Comacchio: a “little Venice” in the natural paradise of the Po Delta
Comacchio is a town of elegance and authenticity, characteristics that captivate visitors from the very first moment.
We are three kilometres from the sea, in the Po Delta Park, and, in addition to the town’s history and unique architectural form, it is the 25 kilometres of the Ferrara coastline, the most beautiful on the Adriatic, that make the Comacchio Lidos an ideal destination for a holiday with family or friends as well as for a relaxing weekend.
Introducing the Comacchio Lidos: endless beaches, water sports and vibrant nightlife
25 kilometres and 7 lidos: Comacchio is sure to please everyone with its combination of relaxation and fun.
From Lido di Volano to Lido degli Estensi, you will find beaches with wide, sandy shores and shallow waters, which are also suitable for children, and many opportunities to practice sports such as windsurfing, beach tennis and beach volleyball.
The well-equipped establishments offer services and entertainment from morning to late evening, or for more of this sort of thing, just stroll along the Ferrara coast and you will find plenty of places for aperitifs, after-dinner chats and indoor or outdoor discos.
Cycling or boating on the Po Delta
The sea is great, but if you love cycling, the Po Delta Park will be right up your street thanks to its numerous routes in a natural environment, both on mixed traffic roads and on cycle paths or dirt tracks.
Here, you can enjoy the beauty of the Valli di Comacchio, historically formed after the main branch of the Po River disappeared and the sea level temporarily rose.
The route is accessible even to those who aren’t super-fit, but beware that it is completely exposed to the sun: take this into account when choosing what time of day to tackle it.
Another way to explore the Valli di Comacchio and the Po Delta is by boat: this way you can explore the area and enjoy peace and quiet.
Don’t miss a trip to the famous Casoni di Valle, a sprawling museum of the history and reality of the Comacchio territory up to the Boscoforte peninsula: this timeless, unspoiled landscape, wild even to this day, is a true treasure chest of biodiversity and can be visited by appointment.
Comacchio, biodiversity and birdwatching
The Po Delta Park is one of the most important wetlands in Europe and the largest in Italy. It hosts a wealth of biodiversity, making it a paradise for naturalists, biologists, tourist scientists and birdwatchers.
Comacchio has in fact been known as the City of Birdwatching ever since the municipality, at the invitation of Lipu, undertook to make this city by the Po Delta a conservation capital for wild birds in Italy, attracting amateurs from all over the world.
The International Birdwatching and Nature Tourism Fair is held in the city every two years, but you can treat yourself at any time of year to a few hours in search of the over 300 species of birds that live in this natural paradise. The best times for birdwatching are spring and autumn, in the early hours of the day and at dusk.
Comacchio amid art, beauty and great food
Also called “little Venice”, Comacchio enjoys a vitality rivalled by few other small Italian towns. A glorious history and the charm of its surroundings are the icing on the cake.
Three elements characterise it: bridges, canals and breathtaking sunsets. A visit to the town of Comacchio should always unfold at a leisurely pace.
Start your exploration at the Ponte degli Sbirri from where you can enjoy a particularly impressive view with the Antico Ospedale degli Infermi on one side and the elegant 19th-century Palazzo Bellini and the architectural complex of the Trepponti, symbol of Comacchio, on the other.
Within few kilometres by foot, passing through the Capuchin Portico and visiting the Sanctuary of Santa Maria in Aula Regia on the way, you will arrive at the Manifattura dei Marinati, an important piece of Comacchio's history that is back in operation after careful renovation. Here we suggest a visit to the “Hall of Fires” with its 12 fireplaces that were used for cooking eels on the spit before they were marinated.
Testimony to the important role that seafaring activities have always played in the Comacchio area, the Antica Pescheria (Old Fish Market), is an elegant 17th-century building that still hosts the daily fish market. A stroll through the market will be enough to make you realise the importance of fish, and eel in particular, in the town's traditions: on Comacchio's laden tables you will find eel cooked in many different ways, appetisers with clams, scallops and mantis shrimp, but also grilled eel accompanied by polenta, stuffed cuttlefish, mullet, gilthead bream, sole and turbot. And don’t forget to accompany all these delicious dishes with Bosco Eliceo wines, from Fortana to Bianco del Bosco.
After lunch, while you wait for the sunset, treat yourself to some soul-soothing beauty by indulging in a bit of art.
Archaeology lovers will appreciate the Museo Delta Antico, located in the old Ospedale degli Infermi, a precious testimony to the neoclassical style of the 18th century. The museum contains more than 2,000 archaeological artefacts from protohistoric times to the Middle Ages.
At Lido di Spina, on the other hand, you cannot miss the “Remo Brindisi” Museum of Contemporary Art, where you can admire works by Modigliani, Picasso, Fontana, Dalì, De Chirico, De Pisis, Morandi, Chagall, Boccioni and Guttuso.
Once you have explored Comacchio, spent a few days at the Lido and cycled in the valleys on the Po Delta, remember to make a day trip to Ferrara, the provincial capital and UNESCO-listed city of art, and make sure you also put nearby Ravenna on your to-do list to admire its splendid mosaics. Not to be missed.