The Reserve protects one of the last examples of the resurgences of the Emilia-Romagna plains, a hydrogeological phenomenon typical of the Po Valley, which manifests itself on the border between the average and the lowlands.
The landscape of this small protected area (just 37 hectares) is characterized by the presence of water bodies and long canals surrounded by thick reeds or a hygrophilous brushwood, a remnant of a woody vegetation that, in the past, covered larger portions at the margins of the ancient marsh areas.
Inside they grow various aquatic plants, some with floating leaves (Potamogeton natans, callitriche, duckweed) and there are several amphibians, reptiles and an endemic species of Ghiozzo, an exclusive fish of the Po river springs.
The name of the area located close to a characteristic rural complex with an elegant manor house is linked to the Conti Re, a Reggian family to which the famous agronomist Filippo, Professor and then Rector of the University of Bologna belonged in the early nineteenth century.
The Fontanili represent what remains of the commonly known resurgence systems such as Laghi del Bosco, Laghi del Palazzo, Laghi del Bottazzo and Laghi del Monte.