Territory

The Po Delta Park represents the largest wetland in Italy and one of the most important in Europe. It harbors biodiversity elements that make it a paradise for naturalists, biologists, tourists and birdwatchers.

The Po Delta Park gives hospitality to varied bird species that find the perfect refuge in this fascinating territory. Fauna of the Po Delta is one of the richest in Southern Europe, and it hasn’t anything to envy to the most famous Deltas of the continent.

Tens of thousands of anatids, also of the rarest species, then shorebirds, herons and rails. Among the various species we must remember, with some hundred nesting pairs, avocets, black-winged stilts, whose typical settlement is in a small area near the Church of Volano and in Valle Bertuzzi,  besides shelducks, black-tailed godwit and sandwich terns.

Let’s not forget that for some time spoonbills have returned to nest in this area, after centuries on the run, from Eastern Europe. For this reason, in the last years the activity of birdwatching – that means to admire birds in their natural habitat – is always more appreciated and practiced.

The most recommended seasons to carry out this activity are spring and autumn; armed with binoculars, ricognition guides and sportswear, birdwatchers will find the Po Delta Park the perfect locations for their sightings.

There are a lot of natural oases in the Po Delta area, each with its pecurliarity.

Starting from Goro and Gorino we find Valle Dindona where, climbing on the river bank, it is possible to enjoy a wide view of the lagoon, rich of white willows, and of the surrounding countryside. Here you can spot more than 30 species including ardeids, reed buntings, great reed warbleras. For several years, different species of birds have found in this oasis the ideal habitat for wintering and nesting: families of royal swans, shelducks, sacred ibises, glossy ibis, without forgetting that colonies of cormorants were formed along the embankment.

As for the Scanno and the Lighthouse of Gorino, however, it is advisable to focus your attention on the beachside, where there are observation points, and on the river mouth: here you can see more than 35 species including kentish plovers, grebes, mergansers, gulls and several species of shorebirds including redshanks, dunlins and greenshanks. Thanks to the conservation of the environment implemented by the Forestry Corps, the Scanno of Goro has become a true “Naturalistic Oasis” where woodcocks and gulls nest.

In the Gorino Valleys two paths offer a splendid view of the Sacca of Goro; the one that leads to the Lantern winds along sandy streams of the Sacca and hosts flocks of shorebirds including dunlins, grey plovers, woodcocks, water pipits, reed buntings and finches, while the path leading to Goro offers the opportunity to spot grebes, terns and gulls. In this are it is possible to see more than 50 species. The Gorino Valleys have hosted groups of pink flamingos for several years that find here, in the low valley waters, food sources. In addition to the flamingos, you can easily see predatory birds as marsh harriers , hen harriers and kestrels. Nowadays ibis is not uncommon.

In the Taglio della Falce it is advisable to hang on the creek to observe the wooded environment of Mesola that offers birdwatchers the change to admire several species which overlook the area, especially in the late evening, where it’s possible to see more than 35 species including purple herons, garganeys, teals, nightingales, shrikes and icterine warblers.

Moving south, we find the charming Valle Bertuzzi: this is a true quality naturalistic oasis, thanks to the constant preservation of the environment that allows the various bird species to find in this area the ideal habitat. Small arenas have been created where you can see teals, pochards, widgeons, lapwings, bald ibises, flamingos, ferruginous ducks and some speciments of sheldrakes, glossy ibises; there are also wild gees. During the migration period, the territory is used as a resting area and to get food, so it’s easy to observe groups of bird species in fight, especially during sunset. The presence of different kind of gulls is very rich, as well as predatory bird like falcons, buzzards, kestrels and harriers.

Map

Il Territorio carta-parco-delta

Park Delta del Po

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Il Territorio carta-provincia-ferrara

Province of Ferrara

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Il Territorio pianta-turistica-ferrara

Ferrara

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The Canneviè-Porticino Valley is a brackish valley of 64 hectares, extending between the Wood of Mesola and the Po di Volano river. It has several viewing points with photographic boxes from which you can observe the rich birdlife. Managed with a great attention to nature, Canneviè Valley is a point of great interest for the birdlife, both as a place of temporary resting and feeding during the autumn and spring migration flights, both as a wintertime resting area, and finally as a nesting area.

