Polesine - Loreo
In the southern part of Veneto, lying in the Po Valley, the Province of Rovigo is mostly occupied by Polesine and crossed by two remarkable rivers: the Po and the Adige.
Following the gentle flow of these rivers it is possible to start a characteristic and unusual trip through woods, old towns and the sound traditions of the local people.
It is an exceptional land where a dense network of canals, drainage units, reclaimed lands and geometric plantations coexist with nature. An unreal world where absolute silence is only interrupted by the cry of birds or by the calm noise of the Po river; a mysterious landscape, made of water and land, hard to differentiate when the fog closes in. It is a valuable example of how mankind, through effort, sweat and love can coexist with a difficult land , without disturbing its balance.
The Po Delta is situated on the coast of the Adriatic Sea; it is a little known land to be explored, in order to discover the hidden corners of this soft and captivating landscape where woods, pine forests, oasis and cane fields, coexist with history and art.
Rovigo is a modern city whose past is mapped out by its remarkable historic buildings.
The Medieval influence can be seen in the towers that look over the city, such as the tower in via Pighin and the two leaning towers: Donà -one of the highest Italian medieval towers- and the Mozza tower.
There are also many Renaissance mansions: Palazzo Roverella, Palazzo Roncale di Michele Sanmicheli and Palazzo dell’Accademia dei Concordi, which hosts the Gallery of the same name.
The remarkable Cathedral dedicated to St. Stephen Pope and Martyr preserves many sculptures and paintings.
Heading towards the Adriatic Sea we come to the Po Delta Park, an area where masterpieces of nature and man unite to offer a sensational landscape. From the countryside, to the fossil dunes, the river banks, to the floodplains, the fishing valleys, to the lagoons, there are so many different landscapes to discover and experience in learning about the nature and history of this land.$$$ In the Veneto area the Po Delta Park comprises nine municipalities including Porto Tolle, which boasts one of the most suggestive and precious landscapes in Italy, with spits of land that alternate with branches of rivers, islets, cane fields and fishing valleys; and Adria, the small, pretty town that gave the Adriatic its name, full of artistic jewels, and site of the National Archaeological Museum with its remarkable Etruscan and Roman finds.
In Fratta Polesine it is possible to admire Villa Badoer, one of the most beautiful villas realised by Palladio in the Veneto area (16th century), its interiors adorned with frescoes by Pierfrancesco Giallo Fiorentino.
In Polesella too, there are many Renaissance villas which are all representative of the elegance and magnificence of the typical Venetian architecture.
Rosolina a Mare, a pretty small town on the Adriatic coast, has a vast sandy shore and a dense pine forest.
The Po Delta is the site of the Regional Natural Park which is characterised by unique landscapes that welcome the visitor to a surreal world made up of spits of land, branches of rivers, islets, cane fields and fishing valleys, which provide the perfect environment for many bird species.
Red herons and grey herons, ducks and geese, waders, flamingos, avocets: more than 370 species in the ornithological heritage of the park, a real paradise for birdwatching and photography lovers. An ideal way to discover the wonders of these places is to take a a boat trip, slowly sailing along the many branches of the river. This experience can be even more exciting on by canoe or kayak, which make it possible to reach the quietest corners of the river to observe the birds that nest or fly the area.
In general, for those who prefer birdwatching from dry land, there are several purpose built observation towers. There are many routes to be explored by mountain bike or on horseback, making it possible to immerse yourself body and soul in this captivating countryside.
For beach lovers, Rosolina a Mare, almost completely surrounded by two rivers, has a large, beautiful sandy beach, that at first glance seems to be an island surrounded by the waters of the Adriatic Sea and the rivers.
True to Italian tradition many feasts and festivals are celebrated throughout the Province of Rovigo, symbols of still vivid customs and traditions.. Strawberries, wheat and polenta are just some of the “ingredients” that feature in these festivals, besides the traditional Christmas and Easter celebrations. Badia Polesine hosts the Sagra degli Aquiloni (Kites festival), an event dedicated to children, with prizes for the most beautiful kite and for the one that flies the highest.
The local dishes are characterised by simple and genuine ingredients.
Typical dishes include: rice in fish broth, risotto polesano with eel and the faraona in tecia: cooked in a wood burning stove or open fire in an earthenware pot.
Eel and freshwater fish are grilled or cooked in a saucepan, usually with a side dish of polenta, which is typical of this area too.
The area has a rich variety of game, especially geese and ducks.
There are tasty cold cuts, such as the renowned smoked bondiola a speciality of the Basso Polesine area, and the bondiola of Adria, made with minced veal, pork rump and lard.
A typical dessert of Polesine area is the torta polesana or miassa, made following a recipe that dates back to 1829.
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