Stirone and Piacenziano regional park was founded in 2011 (L.R. 24/2011) uniting two existing protected areas: “Parco Fluviale dello Stirone” and “Riserva naturale geologica del Piacenziano”. The park is particularly important from the point of view of paleontology, thanks to the massive presence of fossils from the Cenozoic era and the Quaternary era found after the erosion of the areas that preserved them up to today. The park is now renowned worldwide.
It extends between the provinces of Parma and Piacenza, over 2,716 ha covering the villages of Alseno, Castell’Arquato, Carpaneto P.no, Gropparello, Lugagnano V.A., Vernasca (Piacenza province) , Fidenza and Salsomaggiore Terme (Parma province).
The park is divided into two areas:
The Stirone area that develops on the banks of Stirone river. It is famous for the presence of fossils that describe the whole evolution of this valley for 6.5 million years.
The area of piacenziano that extends especially in the area of badlands near Castell’Arquato. The perfect preservation state of fossils here helped to make this area in Piacenza province well-known in the second half of the 19th century.
Access to the park is free, but for the museum there is an entrance ticket.
Since 2012 it is managed by Ente di Gestione per i Parchi e la Biodiversità – Emilia Occidentale.