- FEBRUARY 2018 -
HOME - Bridge Italy - Bologna - The Po Delta park Natural beauty and history
The Po Delta park
Natural beauty and history
A paradise of 70,000 hectares, between Emilia Romagna and Veneto, which could become the Biosphere Reserve.
Its oldest part, from the Cervia saltpans to the Goro Po, is already a natural park designated a World Heritage site by UNESCO
by Dario C. Nicoli
SHARE Facebook Twitter

Po Delta park. Basin with bamboo fish trap. Photo courtesy of the photographic archive of the Park
of the Po Delta

Take a group of pink flamingos dredging the lagoon’s shallow waters, a flight of migratory birds flying high in the sky, while another flight land on the water for a breather and snap up the silver fish that abound in an aquaculture pool. Add a stroll in the Mesola wood, the pride and joy of the Este dukes, under the curious gaze of a stag, a rare representative of an ancient species that over the centuries has survived only here. And then, breath-taking sunsets over groves of reeds through which a maze of tiny canals run, accessible only by small flat-bottomed boats. Eels, sea bass, bream, mussels, clams, fossil dunes, plants and flowers that exist nowhere else. And rice fields that produce a special Carnaroli rice, recently awarded protected origin status by the European Union.

These are the images of an earthly paradise that greet visitors to the Po Delta, an area of 70,000 hectares, which hopes to become the Biosphere Reserve, but which in its oldest part, from the Cervia saltpans to the Goro Po in Emilia Romagna, is already a natural park that has been named a UNESCO World Heritage site. The more modern section, from the Goro Po to the Adige, belongs instead to Veneto which protects it with an Area Plan, because it contains large tracts of cultivation alongside biotopes which shelter 360 species of nesting and migratory birds, 3 species of reptiles including an extremely rare tortoise, two species of amphibians and 10 of fish. Not to mention the flowers and native plants protected in the Botanic Gardens of Rosolina Mare. The pearl of pearls is the holiday island of Albarella, which sprang up in the Seventies along the coastline at the edge of a lagoon and an aquaculture pool.

The park originated at the beginning of time and reminds us of Spina, ancient port town and favorite stopping place amongst traders from Greece and Adria, the Etruscan city which is supposed to have given the Adriatic sea its name. It takes us back to the wars between the Republic of Venice and the Ferrara Duchy, but also to the Estensi’s love for the natural environment and to the great land reclamation operations carried out by Venetian nobles to gain cultivable land from the sea and the marshes. Places not to be missed are the museums of Adria and Spina, the Mesola castle in the Ferrara area, built by Niccolò d’Este in 1385 as a country “delight”, and the Land Reclamation Museum of Ca’ Vendramin in the Rovigo area. At the mouth of the Pila Po, there stands, emblematic and paradoxical, a thermoelectric power station designed by Enel in the Seventies and still in operation until a few years ago. It disfigured the horizon with its 250-meter-high smoke stack in reinforced concrete; but in order to safeguard itself, it involuntarily had to save the entire territory from tides and flooding.

Kilometers of sandy beach, mostly in its natural state, cycle paths along the banks of the fish pools teeming with bream and sea bass, house boats, trekking, fishing with a line or lift net, birdwatching, photography, good food. This is a wetland whose features are in some ways similar and in others unique compared to other European deltas, a heritage that the Veneto and Emilia Romagna Regions have jointly condensed into a tourism package to be presented at Expo 2015 from 1st May to 31st October, both at the Milanese site and at Aquae Venezia, which will be open in parallel at the same time. There are a great many factors that every year push over 100,000 new visitors to fall in love with the Po Delta. Not the least is its proximity to Ravenna, Ferrara, Bologna, Venice, Padua and Verona, artistic cities soaked in history and well connected by roads, motorways, railways and airports. What’s more, on this very special occasion, Ferrara, city of bicycles, world heritage site, offers an exhibition of Giovanni Boldini and Filippo De Pisis, protagonists of the international art scene between the 1800s and 1900s, in the exquisite rooms of Este Castle, while Palazzo Roverella in Rovigo from February 14 is hosting “The demon of modernity. Visionary painters in the short century”.

