February 25, 2023 – Today concludes the second stage of my journey along the banks of the Po. On the last day I didn’t make great visits, I limited myself to strolling along the banks and moving a few kilometres. In Felonica, however, I tasted Tiròt, a local specialty which is also a Slow Food Presidium. It is a sort of very thin focaccia made with type “0” flour and onions, to be eaten preferably hot. Despite being a lover of onions, it didn’t excite me, but it’s definitely worth trying.
I then moved to Sermide to check the camper service, practical to use, but with the water turned off. On the banks of the river there is also a camper parking area: six stalls surrounded by greenery with electricity (to be paid according to consumption with coins) and water on the pitch. Curiously, there is no drain here, but I found an open tap (others were closed) and I was able to stock up on water.
Technologies for reclamation and energy
A few kilometers on the right bank led me first to discover an imposing structure for water reclamation dating back to the beginning of the 20th century: the drainage plant of Moglia di Sermide, originally equipped with seven huge steam pumps, fueled by coal, then replaced with most modern electrical solutions.
A little further on, I arrived in front of the large A2A thermal plant which produces electricity by burning natural gas. The plant has a gross installed power of 1,158 MW and is supported by a photovoltaic field with a peak power of 998 kW. These are two visually “aggressive” works that are part of the history of these places.
In Borgofranco the tradition of truffles
To sleep I stopped in Borgofranco sul Po, where there is an absolutely unusual rest area: practically a public grass park where a few picnic tables have been positioned and, in a corner, a small drainage pit. Borgofranco sul Po is a very small town (775 inhabitants, a hamlet of Borgocarbonara), but it is right on the edge of the embankment, so you can start from here to go on excursions along the river. I took advantage of it for a long walk, noting once again how critical the drought situation is and how much plastic waste infests the Po.
Borgofranco is also the center of what is called the “valley of the Mantuan truffle“. Therefore, a stop at the Padus restaurant could not be missing, where truffles are certainly not lacking among the proposals. Before leaving for Milan, I let myself be attracted and ordered the two delicious off-menu dishes of the day: polenta with cream of parmesan and mixed mushrooms finished with truffles and potato and pumpkin gnocchi with truffles. All accompanied by a glass of Valpolicella for maximum palate satisfaction. Less than the wallet (€32 for the main plate, €20 for the appetizer), but it’s something I almost never do…
- Where to sleep: In the free rest area of Borgofranco sul Po, on grassy land and a few hundred meters from the embankment
- Where to eat: The Padus restaurant, about 200 meters away in via San Francesco 17, specializes in the cuisine based on the truffles of this area. The prices are adequate for the culinary offer…
- Camper service: In the same parking area of Borgofranco sul Po
Km travelled: 22.4
Km from departure: 239.3