Delta Padu – Comacchio

Delta Padu

"So ugly, that she's beautiful ", there is talk of the Po Delta - a stretch of marshes and lagoons east of Ferrara, ending with tongues of land cutting into the waters of the Adriatic Sea. Most travelers don't stop here, therefore the tourist authorities decided to undertake aggressive promotional activities.

The Pad splits into a series of arms and breaks through these wetlands towards the sea. Delta has changed a lot since the times, when Etruscan merchants established here in the 4th-3rd century. p.n.e. port Spina, because most of the land between Comacchio and Ravenna was still under water. To modern times, the sea has retreated by Fr. 12 km, thanks in part to drainage programs, and with each passing year the area becomes less and less marshy - which is welcomed by farmers, but not the waterfowl that inhabit the area.

The two main lagoons, Valli di Comacchio and Valle Bertuzzi, have been designated nature reserves, to at least stop the process, and is one of the top-rated bird watching sites in Europe, being a habitat for both sedentary and migratory birds, including herons, white herons, kulikami, killer whales and gulls.

Another threat to animal life (and people) there is environmental pollution in the area: it is drained into the Po every day 1728 kilograms of arsenic, and leaks from oil refineries and nearby nuclear power plants are a further cause for concern. No wonder then, that swimming in the river is forbidden, and the water is deemed unfit for drinking and irrigation.

Although after reading the above, it may seem like a strange proposition, the best means of transportation for exploring the delta is by boat. Many people in the area organize boat tours with a guide. Sig. Vincensino slaves, via Vicolo del Farol (0533/99815) or Sig. Dante passarella, c / o USPA Restaurant (0533/99817), both in Gorino, on summer Sundays they launch their boats, if enough interested people are found. You can also go on a boat trip in Valle Fole, south of Comacchio; information at Larus Yiaggi in Piazza Ugo Bassi 32 w Comacchio.


Main town in the area, COMACCHIO, is a small fishing town cut by a network of canals, with the locally famous triple bridge, that is, Trepponti, built in 1634 r. across the three canals. Comacchio is an eel fishing port and it's best to be here in the fall, as the writhing masses of these creatures are caught from the canals on their way to the Sargasso Sea. In one or two restaurants, a fixed set of smoked eels is served (eel), fish risotto and fritlo misto, but the best eateries are outside the city, only available to motorists.

The beaches directly east of Comacchio are not particularly inviting, given the proximity of the poisonous waters of the Po, but the vertical nets on either side of the canals are worth seeing. By the way, Commacchio's marina is called Porto Garibaldi, for the hero of risorgimenta remained here on the shore with his wife Anita and their companion Leggero, when the last Garibaldim were caught at sea by the Austrian Navy.

North of Comacchio: Pomposa Abbey and surroundings

As for the monuments, the area has to offer only about twenty kilometers north of Comacchio (buses from Comacchio and direct from Ferrara) Pomposa Abbey, a lonely group of buildings, which is saved from oblivion by the nearby main road to Chioggia and numerous bus tours in summer.

In the center of the abbey, which includes a Lombard-Romanesque campanile, chapter and refectory, there is a basilica from the 8th century, containing frescoes by the painter Vitale da Bologna and the Bologna school, but the abbey is better known because of one of the monks, Guide d’Arezzo, which in the 11th century. invented the musical scale here. The abbey fell into decline no later than several hundred years after its construction, for the delta has become more marshy and malarial, and you, which the disease did not finish, they hardly survived thanks to hunting and fishing. W XVII w. the monks eventually left the abbey.

There is a side road from Pomposa to Volano, along the Valle Bertuzzi, a stretch of water with small islands covering Riserva Natura Pineta di Volano. On the other side of the estuary is Bosco della Mesola, ancient forest planted by the Etruscans, now surrounded by fields of peppers and artichokes. The forest has shrunk over time, when felling was carried out here, but it is the only larger stand in the area; roe deer hide among the oaks and juniper trees. You can enter the forest only on weekends (8.00-until dusk), and you can rent a bicycle at the gate — take the bus from Ferrara to GORO, get off at the stop no 15, then go 2 km on foot back down the road, to turn left.

Only GORO, another port on the coast, it is used by both deep-sea drifters, as well as smaller local boats, and is one of the most prosperous, although at the same time the least colorful towns on this stretch of the shore. To, what will be caught, Either it is put on ice and loaded directly onto container trucks or it is sold at a cooperative a few hundred meters away. Theoretically, the cooperative sells only wholesalers, but private tenders are held on the quayside. The road from Goro accompanies drainage canals, in which the water level exceeds the surrounding fields. The main town in this area is MESOLA, where a noisy market takes place on Saturdays in the courtyard and in the portico of the castle. From Mesola, the road to the west runs along one of the main arms of the Po - Po di Goro - which also marks the border with Veneto.

South of Comacchio: Alfonsine i Museo del Senio

The landscape around the Valli di Comacchio lagoons consists of farmland and marshes. Buildings are rare and the only sign of life is here and there a heron or a bird of prey. ALFONSINE, the main center of the area, it is situated on the Ferrara-Ravenna railway line, but there is nothing there, which would encourage you to stop for longer. After heavy bombing in 1944 r. very little is left of the pre-war city and it is worth seeing only the Museo del Senio in Piazza della Resistenza (codz. 9.00-13.00 i 14.00-18.00, sb. i nd. in the afternoon it closed). It shows the history of the war, including documentation on the German "Gothic Line" across the Apennines and the role of Italian guerrillas in breaking it. Among the many items and photos is a collection of photos of gates made of tracked tanks (there are still many of them here), and bridges to be hastily thrown over ditches and canals.

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