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After the big drainage between the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century, up to the most recent works of the 1960s, the Valli di Comacchio - central “station” of the Emilia-Romagna Po Delta Park-, preserve an area of over 13,000 hectares. Hillocks and banks cross the valley with halophilous vegetation which is typical of salty environments, including Venetian glassworts and limonium. Important traditions -such as growing and fishing fishes, the eel above all,- have developed.

 

The Comacchio saltpan is located in the North-East corner of the Valleys and it was formed in the mouth ofthe Po di Eridano which flowed north of the present valleys. The saltpan is another biotope of great natural value. The Valleys are the kingdom of gulls and terns, no less than 9 species nest here regularly, and of many other extremely rare species (spoonbills, flamingos, avocets, black-winged stilts, collared pratincola), which have chosen the lagoon as the ideal habitat to reproduce, winter or seek shelter during their migration journey.

There are important testimonies of human activity connected to fishing and to the life of a civilisation bound with the liquid element. Valley Casoni (big country houses) and fishing stations in the valley are scattered along the axis of the valley basin.

At present, a historical-naturalistic itinerary (by boat or on foot) of the restored casoni is available starting from the Stazione Foce (the station at the mouth of the river).

Casone Foce
A few kilometres from Comacchio you can visit the Foce fishing station with its Museum of the Valleys and the famous "lavoriero" (fish trap) used for eel fishing.

This is the departure point for suggestive itineraries to discover the valleys.

The Saltpan
Extending over 600 hectares behind Lido degli Estensi, the saltpan has preserved a plant dating back to Napleon. Channels and open waters form an extremely interesting natural environment in which the Emilia – Romagna Po Delta Park is carrying out reinstatement activities to reproduce salt for teaching and cultural purposes and to allow adequate access to the area.

Agosta Bank
It is an ancient Roman path which crosses the valleys: the Agosta Bank once connected Ravenna and Adria. This road, with a very suggestive landscape, runs along the valley basin.

Fossa di porto Oasis
It is close to the Agosta Bank, at the north end of the Comacchio Valleys. The black-winged stilt nests here.

Reno Bank
Accessible on foot of by bike, this bank runs along the south end of the valleys and it is the natural border between the Reno and the valley. The Boscoforte peninsola and the incredible variety of birds which stop or reproduce in this area form part of this marvellous landscape.

Bellocchio Springs
Between the Romea stateway and the sea, in the provinces of Ferrara and Ravenna, there are the Springs, classified as a Nature Reserve.

Spina
The Etruscans had established the flourishing city of Spina on the Po Delta, next to the very rich necropolis discovered in the 1960s with excavation campaigns (the wonderful finds of the funerary accountrements are exhibited in the splendid collection, of the Archaeological Museum of Ferrara). What is left of this Greek - Etruscan settlement was brought to light at the beginning of the 20th century, after the drainage fo the Trebba, Pega and Mezzano Valleys. 

The city of Spina was established around the VI century b.C. It was an important trade centre between the Adriatic coast and the hinterland of the Po Valley.

Vallette di Ostellato
This wetland is a "survivor" of the ancient valli del mezzano. The wildlife protection oasis extends over approximately 200 hectares of navigation channels and channels around the oasis. 150 bird species have been reported to live in this natural reserve, including Kingfishers, Mallards, Coots, Black-winged Stilts and Marsh harriers. There are also some typical plant species: common reed canes, marsh lilies and, recently, white water-lillies.

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