cervia Pinewood, in the Natural Park and in the Duca d'Altemps Wood. It can also be seen in the costal Pinewood in Pinarella-Tagliata.





Fallow deerDaino

Dama dama


It is a mammal belonging to the family Cervidae, smaller and less suspicious than the Noble Deer. It prefers to live in deciduous woods close to grazing areas and usually avoids mountainous and snowy areas.

It is bred in the fenced areas of the Natural Park and some specimens have been sighted in the free state in the northern zone of the Cervia Pinewood.




Acero campestreField maple

Acer campestre


Small deciduous tree, its brown bark contrasts with light wood. The crown, bright green in summer, turns bright green in autumn, taking on lively warm tones, from yellow to deep red. The species, rural, indicates that it grows spontaneously in the countryside associated with deciduous woods.

Very widespread in the Natural Park and in the Cervia Pinewood and recently introduced in the Pinarella-Tagliata Pinewood and in the Duca d'Altemps Wood.






Holm oak (holly oak)Leccio

Quercus ilex


It is an evergreen oak, the most widespread in the Mediterranean region. It can grow both as a shrub and as a tall tree. The young specimens have a smooth, grey bark that becomes hard and blackish with ages.

In Cervia it can be found in the Natural Park, in the Cervia and Pinarella Pinewoods, in the Duca d’Altemps Wood and in many parks and gardens.






Upupa epops


It is a migratory bird. His name imitate his characteristic cry: hup-hup-hup. It has a very conspicuous appearance: crested head, long curved beak, dark orange body with black and white striped wings and tail.

It can be seen on the meadows and trees of the Natural Park, in the Cervia Pinewood and in the Pinarella-Tagliata Pinewood.







Hedera helix


 Evergreen climbing plant, that grows in shady and humid undergrowth. The aerial roots allow it to grow on vertical surfaces such as trunks and walls. The growth is rapid and can become a refuge for insects, birds and small mammals.

You can find it in the Cervia Pinewood and in the Natural Park mainly on pine trunks, in the Pinewood of Pinarella - Tagliata, in the Bosco del Duca d'Altemps and in the older plants in parks and gardens.




Gheppio comuneKestrel (Common Kestrel)

Falco tinnunculus


It is a diurnal predator bird, medium-sized. The common kestrel prefers open habitat such as fields alternating with woods and rock faces, but it may also be found in urban centres. The plumage is light chestnut brown with blackish spots and streaks.

It can be seen on the large trees of the Natural Park and the Cervia Pinewood.





KingfisherMartin pescatore

Alcedo attui


It is a small bird with a stocky, rounded body, big head and a long, conical beak. Back, head, wings and tail are blue-green, while the chest and belly are orange-brown.

It is present on the banks of the canals in the Cervia Salt Pans, in the Cervia Pinewood and in the Natural Park.




Testuggine palustreMarsh tortoise

Emys orbicularis


Small turtle, prefers to live in wetlands surrounded by a natural and wooded landscape. The marsh tortoise, in fact, mainly prefers calm waters, with muddy seabed such as ponds, ditches, marshes, rivers and canals. The dorsal shell and skin are brown-green with yellow spots.

It can be seen inside the waters of the Cervia Natural Park.






Nyctalus noctula


It is a medium-sized bat, widespread mainly in Europe; lives in woods and urban environments. It has a robust and stocky body, reddish brown, blackish ears and wings. 

It feeds mainly on beetles, moths and ants.

The noctule finds refuge in the trees of the Cervia Pinewood, in the Natural Park and in some roadside trees. In Cervia there is the most southern colony in Europe.




Pink flamingos - Ph. Livietto TeodoraniPink Flamingo

Phoenicopterus roseus


It is the largest and most widespread species of the Flamingo family. Most of the plumage is pinkish white with some traces of red. It is a social bird that lives in large flocks in aquatic areas. 

In their migratory passage from Africa to Europe they prefer the Romagna district, and the Cervia salt pans represent their natural habitat. The best time to photograph them is between May and September; you could find them going towards Villa Inferno.

Ph. Livietto Teodorani



Pyramidal OrchidOrchidea piramidale

Anacamptis pyramidalis


It is a herbaceous plant with a 20-60 centimetres long stem. The name refers to the pyramidal form of the inflorescence. This orchid requires dry soils and sunny locations, and can mainly be found in prairies or bushy areas. 

It can be seen in the Cervia Pinewood and in the Natural Park in semi-shaded areas without shrub cover. More than twenty species of spontaneous orchids have been found in the Cervia Pinewood.
They are protected and their collection is forbidden.





Salicornia europe


Succulent plant, with fleshy branches rich in water. It grows in humid and saline habitats such as ponds, swamps and lagoons. Rich in iodine and vitamin C, it is called sea asparagus and the young shoots are edible both raw and cooked, with a very salty taste.

It grows spontaneously on the banks of the Cervia Salt Pans canals and in some flooded and brackish areas of the Cervia Pinewood. It is a protected species.




Stone pine (Umbrella pine)Pino domestico

Pinus pinea


Symbol of Cervia, it is a coniferous evergreen that lives along the Mediterranean coast. It has a reddish bark and a large umbrella-shaped crown. Many pinewoods were planted in ancient times for the cultivation of pine nuts, edible seeds very appreciated in the kitchen.

It is widespread in the Cervia and Pinarella-Tagliata Pinewoods and in the Natural Park. It is also present on roads, in parks and gardens.




Viola selvaticaViolet (Heath dog violet)

Viola canina


Herbaceous plant with aromatic flowers, it is used in the production of cosmetic fragrances. It grows near forest edges, in shady meadows and clearings.

It is widespread along the edges of paths and in the meadows of the Cervia Pinewood, the Natural Park, the Pinarella-Tagliata Pinewood and the Duca d'Altemps Wood.





Water IrisIris

Iris pseudacorus


Herbaceous plant that grows spontaneously on the shores of lakes and rivers or in shallow waters such as marshes and salt pans. It is also cultivated for ornamental purposes.

It is easily found in the inner lakes of the Natural Park together with other aquatic plants, forming dense and compact groups that bloom in spring.




Texts by Green Service – Cervia Municipality
CERVIA + GREEN project, Young people for the promotion of an environmental culture, within
the National Civil Service

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