The Magredi, a river of white shingle which majestically surfaces where the Cellina and Meduna rivers meet and sink down, forming a massive underground river basin. The waters of the two rivers, descending underneath the ground, leave shiny white round smooth stones on the surface, creating one of the most interesting and unusual natural environments in Friuli Venezia Giulia. An astonishing creation by mother nature who never ceases to amaze us even when stripped bare, stubborn and harsh, the Magredi (the “Poor Lands”) are open spaces where even time seems to stand still.
Behind the Magredi, looms the magnificent setting of the Cavallo massif, which can be seen from afar. Its vegetation is unique and rugged, similar to many aspects of the Russian steppe and the Hungarian puszta, offering a collection of rare plants such as the Crambe tataria (a crucifer that only flowers here and in some areas around Lake Balaton in Hungary) or Brassica glabrescens, a small delicate yellow flower that seems to have chosen to grow only in this location and in no other part of the world. Its wildlife is just as interesting and rare, with the stone curlew (a bird with very large eyes) being one of its most typical examples.
The over 43,000 hectares of the Magredi, situated around the municipalities of Cordenons, Maniago, San Quirino and Vivaro, were declared a “Special Area of Conservation” (SAC) in November 2013. The “Pordenone steppe” is a very beautiful sight to enjoy by bike, horse-drawn carriage or just on foot: spring is particularly spectacular, when it is painted with the delicate pastel colours of the flowers.