Delta Del Po

Written by Blaire Chandler-Wilcox
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The Delta del Po is the largest area of protected land in all of Italy. Running along the Adriatic sea, the Po Delta is bordered approximately to the north by Venice and to the south near Rimini in the Italian Riviera. This huge expanse of land (54.000 hectares, or nearly 134,000 acres), is divided between two regions, Emilia-Romagna and Veneto, with each establishing its own park.

Unlike nature preserves in the United States, the Po Delta is not "restricted" from residences and businesses. In fact, the Delta del Po has within its borders several cities including Ferrara and Ravenna, as well as residential areas, farms and businesses. But don't be misled: despite all the "civilization" within the region, much of the Po Delta remains pure wetlands: untouched, wild, and nearly primeval.

Delta del Po: Wet and Wild

Rich in waters, the Delta del Po boasts fresh and salt water basins, marshes, lagoons, canals, rivers, fishing valleys, beaches and floodplains. Not surprisingly the area is a magnet for an extensive array of wildlife, flora and fauna. In fact, two lagoons within the Delta del Po, the Valli di Comacchio and Valle Bertuzzi, are considered among Europe's best sites for bird watching. Nesting birds, as well as migratory birds like herons, terns, and egrets all find sanctuary within this protected habitat.

The area offers many opportunities for outdoor activities including bird watching, of course, but also swimming, hiking and camping. An 80 mile bicycle path cuts through many of the most pastoral and picturesque spots along the right bank of the Po River. Boat tours are also regularly available.

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