The Po Delta represents one of Europe’s largest nature reserves where nature and people exist side by side. A true paradise for nature lovers, full of birds wintering, nesting or in transit such as herons, ducks, snowy egrets, terns, avocets, black-winged stilts, cormorants, owls, buzzards, as well as mammals such as the awe-inspiring dune deer.
On the Strada Statale 309 Romea, the thousand-year old Abbey of Pomposa marks the beginning of the Po Delta. Its church tower is the symbol of one of the most prominent communities of Benedictine monks in Italy. The early days of this monastic community did not make much of a mark on Italian history before the year 1000, after which Pomposa rapidly became wealthy and famous. This was the great era of Romanesque architecture. It is still visible in the church today, in its bell tower and in what remains of the monastery, all of which date back to around the first half of the 11thcentury.
Not far from here, along the River Po, lies the splendid Castle of Mesola with its elegant crenellated towers. Built in 1578, at the request of Alfonso II, the last descendant of the Estense family, this imposing structure, which is half way between a fortress and a residence, was protected by nine miles of city walls and surrounded by woodland for hunting, part of which still exists in the Forest of Mesola.
The River Po and its Delta tributaries form a unique labyrinth of waterways to explore slowly, in motor boats or small boats. You can start from Goro or Gorino, two picturesque fishing villages with their fishing ports overlooking the Sacca di Goro and the Po di Goro. From spring to autumn there are a number of boat trips and birdwatching activities available along the River Po.
On the Scannone di Goro, the so-called Island of Love, stands the 22-metre high Goro Lighthouse whose light can be seen from 10 miles away. Not far from here lies the old lighthouse, Lanterna Vecchia, built in 1864,which today houses a nature observatory.
The Sacca di Goro is famous formussel and clam farming: you can visit processing plants and watch fishing in the lagoon using the so-called ‘rasca’.
Along the left bank of the Po di Goro, San Basilio and the water pump of Ca’ Vendramin are both worth visiting. Within the Veneto area, there are also beautiful boat trips from Porto Tolle - Cà Tiepolo and from Pila, to explore the main tributaries of the River Po.
The Foce del Po di Volano nature reserve also organises boat trips through a labyrinth of reed thickets. You can also access the coastal pine forest along footpaths and cycle paths.
Not far from here is the Forest of Mesola Nature Reserve. This woodland presumably originated in the Middle Ages on sandbar dunes formed by the Po di Goro and the Po di Volano. Today, it is one of the last and best preserved remnants of a larger woodland located on the plain, what remains of the ancient forests that used to cover the Adriatic coast until a few centuries ago. The forestcannot be visited in its entirety but on certain accessible pathsyou can sometimes spot stags and deers.
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Special trip on a SMALL BOAT leaving from Volano, travelling through the reeds of the Po di Volano Delta Nature Reserve.
For those who love birdwatching and unspoilt nature, there is a TRIP BY SMALL BOAT leaving from the port of Gorino.
BOAT TRIP along the River Po and to the Sacca di Goro, leaving from Gorino, with the possibility of a fish lunch on board.
TRIP ON A SMALL BOAT to discover the secrets of clam farming in the Po Delta.
EXCURSION BY BOAT from Porto Garibaldi that goes up the coast to the mouth of the river Po. It includes a great fish lunch on board.
Wonderful excursion aboard a comfortable RIVER CRUISE, to the discovery of the main branches of the Po Delta, departing from Porto Tolle.
Guided tour by BICYCLE in the forest of Mesola to areas not open to the public.
Special trip ON AN ELECTRICALLY POWERED MINIBUS to the forest of Mesola in search of the stag, the king of the forest.
HORSEBACK RIDING in the Oasis of the delta, accompanied by experienced guides and riding the white horses "Delta-Camargue".
Boat tours with customized times and itineraries for nature photographers and birdwatchers at the mouth of the Po.
TRIP IN A FLAT-BOTTOMED BOAT especially suited to the shallow waters of the most unspoilt and atmospheric arteries of the Po Delta.
BOAT TRIP along the River Po and to the Sacca di Goro, leaving from Gorino Ferrarese.
EXCURSION BY BOAT from Porto Garibaldi that goes up the coast to the mouth of the river Po.
The Ca’ Mello reserve is a small area of freshwater marshland located behind the Saccadegli Scardovari. Take a guided walk along the footpaths of the naturereserve
an EXCURSION not to be missed which alternates routes with the BIKE and BOAT following the course of the river.