The Park of the Po Delta, established in 1988, extends along about 60.000 hectares between the provinces of Ravenna and Ferrara. Thanks to the richness of its natural ecosystem, Unesco appointed it World human heritage in 1999.
The Park develops along the last stretch of the river Po, which flows into the Adriatic Sea with a wide delta, thus creating a variety of fertile and wet natural environments.
The varied habitats, from lagoons to marshlands, from ponds to shrub woods, to the beaches and dunes of the Adriatic Coast, allowed the growth of a varied vegetation and the settlement of numerous species of animals.
Many protected areas are crossed by paths to be visited by foot or bike; the riding grounds are situated in the main seaside resorts where it is also possible to make interesting excursions by boat to discover the resort of Goro, the Gorino valley and the Island of Mazzanino.
One of the most appreciated activities in the Park of the Po Delta is bird-watching; several posts are situated all over the park.
The lovers of this sport know they can find the best possible posts in the marshes of Comacchio, thanks to their well-equipped naturalistic centre situated in the Palazzone Sant’Alberto, the seat of the Ornitholigical Museum of Natural Science in Ravenna.
The park is populated by more than 370 species of birds, included those which nest or winter there, as well as by rare specimen of pink flamingos, ashen, white or red herons, little egrets, stilt plovers, avocets, sandpipers, tufted ducks, woodcocks and kingfishers.
Guides and expert environmentalists are available to provide information and organize guided excursions all the year round.
Fishing, a traditional economic resource since ancient times, is played in all its varieties which involve both rivers, seas and valleys. In recent times, equipped facilities for sports fishing have been created and visitors can fish in specific areas and periods of the year, in compliance with the relevant laws of environmental protection.
Not to be missed in the Ravenna vicinity
San Vitale Pinewood
San Vitale Pinewood is a mixed plantation with characteristic umbrella-like shape Stone Pine, Pedunculate Oak, Poplars, Ash Tree, Holm Oak and bushy brushwood. Besides several forest birds – among which we can remember Lesser Spotted Woodpecker, Mistle Thrush, some predatory birds (Scops, Tawny, Little and Eagle Owles), many Passeriforms and forestal Chiroptera – , an important Egret nest area, located in Cavedone Hole and Pirottolo downstream, ideal environment for nutrition and reproduction. Downstream you can notice Pond Terrapin. Even the number of skunks is relevant on San Vitale Pinewood. L’Oasi di Punte Alberete
Punte Alberete Oasis
Punte Alberete is a merged forest of Willow, Ash Tree, Poplar, Elm, Pedunculate Oak, Buckthorn and Alder. Downstream is ploughed with large pools full of White Waterlilies, Salvinia, Fragmites, Willows, Carexes, Fen-sedges and Rushes. Among the rare merge plants there are someone very gorgeous: Orchid, Iris, Flowering rush, Purple-loosestrife, Spring snowflake and White Waterlilies. Fishes, reptiles ( among which Pond Terrapin), amphibians (frogs, toads, newts), insects, molluscs and rare bird species: the great Punte Alberete Egret nest area hosts Purple, Grey, Night and Squacco Heron, Great Egret, Glossy Ibis (Oasis logo), Pygmy Cormorant and many others. Relevant Tufted duck Nidification.
South of the Comacchio valleys
Turning westwards form the Romea road just South of the Reno River you reach Mandriole and S. Alberto. Here on the Reno riverbank you can take a small ferry (bicycle and canoe hire) to go to the opposite bank, next to Furlana valley, located on the South of the Comacchio valleys. This is a protected reserve where herons, egrets, shelducks and spoonbills live and nest. Looking East you can admire the splendid Boscoforte Peninsula and visit the Oasis of Volta Scirocco. West the bank runs along the vast wetlands. Continuing inland you can visit the Alfonsine Nature Reserve and its pond and wood habitat.
In San Vitale Pinewood
Turning into Via del Fossatone, from the SS. Romea, you enter the century old S. Vitale forest and continuing inwards reaching a large open area with its Delta information and document centre, the Cà Vecchia. From here it is possible to take up one of the footpaths or bicycle routes that take you to visit the small church of the “ Madonna del Pino” and across the bridges over the canal Fossatone and finally to the wetlands where you can marvel at the herons, coots and ducks and the Pialassa Baiona lagoon rich in fish and bird life. The Valle Baiona can also be reached from Casal Borsetti, Via delle Valli and from Porto Corsini and Marina Romea.
At Punte Alberete
Turning into Via Fossatone, from the SS. Romea, you can reach the merged forest of Punte Alberte. You can park next to the highway and start your exploration. It takes two hours to visit the oasis. From the several setted posts it’s not difficult to say herons, wild and tufted ducks, kingfishers, little egret.