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Po Delta Regional Park

The Parco Regionale Delta del Po is the largest park in the region Emilia Romagna with a surface area of about 54,000 hectares divided into six areas called "stations” which cover the southern part of the large Po Delta; this territory has a rich fauna, including a great number of birds that find their ideal habitat here. This is also one of the most interesting areas in Emilia Romagna for cultural heritage. Some of the main historical-artistic sites include Pomposa, Comacchio and Sant’Apollinare in Classe. Of the delta waterways, in Emilia Romagna the protected area of the park extends only over the most southern part of the delta, which flows into the Adriatic Sea, and includes the Po River mouths of Goro and Volano. The area south of Goro also includes the mouths of some of the rivers that flow down from the Apennines, such as the Reno, Senio, Lamone, Fiumi Uniti (Ronco and Montone), Bevano and Savio as well as extensive brackish and humid areas. The Park includes other particularly important environments such as the Bosco della Mesola, the Pinewoods of Ravenna and Cervia, the ancient salt-works in Cervia, Punte Alberete natural oases, the Comacchio Marshes and the wetlands and woods of Campotto.

 

Parco_Delta_Po11.jpg

 

Flora

The variety of vegetal species of the Delta is of great interest despite the heavy intervention of man in the area. Typical "pioneer", or sand, vegetation can still be seen along the beaches. Searocket and Italian cocklebur can be found near the coast line while rushy wheat grass and marram grass grow slightly further inland; another typical plant of the dunes is sea holly.

 

In the Comacchio Marshes and in the Bertuzzi Marsh, filled with flamingos in spring and autumn, the vegetation is rather peculiar due to the high level of salinity of these sites. The salicornia is a typical plant that grows in this type of marsh; other plants that grow in this area, away from this particular type of substratum, include the common ditch reed borders, tufts of sea rush and limonium which stands out with its showy flowers. The Great Mesola Woods, located in the northern part of the park, is one of the most important examples of natural woods in the Po Plain and includes some very large sized trees. The most common species found in the woods is the holm-oak, while narrow leaved ash, white poplar and common elm grow in the shallow parts between the dunes. English oak and European hornbeam grow in the western wooded area.

 

The Oasi di Punte Alberete near Ravenna is the last flooded forest in this region and its woodland area is of great natural interest. White water-lily, frogbit and floating plants grow near the ponds and ditches of sweet water, while tree species typical of humid areas grow on the crests of the dunes – so called “staggi”. In the Argenta Valleys there is also the Traversante, an example of woodlands which are regularly submerged.

 

The coastal landscape is mainly made up of pinewoods like the historical ones in Ravenna, San Vitale, Classe and Cervia, which consist mainly of umbrella pine, European hornbeam, holm-oak, and white poplar, while the most common flowers are orchids; along the coastline there are also pinewoods characterised by maritime pine and, finally, to the north, the Volano Pinewood, a Nature Reserve on the mouth of the homonymous branch of the Po River. The sweet water humid areas (Argenta valleys and the Punte Alberete – Mandriole Valley area) form an important habitat for vegetation typical of this type of land.

 

Trees include weeping willows and poplars, while the most common shrubs are “biangola”; sometimes tufts of tufted sedge can be seen in the flooded fields as well as spring snowflake and flowering rush. Rare species of orchids also grow in this habitat. Ditch reed grows at a reasonable depth while true aquatic species (white water-lily, yellow water-lily and fringed water-lily) can be found in the centre of the valleys where the water is between 50 cm and 2 metres deep.

 

Fauna

Despite the impoverishment of the wildlife heritage of the Delta area over the centuries, in the last decades there has been a trend reversal and protected species have returned here to nest such as the common spoonbill, Mediterranean gull, slender- billed gull, sandwich tern and the lesser crested tern. Land predators such as badgers, foxes, weasels and beech-martens have also returned taking quickly possession of the plain. More than 250 species of birds can be sighted here; the highest number of species in the territory. The oystercatcher, snowy plover and the little tern nest on the quieter beaches while seagulls, terns, common redshanks, black-winged stilts and pied avocets lay their eggs in the lagoons and embanked areas. Reed thickets house the red heron, common tern, marsh harrier, great bittern, nightingale and other species. Many birds of prey are also present here, including the hobby, tawny owl and horned owl as well as rare species such as: glossy ibis and egrets.

 

The fauna of the Bosco della Mesola is mainly made up of mammals, such as fallow deer (a non-native species) and deer. Other typical animals of the humid areas are the harvest mouse, water vole and water shrew, and seen less and less are wild rabbits. All the amphibian species found in the region can be found in the humid areas of the Delta with the exception of those which prefer the habitat of hills and mountains.  Eels live in inland water areas; canals, rivers and ponds offer the ideal habitat for carp, tench, pike, pumpkinseed and black bullhead.

