[Emilia-Romagna Parks] The Po Delta Park
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On the eastern border of the Po Valley, where the Po river has its delta into the Adriatic Sea, there’s a park. It is located along the 40 km of the Ferrara and Ravenna coast and near Argenta, and, most importantly, it is included in the UNESCO site Humanity Ferrara, city of the Renaissance and its Po Delta.
The Po Delta Park of Emilia-Romagna and Veneto forms the Biosphere Reserve of the Po Delta, recognized as MaB UNESCO in 2015 as an ecosystem where biodiversity enhancement is combined with sustainable development strategies.
It is also filled with ducal residences and the adjacent reclaimed areas, which constitutes a unique cultural and natural landscape.
Walking, by boat, by bike, by motorbike or on horseback: there are many ways to explore this wet ecosystem close to the beauty and history of art cities such as Ravenna, Ferrara and Venice.
WHAT TO DO
The Park of the Po Delta offers, in every season, experiences to taste, memorize and share. These are the activities we recommend for each period. And, in case you’re photographic enthusiast, every season is good for a profitable photoshoop, thanks to the different scenarios that you can watch.
Are you lovers of the open air? This land offers many excursions for trekking, by biking or saddling on a 4X4. You also get a chance to see the Fossil Dunes of Massenzatica that testify life on the Adriatic coast dating back to the Bronze Age. Among the events we report Primavera Slow, a rich program involving education, workshops, exhibitions, guided tours, sporting events, and enogastronomy. We suggest you also visit the International Birdwatching Fair, perfect for lovers of photography, slow tourism, biodiversity and sustainability.
Just remember to put a good sunscreen (and an anti-mosquito for those with delicate skin) to explore the valleys of the Park by boat between canals and reeds. For horse-riding enthusiasts do not miss a romantic ride on the water at sunrise or sunset. If at the end of the day you want to relax, we recommend a beneficial stop at the Thermae Oasis. A visit to Goro’s lighthouse becomes a must.
Although with the arrival of autumn the days begin to shorten there are so many ways to enjoy the Par. You can have a taste of the delicacies of the territory on the occasion of the Eel Festival. You can walk between the silence and lush of the pinewoods of Ravenna or in the folds of history visiting the Garibaldi’s hut.
When climatic conditions worsen, the visit to the Park can concentrate on cultural heritage: discovering the 9 localities that are part of the Park (Argenta, Ostellato, Comacchio, Codigoro, Goro and Mesola in the province of Ferrara and Cervia, Ravenna and Alfonsine in the Ravenna area) or of the numerous museums and monuments (Basilica of Sant’Apollinare in Classe, Delizie Estensi, House Museum Remo Brindisi, Pomposa Abbey) that are in the territory.
San Vitale Pinewood | Pic by RavennaTourism
Cervia Saltpans | Ph. Cervia Turismo
Egret | Pic by nadia_virgili for WLM2017
Flamingoes | Pic by PrimaveraSlow
Comacchio Historic centre | Pic by vanni_lazzari for WLM2017
Pic by servizio_turismo for WLM2016
Primavera Slow (Bike tour) | Ph. Delta2000
Comacchio Valleys | Ph. Parcodeltapo.it
3 PLACES OF THE HEART
- Mesola Woodland Natural Reserve | This wooded area that rises on the dune strings formed by the Po di Goro and Po di Volano has medieval origins. It carries memory of the ancient forests that were found until a few centuries ago along the Adriatic coast. Between the forest and the marsh area, it is also possible to meet the “King of the forest”: the deer of Mesola. A unique experience that you’ll have rediscovering the charm of unspoiled nature.
- Cervia Saltpans | South of the Park is an environment with a great naturalistic and landscape interest as it is populated by flamingos and other protected species. Many experiences here are to try (walks, boat rides or visits at sunset) to know the history and tradition of the production of Cervia’s salt.
- Valli di Comacchio | The wide wet and marshy area, recognized as a wetland of international importance, offers spectacular natural landscapes. Along the stretches of water and the dunes of sand, between valleys, canals, fishing lodges, pine forests and woods, it wuold be difficult to remain indifferent and not to immortalise the extraordinary panoramas offered.
The Park is an extraordinary example of biodiversity: these are the recommended excursions to get to know the many faces of the water (sweet, salty or brackish), the undisputed protagonist of the Park.
In Ferrara we point out the excursion to the Argenta Valleys to be explored on foot, by bike or by electric boat, that of Volano-Mesola-Goro that runs along the two branches of the great river dedicated to birdwatchers and the excursion to Comacchio, city lagoon of ancient origins called the little Venice, to live along the canals aboard the typical “batane”.
In Ravenna, easy and suggestive excursions in the Pineta di San Vitale and Piallassa della Baiona, in Punta Alberete to admire the flooded forest or along the Lamone River to follow the flight of the Herons.
On both territories there are many dedicated paths with shields with huts, specially set up for the observation of the various species of bird life present.
Also worthy of note to walk lovers, including the 2nd, 3rd and 6th stages of the Via Romea Germanica that touch Ferrara, Argenta and Ravenna.
The regional headquarters of the Park is located in Comacchio (FE): there are many visitor centers (Alfonsine, Argenta, Cervia, Comacchio, Massenzatica, Mesola, Ostellato, Sant’Alberto and Savio) where you can receive all the useful information and tourist material to fully enjoy this territory.