River Po: length, tributaries, map and other information
The River Po crosses the entire Po Valley from west to east, subsequently affecting a strong influence on the territory and economy of the region.
Its 652 kms in length make it the longest river flowing entirely through Italian territory. The River Drava, which rises close to Dobbiaco, is actually longer if you consider that it contributes to form the Danube, 749 kms in length, but it flows through Italian territory only for a small number of kilometres.
The River Po also holds the record as the widest hydrographic basin in Italy, with a surface of approximately 71,000 Km2 and that of greatest flow rate at delta, reaching 13,000 cubic metres per second.
The Po Valley also owes its name to the River Po, which crosses it from its source in Piedmont to its delta in Emilia Romagna. For a good distance the Po marks the border between the regions of Lombardy and Emilia Romagna and, further east, between Emilia Romagna and Veneto.
The tributaries of the River Po
The Po has 141 tributaries; the most important ones in terms of flow rate are the Dora Baltea, the Sesia and the Tanaro in Piedmont, and the Ticino, Adda and Oglio in Lombardy.
The tributaries of greatest flow rate, known as left bank tributaries, rise in the Alps and contribute to the Po from the north. The right bank tributaries are rivers which rise in the Apennines.
In this hand-drawn map you can get an overview of the main tributaries of the River Po and the territory they cross:
River Po: the main towns crossed by the river
The River Po crosses important cities of the Po Valley including three county towns: Turin, Piacenza and Cremona.
Other important towns crossed, including from an historical point of view, are Carmagnola, Moncalieri, Chivasso, Trino, Casale Monferrato, Piacenza, Guastalla and Ferrara.
The Basin of the River Po
Considering the entirety of the River Po basin we can identify an area of approximately 74,000 km2, of which approximately 71,000 km2 are situated in Italian territory, covering approximately 25% of the whole national territory. Within this area lives a population of approximately 16 million inhabitants, distributed throughout 3,200 towns belonging to seven regions: Piedmont, Valle d’Aosta, Lombardy, Veneto, Liguria, Emilia-Romagna and Tuscany.
Economy of the Po Basin
The Po Basin is the area which contributes the most important percentage to the GNP of our country: a good 40% of the GNP (in Italian PIL) originates from the activity in this region.
37% of national industry, which supports 46% of jobs, is located within the Po Basin and 55% of lifestock related companies. Farming companies situated in the Po Basin deliver 35% of Italian agricultural production.
The Fauna of the River Po
The River Po is home to a huge variety of fish, largely native, which have only started to be protected in recent decades with operations of remediation and safeguarding of the waters.
To date however we have not yet reached a sufficient level of systems of control to guarantee the quality of the waters of the River Po and its tributaries.
Bridges on the River Po
Crossing the River Po is made possible by a large number of bridges, dating back to various historical periods, among which we point out:
Umberto I Bridge in Turin
Piacenza Bridge (road and rail)
Cremona Bridge (road and rail)
Vittorio Emanuele III Bridge in San Mauro Torinese
Ponte della Becca
Ponte della Gerola
Ponte di Moncalieri, also known as Ponte dei Cavalieri Templari
The River Po: where does it flow into
The River Po flows into the Adriatic Sea and the Po Delta, for its important environmental value, has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage site.
AIPo: Interregional Agency for the River Po
The Interregional Agency for the River Po (AIPo) has been charged since 2003 with the management of the main hydrographic grid of the River Po, taking responsibility for hydraulic safety, public water property and river navigation.
Some of the responsibilities of the AIPo include:
Creation and maintenance of public works for the position, correct morphological structure and development of the main river grid of the Po Basin
Look after the management of the relative public water property (property and water resources)
Manage extreme events, taking part in forecasting and monitoring such events
Creating and managing hydraulic works in order to allow river navigation.
For further information on the activity of the AIPo please visit the official website: www.agenziainterregionalepo.it