This paper describes a rice mapping and growth monitoring project carried out using both optical and SAR data on an agricultural land area in northern Italy. The approach implemented for mapping rice area is based on synthetic features derived from both the optical and SAR C-band multi-temporal dataset and a rule-based algorithm applied on a pixel basis. SAR X-band data were used improving winter crops recognition. Seasonal dynamics were used to identify rice growing season for regression analysis between SAR backscatter and vegetation parameters. Rice green LAI maps have been produced using the equation found during this analysis between C-band HH pol. backscatter and rice LAI. © 2015 IEEE.