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The Park's Typical Products




The Po Delta Park area presents all the "flavours" of the tradition linked to the valley environment. The history of the people of the Delta is intertwined with the fundamental happenings and changes of the river, so much so that the river is still today a live presence. Fishing, in all its forms - valley, sea, river fishing - was and is the fundamental activity in this area crossed by hundreds of twists, inlets, ponds of fresh water and rivers in continuous communication with the sea.
In such a water-based landscape, fishing alternated with the exploitation of common reed. Common reeds were used to make covers and roofs for the casoni in the valley, to make mats, bags, "grisole", “prints” for hunting - artefacts representing marsh birds in reed. Besides fishing, another traditional activity was the processing, picking, and frying of typical fish captured in the lavoriero in the Comacchio Valleys: first of all the tasty eels, but also the frizzy sandsmelts. Women were in charge of processing the eels at the Valli Factory, in Comacchio. A production cycle monitored all the phases: spitting, picking in vinegar, water and salt with laurel leaves, up to packaging in the "zangolini" - typical wood containers.
Today, in every corner of the Park, you can taste and admire all the "symbols" of the Delta.
Water land, rich in "white gold": the salt. In the natural salt ponds, divided into pans, brackish water was left to rest and an enormous quantity of white crystals was produced in the Comacchio and Cervia salt pans. It was traditional to preserve in salt many sea products and food from the valley, eels, anchovies etc. This tradition is still alive nowadays.
The rich food traditions of the valley are sided by an extraordinary variety of tasty sea fish recipes (restaurants on the Comacchio, Ravenna and Cervia seashore).
The tastes of the park offer many local specialities: pines and truffles from the Ravenna Pinewood, the classic piadina romagnola, the typical Ferrara bread - the sublime "couples" - as well as the Cervia salt which gives any recipe a special taste.
From the Po mouth, northwards, to Goro, and South of the Reno river mouth bordering Ravenna and Cervia, expands the area of the Woodland Wines, along the Romea road, called the “strada dei vini del Bosco”. The roots of the vineyards of the "golden grapes" are plunged in history. It would seem that on the occasion of Renata di Francia's wedding with Ercole II of the Este household, in the sand lands of the Delta, many rooting were planted of a vine variety with the Cote d’Or borgognona, then known as golden grape. From the 16th century to present day, grape has been harvested year after year, and since 1989 the wines produced in this area have been awarded the DOC denomination: the red wines Fortana and Merlot, the white wines Sauvignon and Bianco. At present, the production area is between the province of Ferrara (towns of Goro, Mesola, Lagosanto and part of the municipalities of Comacchio, Argenta and Codigoro) and the province of Ravenna (Ravenna and Cervia).

Link to the Atlas of typical products of the Emilia – Romagna Region Parks


The good resources of the Park
Natural and Food and wine tourism in the Ravenna valley.

Funds: Decision 413 “Improving life quality and diversifying economic production” - Action 2 “Implementation with leading approach of decision 313 Promotion of tourism” - PAL for the Emilia-Romagna Delta ASSE 4 “Implementation of the leading approach” PSR 2007-2013. Agrea Application n. 2120011 - Project “The good resources of the Park - Natural and Food and Wine Tourism in the Ravenna valley”.

From the beginning of last century, we have lost 75% of the genetic biodiversity of the agricultural crops; today in the world only four edible plants, maize, rice, wheat and potatoes, provide 60% of the global food energy, in spite of the existence of 7-10,000 species.
Such reduction of crop varieties, although these ensure high productivity, has an enormous environmental cost due to intensive farming techniques which often change the ecological balance of the ecosystems.
Furthermore, despite farms being less and less varied, crop trade across the world has intensified, with heavy environmental impacts and consequent impoverishment of the social and economic tissue of the local communities.
Hence, the need to redesign a more efficient and sustainable system both in terms of use and of trade of food products.
By promoting the use of spontaneous and edible species, often not very known among the local population, and by adopting sustainable farming techniques we could encourage a local culture of biodiversity and reduce the environmental impact.
The Ravenna valley, although intensively farmed, still presents some interesting examples for naturalists and people with good taste.
We just have to go look in those marginal places, unknown places, where spontaneous plants grow abundantly, far from the state ways and only accessible on foot or by bike.
This privileged sites are the brackish areas, pinewoods and hygrophile woodlands.
In open space, spontaneous edible plants grow mainly on the banks of rivers and channels, in river flood plains and wet meadows.
Those who are used to passing along the banks of the river Lamone and of the torrent Bevano are very well aware of this. These are the people who respect nature and have a cult for unique flavours and traditional food.

Discover the plants and how to use them in the kitchen. (1.52 Mb .pdf)


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Scientific Website of the Po Delta Park