Vanzago (english version) | WWF Italy

Vanzago (english version)

Oasi di Vanzago, Lombardia
© Laura Radaelli / WWF-Italy
The WWF Oasis Bosco di Vanzago lies on the outskirts of Milan: it is one of the last surviving woodlands in the Po Valley.
The WWF Oasis Bosco di Vanzago hosts a wildlife rescue centre: a hospital with an “emergency department” where WWF veterinarians treat injured wildlife. Once rehabilitated the animals are set back into the wild.

About Bosco di Vanzago

In the WWF Oasis Bosco di Vanzago you can find the vast majority of the plant species that once formed the ancient plain of the Po Valley (known as dry tableland).

Since the early twentieth 20th century the presence of the Villoresi canal irrigation network, that takes its water supply from the near Ticino river, guarantees greater water availability. The woodlands are the last remnants of the Visconti and Sforza hunting grounds. There is a significant presence of water ponds of various depths for a total of 12 hectares.
The surrounding countryside is characterised by meadows, hedges, rows and tree belts.
Size: 200 hectares.

Secular oaks, English oaks, elms, field maples, European hornbeams, limes, wild cherries, and oak chestnuts form the woodland. The undergrowth is breathtaking during the blooming period when the lilies of the valley and perlwinkles stand out for their beauty.
A typical marsh vegetation grows next to the water ponds, particularly in the Lago Nuovo basin. At the centre is a small isle colonized by alders, white willows and a thick bed of reeds.

Flora and Fauna

Lago Vecchio hosts a more heterogeneous fish fauna (European perches, northern pikes, tenches and European chubs).
Of the 123 bird species recorded 53 are breeding within the nature reserve premises.
During migrations and in winter the ponds are used by the great cormorants, common moorhen, common teal, common pochard, mallards, grey herons, night heron and little Grebes.  
The woodland is also home to the green and the great spotted woodpecker as well as the golden oriole, the tawny owl, the Long-eared owl, the sparrowhawk and the northern goshawk.
Among the mammal populations are least weasels, beech martens, badgers, edible dormice, European hares, and a stable population of roe deer (symbols of the reserve).  One of the hay fields is in fact managed for the roe deer.
WWF Italy directly owns more than 143 hectares of the protected area. The Regional Reserve is directly managed by WWF Italy.

Visiting the Oasis

The nature trail, accessible to people with motor disabilities, begins at the Visitor Centre. It leads through the woodland up to the Lago Nuovo, and then up to the Lago Vecchio. The path borders the farming  field (organic farming)s, beehive, the Roccolo woods and then leads back to the visitor centre.  The visit takes approximately 2 hours and the trail poses no difficulties.


WWF Italy directly owns more than 143 hectares of the reserve and manages the whole area. The Lombardy Region created the nature reserve in 1979.

In the protected area there are three buildings: the Cascina Grabina, the Corte Branchi and the Visitor centre, as well as the isolated Roccolo observation tower.  

These facilities allow the nature reserve to host many events including conferences and seminars.
Observation huts and educational boards are placed along the nature paths.

conctat information and opening times

The reserve is open all year long (except in August) and can be visited only with a tour guide. Tours are on Saturdays and Sundays at 10,30 am or 3 pm.

For groups and schools the nature reserve is open from Mondays to Saturdays only by advance booking.

Phone +39 02 9341761


The WWF Oasis is in the Milan district and its territory overlaps the municipalities of Vanzago, Pogliano Milanese and Arluno.  

By car take the SS “del Sempione”. After 20 Km follow the directions to “Vanzago” and then to “Bosco WWF di Vanzago”.  From the Turin highway exit at Rho and follow directions to “Vanzago”.

By foot or by bicycle: take the train to the Pregnana-Vanzago “Passante Ferroviario” station and then ride or walk following the directions to “Bosco WWF di Vanzago”.