The aim of this study is to present a peculiar experimental setup, designed to investigate the interaction between solitary waves and rigid emergent vegetation. Flow rate changes due to the opening and closing of a software-controlled electro-valve generate a solitary wave. The complexity of the problem required the combined use of different measurement systems of water level and velocity. Preliminary results of the experimental investigation, which allow us to point out the effect of the vegetation on the propagation of a solitary wave and the effectiveness of the measuring system, are also presented. In particular, water level and velocity field changes due to the interaction of the wave with rigid vegetation are investigated in detail.