 

Open air museum

Visitors can find out more about the landscape and/or cultural aspects of the area by visiting the many interesting sites of the Po Delta. From north to south there are mansions and villages of great interest; these include, in addition to those previously mentioned: the imposing Mesola Castle home of the new Mesola Woods and Deer Museum, near the right bank of the Po River in Goro; Torre Abate, a 17th century water system; Goro and Gorino, departure point for boat trips; the town of Codigoro and the Pomposa Abbey; the Canneviè-Porticino Marsh home to herons and ducks; the Bertuzzi Valley; the town of Comacchio with its prestigious buildings (such as Loggia dei Mercanti, Chiesa del Carmine and the Loggiato dei Cappuccini) and the Trepponti bridge, a unique work of architecture over water with five staircases built in 1634 to defend the town; the Foce fishing point, the entrance to the Comacchio Marshes historical-natural route; Fossa di Porto Oasis; Argine Agosta and Zavelea Oasis; Vallette di Ostellato, with an animal protection sanctuary of about 200 hectares with navigable canals; Casino di Campotto in Argenta, headquarters of the Marsh Museum of the Historic-Natural Documentation Centre; the Campotto, Bassarone and Vallesanta valleys. Also worth visiting: the Ancona and the Bellocchio mines; and Spina lake; the Palazzone di Sant'Alberto with the avifauna Visitor Centre of the Po Delta Park; the Alfonsine Nature Reserve with the "Vincenzo Monti" Museum; the Pialassa della Baiona lagoon; the Basilica di Sant'Apollinare in Classe built in the 6th century; the Ortazzo and Ortazzino Oases; the Foce Bevano, the Magazzini del Sale and the salines of Cervia where many limicola and anatidae can be sighted, as well as the many National Nature Reserves, which are an integral part of the Park ecosystem.

 

Parco del Delta del Po Emilia Romagna
Park Headquarters

Parks and Biodiversity Management Office – Po Delta

C.so G. Mazzini, 200 - Comacchio (FE)

Tel. +39 0533 314003 - Fax +39 0533 318007

parcodeltapo@parcodeltapo.it

 

Visitors' centres

Mesola Woods and Deer Museum

Castello Estense - Piazza Santo Spirito - 44026 Mesola (FE)

Tel. +39 339 1935943 – Fax + 39 0533 993358

prolocomesola@libero.it


Marinade Factory Presidio Slow Food

and Workshop of traditional Marinated Eel of the Comacchio Marshes

C.so G. Mazzini, 200 - 44022 Comacchio (FE)

Tel. +39 0533 81742 - Fax +39 0533 81742

manifatturadeimarinati@parcodeltapo.it

 

Argenta Marshes Museum

Via Cardinala, 1/c - 44010 Campotto di Argenta (FE)

Tel. +39 0532 808058 - Fax +39 0532 808001

info@vallidiargenta.org

 

Reclamation Ecomuseum

Strada Provinciale per Codigoro – Loc. Marozzo di Lagosanto (Fe)

Tel. +39 0533 993176

info@fattoriedeldelta.it

 

Ostellato Museum

Strada del Mezzano, 14 - 44020 Ostellato (FE)

Tel. e Fax +39 0533 681368

museodelterritorio@atlantide.net

 

Museum NatuRa

Palazzone di Sant'Alberto and NatuRa Museum - Ornithology and Natural Sciences Museum “Alfredo Brandolini”

Via Rivaletto, 25 - 48020 Sant'Alberto (Ra)

Tel. +39 0544 528710-529260 - Fax +39 0544 528710

infonatura@comune.ra.it


Cubo Magico Bevanella

Via Canale Pergami – 48020 Savio (Ra)

Tel. +39 335 56328218 fax + 39 0544 974548

bevanella@atlantide.net

 

Saline di Cervia

Via Bova, 61 - 48015 Cervia (RA)

Tel. +39 0544 973040 - Fax +39 0544 974548

salinadicervia@atlantide.net

 

Marsh Grasses Ecomuseum

Via Ungaretti, 1 – Villanova di Bagnacavallo (Ra)

Tel./Fax + 39 0545 47122

e-mail: erbepalustri@comune.bagnacavallo.ra.itbarangani@racine.ra.it

 

Tourist Information

Park Information Service

c/o Manifattura dei Marinati - Marinade Factory

C.so G. Mazzini, 200 - Comacchio (FE)

Tel. +39 346 8015015

servizioinformativo@parcodeltapo.it

 

IAT - Ufficio informazioni di Ferrara

Castello Estense – 44121 Ferrara

Tel. +39 0532 209370 Fax + 39 0532 212266

infotur@provincia.fe.it

 

Ufficio Informazione e Accoglienza turistica

 

Piazza San Francesco, 7 - Ravenna
Tel +39 0544 35755 - 35404 / Fax +39 0544 546108
iatravenna@comune.ra.it

 

IAT - Ufficio informazioni di Comacchio

Via Agatopisto, 3 - Comacchio (FE)

Tel. +39 0533 314154  Fax +39 0533 319278

comacchio.iat@comune.comacchio.fe.it

 

Links

Parks

Ermes Ambiente

 

How to get here

The six “stations” into which the park is divided can be easily reached by taking the toll-free motorway of the Lidi Ferraresi or the Ravenna exit off the A14 motorway , the SS306 Romea (Venice-Ravenna), the SS16 Adriatica (Ferrara-Rimini), and the E 45 (Rome-Ravenna).

Last modified May 15, 2019

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