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Lago delle Nazioni – Meadows of the Romea beach


The environment

Lago delle Nazioni is a salty lake which stretches for abouth 90 ha between the Volano pine forest and the Acciaioli road, that runs along the area of the Bertuzzi Valley. The lake is the remaining part of the Volano Valley, a salty valley that formed in the southern-eastern part of the delta area of Volano and that developed in the Late Middle Ages and in the Renaissance. The valley, which mainly formed through the intake of sea water, changed its shape many times, due to the withdrawal of the coast after the crisis of Po di Volano (after the Ficarolo flood, known in Italian as “rotta di Ficarolo”, of the 12th century) and it remained in direct contact with the sea for a long time, through the so-called “Bocca del Bianco” (Bianco mouth) that was obstructed in 1909. The Volano Valley (more than 300 ha) was reclaimed in 1963 and the lake “Lago delle Nazioni” (90 ha) was subject to some works in the Mid-Sixties in order to be used for sports and tourist activities. In two years of works the bottom was dug (in some parts down to 6 m) and a perimeter was set, building a cement quay in the southern part.  The water is changed through a canal that leads to the Volano mouth in Taglio della Madonnina (Bondesan in Corbetta 1990, Vianelli 1988).


The Meadows of the Romea beach are the eastern part of the former Volano Valley (which now is Lago delle Nazioni), that in the past consisted of sand bars and was partly changed in the Sixties to create the necessary infrastructures for an urbanization for touristic purposes, which lucklily did not take place (Vianelli 1988). Today the area consists of salty humid meadows, used for the breeding of bulls and Delta Camargue horses, in a semi-wild state.  



The flora

Now the Lake “Lago delle Nazioni” is almost without water vegetation and swamp vegetation. Its eastern shore, which escaped the building of a large village, has still a residual vegetation which mainly consists of common reeds (Phragmites australis).

The area between Lago delle Nazioni and the Volano pine forest, called Meadows of the Romea beach, is mainly occupied by arable land in the NW area, and by halophilous and halotolerant vegetation. In the more depressed areas, with loamy soil that is flooded for long periods during the year and with a period of summer desiccation, there are communities of annual halophytes mainly characterized by Salicornia patula, accompanied by few other species (synt. Suaedo maritimae-Salicornietum patulae).


In the flooded areas, which are salty, there are salty meadows with Juncus maritimus, accompanied by Aster tripolium, Limonium serotinum, Puccinellia palustris (synt. Puccinellio festuciformis-Juncetum maritimi). In the areas with a sandy soil, almost with no salt left, that are sometimes flooded by stagnant water, there is a rare phytocoenesis, with Juncus maritimus and J. acutus (synt. Juncetum maritimum-acuti), that is also interesting due to the presence of orchids (Corticelli 1999, Pellizzari and Pagnoni 1998).




The fauna

Until the Mid-Seventies, the lake “Lago delle Nazioni” was a wintering site of national importance for many species of anatids, in particular for the tufted duck and the pochard, which were present in that area with a population of thousands of animals. Unfortunately today there are no emergency cases for the fauna and in the water area there are few animals of ubiquitous species, such as black-headed gull, herring gull, mallard, coot, cormorant and, in summer, common tern and little tern.

The Meadows of the Romea beach are usually excluded from the censuses on the bird fauna, but the inspections carried out showed that in the area there are mallards and coots, and also teals in winter and black-winged stilts and avocets in summer. In the humid meadows, during the migration period, there are waders such as the redshank, the spotted redshank, the ruff and the black-tailed godwit. Due to the presence ofCamargue horses and bulls, this was one of the first areas of the delta with cattle egrets.




Access allowed as guided horse tours organized by Villaggio Spiaggia Romea (the Village of the Romea Beach).





CTR 1:25.000 - 187SE; 205 NE


90 ha



Owned by

Private citizens


Private citizens



Hydrogeological restriction according to the Royal Decree 3267  of 30/01/1923.

The area is subject to the provisions of the Law  431/1985, now replaced by the decree-law 490/1999 that is currently in force.

It is part of the Wildlife Sanctuary “Northern shores of Ferrara” (Lidi Ferraresi Nord), established with the deliberation of the Provincial Council  295/10011 of August 1, 1979, and later amendments.

Ramsar area called “Bertuzzi valley and adjacent reflecting pools”, established with the Ministerial Decree of July 13, 1981 (“Gazzetta Ufficiale” no. 203 of July 25, 1981).
The site lies within the boundaries of the Delta Park, according to the Regional Law 27/1988 and the plans of the Volano – Mesola – Goro station of 1991 and 1997. The Territorial Plan of 1991 classifies the lake as Area C and the eastern meadows and Area B (the urban area of the Romea Beach is excluded from the classification). The plan of 1997 includes the whole area in the Area C (Lago delle nazioni area C.UMI, salty meadows on the eastern side, Area C.AGR.D2, salty meadows around the private center of the Romea beach [C.URB and C.URB.b]).
Special protection area and site of community importance (IT4060004) identified according to the directives 92/43/EEC and 409/79/EEC (2570 ha), called “Bertuzzi Valley, Valley of Ponticino- Cannevié”.



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