Reno (river)


The river near Sasso Marconi, at the beginning of its course in the Pianura Padana

Location of the Reno River in Italy
Country Italy
Main source Tuscan Apennines, Italy
River mouth Adriatic Sea
Basin size 5,040 km2 (1,950 sq mi)
Physical characteristics
Length 211.8 km (131.6 mi)
  • Average rate:
    95 m3/s (3,400 cu ft/s)

The Reno ([ˈrɛːno]) is a river of Emilia-Romagna, northern Italy. It is the tenth longest river in Italy (the sixth longest of those that flow directly into the sea) and the most important of the region apart from the Po.

It has a drainage basin of about 5,000 square kilometres (1,900 sq mi).[1] The annual average discharge at the mouth is about 95 cubic metres per second (3,400 cu ft/s); at the point the river start to flow in the Pianura Padana (Po River Plain), it amounts to about 25 cubic metres per second (880 cu ft/s).

The highest values registered at the mouth have approached 2,300 cubic metres per second (81,000 cu ft/s), but the typical value when the river is in flood is around 1,000 cubic metres per second (35,000 cu ft/s). The minimal discharge reported is 0.6 cubic metres per second (21 cu ft/s).

The river rises in the Le Lari massif of the province of Pistoia (Tuscany) at about 745 metres (2,444 ft) above sea level, from two streams that join near Le Piastre, in the comune of Pistoia. Its upper course marks the border between Tuscany and Emilia-Romagna and flows in a wooded area crossed by the Bologna-Porretta-Pistoia railway line (inaugurated in 1864 and one of the most outstanding for the time as for engineering effort). The upper course is characterized by several artificial reservoirs whose dams are used for hydro-electric energy production. The power produced in the basin of the Reno basin is second, for Apennine rivers, only to that of the Nera-Velino in Umbria.

It passes west of Bologna, at Casalecchio di Reno. In its lower course the Reno receives the water of numerous streams, some of which are seasonal. The most important include the Limentra, Silla, Setta, Samoggia, Idice, Sillaro, Santerno and Senio.

The Reno was a tributary of the Po until the middle of the 18th century when the course was diverted to lessen the risk of devastating floods. It now joins the Adriatic Sea near Casalborsetti, south-east of the Valli di Comacchio.

The name of the river has the same etymology as the name of the Rhine, as both derive from the same Celtic hydronym *Rēnos, the Reno basin being situated within Gallia Cisalpina, in what was the territory of Boii before the Roman conquest of 220 BC. In Italian both rivers are called Reno, and in Latin both were called Rhenus. In 43 BC the pact establishing the Second triumvirate was signed on an islet of the river near Bononia (Bologna). The river is mentioned by Dante Alighieri in Canto XVIII of his Inferno where he defines the Bolognesi as those "living between the Savena and the Reno".

Reno river in 18th century


  1. Reno Basin Authority

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