More articles
Culture   Eugenio Barba On Life and Theatrical Thought and Practice Culture   Mark Bradford and Wade Guyton Million dollar American art that’s taking Italy by storm Culture   “Poverty is sexist” The young ambassadors of ONE in Paris against extreme poverty Culture   The middle-eastern origin of blown glass, the pride of Venice Culture   “You don’t know the South” 
The culture of the South relaunched in Otranto Culture   Those Southern women who express the world Culture   Andy Warhol The immortal guru of Pop Art Culture   “Angels and saints in Chicago and Baltimora” Cultural exchanges between the University of Bari and the US Culture   Those farm women, thrilled at their first sight of the sea… Culture   My Puglia as seen from the UN Culture   Forty young Italians with ONE for the fight against world hunger Culture   “American Dreamers” The new dream of eleven American artists on show in Florence Culture   The Fulbright Project? An extraordinary opportunity for a cultural exchange
Books   Not even love transforms the Stock Exchange of destinies Books   And the dream of conquest turned into a mirage of the desert Books   Joseph’s Gargano Books   The tragedy of Mattmark A book so as not to forget Books   Journey through the gardens of Italy Books   When poetry investigates “time” Books   Amidst the storms of life it’s the strength of a loving heart that wins Books   That valley in the Gargano so rich in history that must not be forgotten Books   Grottaglie and its pottery through the life of the benefactor Vincenzo Calò Books   Eighty years of joyful culture Books   Sergeant Romano’s siege like in a movie Books   The magnificent eighty Books   San Marco in Lamis seen from its bell-tower Books   A great love for splendid Castro Books   Better not come home... Letters between Italy and America during the first World War Books   Story of a poet between Puglia and America Books   Worked to death under the sun of Puglia Books   When forgotten objects tell a life story Books   Masserie of Puglia Journey amidst Beauty Books   An excursion into the Salentine dialect … Mai pe iabbu Books   The moral revival of the South can start from its “best” Books   Life, anyway! Books   Rainbow of women Books   Amidst the mountains of Val d’Aosta …in pursuit of the culprit Books   …Once upon a time there was the past Writing about it to preserve the memory Books   Disorder and experimentation in the museum-houses of Ignazio Apolloni Books   Salento stories …in search of lost time Books   Pietro Marti, the great standard-bearer of Salento culture Books   Even tycoons cry Books   If a “whale” island appears one night out of nowhere… Books   From his ancestral Calabria to Roma Precious memories of a lifetime Books   The importance of rediscovering “fraternity” Books   In the wax museum to seek the dream of a better world Books   Naples “Kissed by God and raped by Man” Books   Once upon a time there was the padre-padrone Books   Second World War The drama of the fallen Books   On the Savannah lagoons …to heal Books   The meaning of the 20th century in the saga of the Stille family Books   In Fellini’s La dolce vita the germs of today’s Italy Basilicata   Craco The “second life” of a ghost town Bari   “Cieli americani” in Bari Verona   Verona Shakespeare celebrated its beauty without ever having seen it Courmayeur   Courmayeur All the charm of the low season Ferrara   You can still dream in Ferrara Ferrara   “Action!” Amongst Ferrara’s myriad sets Music   Porretta Soul Festival The Italian Woodstock of black American music Matera   Pasolini-Matera Fifty years ago the first Gospel in the Sassi Naples   “Wood Stone and Friends” Jimmie Durham’s magic vitalism at the MADRE Naples   Art miracles at Vigna San Martino Naples   The Hermann Nitsch Museum From horror to awareness Bologna   Do you want to be FICO? In Bologna you can Bologna   Bologna “The Learned”, “The Fat”, “The Red” Bologna   At the MAMbo Arte Povera on display Polignano   From Brooklyn to Polignano Twelve artists out to conquer Europe Movies   With The Revenant DiCaprio rises again and aims for the Oscar Movies   Quo Vado? When the southern redneck turns politically correct Movies   When the cinema returns to the future Best of Italy   Andria Pietro Zito’s vegetable garden This is where his prize-winning dishes originate Best of Italy   The best Milanese panettone is… Salentine San Marino   “From Hopper to Warhol” on the gentle hills of San Marino San Marino   San Marino Historic appeal amidst breathtaking panoramas Turin   Reggia di Venaria Reale A treasure rediscovered Turin   The Egyptian Museum of Turin The immortal appeal of the Pharaohs Turin   “For President” Photogenic qualities will win the elections Padua   So much… In the city of the three “withouts” Milan   EXPO 2015 Not just food Milan   The oneiric inspirations of Joan Jonas Milan   “Autunno americano” Milan celebrates the States Milan   MILAN The metropolis is still “to drink” (…and “to eat”) Rome   “Empire State” New York is still the epicenter of art Venice   The immortal charm of the 
“Queen of the Sea” Venice   So many “Illumi/nations” with the Biennale d’Arte Rovigo   History and Art In the capital of the Polesine Rovigo   “Divisionism, the light of what is modern” 200 works on show in Rovigo