A small quiet village and a charming nature. Comacchio, surrounded by beaches and valleys, is the heart of the Po Delta's Park.
One of the many hidden gems in Italy is the little Venice. This is how someyimes Comacchio is called. Its canals, the bridges, the water reflecting the buildings and even the Carnival, in fact, are somewhat reminiscent of a miniature Venice.
Comacchio, however, has its own identity, its history and the particular charm of a city set, like a real gem, between the sea of the Riviera di Romagna and the Valleys. Here nature gives its best, creating unique scenarios that are part of a protected area and that make Comacchio one of the main attractions of the Po Delta Valley Park.
What to see and what to do in Comacchio
The center of Comacchio is not large, but has a lot to offer its visitors.
The first thing to do as soon as you arrive is a nice walk along its canals, to get to know the city and its atmosphere. The walk will also take you to the most iconic monument of the place: Trepponti.This complex bridge crosses the three arms of the Y-shaped canal leading to the Adriatic Sea, and dates back to 1638. It was once the fortified gate of Comacchio. On the towers, added over the centuries, there are inscriptions by Ariosto and Tasso.
Another unmissable destination is the Ancient Delta Museum, with exhibits that trace the long history of Comacchio and the surrounding area since ancient times.
To learn more about the history of this region, including its gastronomy, there is the Manifattura dei Marinati. It's a large museum/laboratory where you can observe the production of marinated eel, a Slow Food Presidium, and of other fish products of the area.
The Marshes of Comacchio
A naturalistic area of enormous charm and beauty, declared a Wetland of International Importance, a Site of Community Interest and a Protected Area for the conservation of birds. All of this is the territory of the Marshes of Comacchio, with its brackish water basins, swamps and salt flats.
Just outside the center of Comacchio you can get a first taste of the charm of this region by walking or cycling along the cycle path that runs along a large water basin. The track goes up to Stazione Foce, the site from which excursions start, both on foot and by boat.
A nice bike excursion ideally starts from Lido degli Estensi to reach the Logonovo Canal and then the Salina di Comacchio, the salt flats. Here you can admire the colonies of water birds, including pink flamingos.
The Seven Shores
Without a doubt Comacchio is one of the hidden gems in Italy. The seven beaches located a few kilometers away, on the other hand, are quite well known. Emilia-Romagna's coast, in fact, is always very popular, so are Comacchio's shores.
Soft sand and shallow waters make them an ideal destination for families, but by night, thanks to the many bars and restaurants, there's fun for everybody. Even sports lovers, however, wont be disappointed. At the modern and elegant Lido degli Estensi, for example, you can practice a lot of outdoor activities. Same goes fot the artificial lake of Lido delle Nazioni, the true sporting heart of this stretch of coast.
Porto Garibaldi, on the other hand, still has the atmosphere of the ancient fishing village it once was. Even today, in the morning, when the boats return to the port, you can buy fresh fish right on the docks.
If you love nature from Lido di Spina you can easily reach the only entrance to the Sacca di Bellocchio State Reserve. A thin strip of sand separates the sea from Lake Spina. The beach here is not equipped, but you will experience the thrill of swimming in the company of seagulls and cormorants, in unspoiled nature. With a short walk you can explore the shores of the lake with its reeds and the cranes that sit quietly in the sun. With the 40 species that nest in this area, the Reserve is also a true paradise for birdwatching.
We really need to rediscover the divinity of the waters, but also of the mountains, of nature with which we have lost contact.