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Boretto is a riverside town on the banks of the Po River. It was important in Roman times and still today has an equipped national and regional river tourist port.


Altitude: 23 m
Inhabitants: 5.354 (updated to December 31,  2018)
Post code: 42022
Weekly market day: Thursday
Patron Saint: San Marco Evangelista (April 25)
Hamlets: Santa Croce


Phone 0039 0522 965601 - Public Relation office of the Municipality 
sito web Municipality of Boretto

How to get there


By car
From Reggio Emilia: 30 kilometres along the Provincial Road 358
From the A1 Milan to Bologna motorway: leave the motorway at the Reggio Emilia exit and follow signs to Castelnuovo Sotto for 30 kilometers.
From the A22 Modena to Brennero Motorway: leave the motorway at the Reggiolo exit and follow signs to Guastalla for 25 kilometers.

By train
From Reggio Emilia: Tper local train service from Reggio Emilia to Guastalla.
State railway service on the Parma-Suzzara line.

By coach
From Reggio Emilia: public transport service bus No. 93 from Reggio Emilia to Boretto with branch service to Viadana (Mantua).
From Viadana: take the coach service running between Mantua and Parma.

By river
From Mantua: at the “Laghi” dock.
From Cremona: from the “Porto Fluviale” (River port)


Boretto is a riverside centre on the banks of the River Po, 28 km from Reggio Emilia.
It was important in Roman times and still today has an equipped marina and regional river tourist port. Tourist motorboats set off from Boretto to view the landscape and the profiles of the historic centres passed along the river.
The best periods for cruises and navigation are certainly spring and September, combined with guided visits to the “small capitals of the Po”.

Historical notes

Boretto is a river-side community only separated from the Po by the main flood embankment.
The historic centre of the town is indeed, right up against the embankment of this great river, with the mighty Basilica of San Marco l’Evangelista (St Mark the Evangelist).
The Basilica towers over the whole town as if defending it against the eternal “enemy” lurking just beyond the embankment erected immediately behind the Church itself.
As a result of its special geographical position and its history, the centre of Boretto is perhaps one of the most subject to the river’s influence than any of the other towns along the Po.
Its position coincides with a wide curve in the river, with a view over the solemn and impressive landscape unrivalled almost anywhere else along its course.
The area has been inhabited by Gauls, Celts, Romans and Venetians.
There is some dispute as to the origin and etymology of the name.
It could be derived from “beruptum” (the broken Po) or “deruptum” (the route of the Po).
In Roman times, Boretto was part of the Brescello fortified camp.
The archaeological finds made in the area demonstrate the wealth and luxury enjoyed by the area, characteristics which can also be deduced from the discovery of villas and tombs.
The remains of a funerary stele or slab is preserved at the town’s middle school, while the most significant find, the Collodi tomb, has been moved to the Public Gardens in Reggio Emilia.
The Venetians, whose influence increased from the 12th century onwards, built a church dedicated to St Mark in Boretto.
The distinctive character of its people and their access to considerable economic wealth has given Boretto a role of some importance and autonomy from Brescello from 1859.

Reasons to visit

The town is separated from the Po River only by the main embankment, behind which is the town centre, where the imposing Basilica Minore di San Marco Evangelista stands out, attesting Boretto’s importance for the Venetians, who used it as a stopping off point on the River Po, for both their conquests and their trade.
The Town Hall, whose Council Chamber is embellished with Art Nouveau decorations by Marcello Nizzoli (the designer of the lettera 22, the iconic Olivetti typewriter from the 1900s), is situated in the same square of San Marco.

Not to be missed

A visit to the Museo del Po e della Navigazione (Museum for the Po River and Navigation), the Casa dei Pontieri "D. Gialdini" Museum, and the Museo multimediale della Bonifica (Multimedia Reclamation Museum), the only one of its kind, with sounds and images projected on the walls of a drainage node in the style of the Fascist era (1920s).

What to eat

The territory of Boretto is also the home of the Borettana onion, which boasts the “De.co” mark (officially making it a traditional local product).
Its adaptability makes it possible to obtain two varieties and two harvests, one in spring and one in autumn, ensuring its presence on the market throughout the year.


The town has an equipped marina and a small tourist and sports port linked to motor boating activities.
In the spring and summer months there is also a river cruise service of varied duration, by request, as far as Mantua.

In 2023 a Big Bench was inaugurated (Big Benches are oversized attractions that are part of the Big Bench Community Project world circuit, located in particularly scenic places, according to the project of the American designer Chris Bangle). The bench is located in the Lido Po area.

Keeping fit

The presence of the river permits the practice of various sports: canoa, motor boating, sports fishing.
For cycling lovers, there’s the naturalistic cycle path on the banks of the Po, which runs through the entire “riverside” territory of the Municipality of Boretto, interconnecting the territory of the Municipality of Gualtieri to that of Brescello.


Spring Fair - From April 25 to May 1Funfair, stalls, exhibitions.
Idro Gp-the International Motorboat Grand Prix - First half of JuneInternational motorboat races.
PiroPo - Second half of JuneFireworks-musical show with fire magic on the Great River.
September Fair - First weekend of SeptemberPerformances, concerts, stalls, tastings of the Borettana onion and local dishes.

Spring Festival - From April 25 to May 1.
Funfair, stalls, exhibitions.

Idro Gp-the International Motorboat Grand Prix - First half of June
International motorboat races.

PiroPo - Second half of June
Fireworks and musical show with fire magic on the Great River.

September Festival - First weekend of September
Performances, concerts, stalls, tastings of the Borettana onion and local dishes.

Renowned people

Sant’Alberto degli Avvogardi (1149-50, from Bishop of Bobio to Patriarch of Jerusalem),
Mario Nizolio (1488 humanist)
Guido da Boretto (1496 jurist),
Don Angelo Dosi (1827 to 1896 an important figure in religious affairs and Italian unification and politics)
Artimide Zatti (1880 to 1951 Salesian coadjutor, beatified on 14 April 2002)
Marcello Nizzoli (1887 to 1969 painter, engineer, poster designer and pioneer in Italian design)
Pietro Ghizzardi (1906 to 1986 painter).

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