With regards to wooden areas, however, in the territory of the Po Delta we find the Wood of Santa Giustina, also called of the Fasanara. It’s a subtle wooden strip from the town of Santa Giustina to Po di Goro river, for about 4 chilometers. The Wood of Santa Giustina and the Wood of Mesola are located on coastal cords, formed after the XII century following the advancement of the coastline; they represent the remain of a large complex coastal thermophlic forests that extended to the mouth of the Tagliamento river in the Middle Ages.

This set of woods in the Delta area, for the massive presence of holm oak, was called Eliceo Wood.

The two woods have developedon the same geomorphological structure and they have identical plant communities. The fame of the Wood of Mesola is linked to the presence of the Mesola Castle, but it must be emphasized that only the Wood of Santa Giustina and the Dossoni represent the remains of the Este’s estate of Mesola (which constituted the eastern and central parts); the area on which the Wood of Mesola rises was external to the estate.

The soil is alluvional, originated in part by sea wrecks with dunous sand formations and in part by clayey sediments. It represent the largest naturalistic oasis of  the Province of Ferrara.

In the southern part of the wood, immediately north of the town of Santa Giustina (and to the outer edges), there are populations typical of high altitude foliage, characterized by white poplar, frangula, elm, black poplar and black alder.

In the central body of the wood, where the dunes are most noticeable, there is a submediterranean thermophilous spot with evergreen oaks identical – from a vegetarian point of view – to that of the Wood of Mesola, dominated by holm and also characterized from Phillyrea angustifolia, Asparagus acutifolius, Clematis flammula, Rubia peregrina, Ruscus aculeatus, Osyris alba e Rosa sempervirens, mixed with mesophilic species.

Inside there are large specimens of domestic pine probably dating back to the forest facilities in the first half of the ‘900. In the bushes that are particularly close to the ground, where fresh wet conditions are present, there is a southern ash white poplar and cattery, eel and poplar black.

In the northern part there is a thermophilous forest of fern, white and eastern hornbeam and holm oak, identical to the one of the Wood of Mesola.

In 1959-60 several fleas were planted. he lack of grazing pressures, present only in the Wood of Mesola, makes the vegetation of the Wood of Santa Giustina more rich and varied, and it presents a dense and lush undergrowth.

Between the Wood of Santa Giustina and the Po di Goro river there are Prati della Mendica,  namely a wet meadow at Carex extensa and Juncus gerardi with high naturalistic value. Very characteristic and of high naturalistic value is the flowering, during spring, of some spontaneous orchids.

The typical fauna of the Po valley woods is abundant, with the exception of Herman’s turtles there are no major faunistic emergencies. The stationary avifauna is mainly represented by chaffinchs, throstles,  ringodoves, pheasant and blackbirds; mammals from foxes, badgers, weasels and hares.

The Po Delta Park is the perfect place for cycling tourism, because the routes are very easy and you can admire many animals during the tour: there is no effort to pedal along the canals, valleys, sea costs, river banks and secondary roads. Bicycle routes are so numerous that a week will not be enough to go all the way. The Po Delta Area offers landscapes that don’t exist elsewhere in Italy: a concentration of marshers, woods, canals that lead to the sea, little villages nestled between reeds, brackish ponds, beaches and pine forests.

Inside the Station 1 of the Po Delta Park of Emilia there is a ring route of about 65 chilometres, that will allow you to touch the communes of Codigoro, Goro, Mesola and the millenial Abbey of Pomposa.

Starting from Codigoro, you can take the FE218 cycle trail to reach the beautiful Abbey of Pomposa, an ancient monastic center with Giotto’s inspiration frescos. From here, continuing to Lido di Volano, cycling along Valle Bertuzzi and meeting the Oasis of Canneviè and the eighteenth-century Tower of Finance, you could connect to the FE302 cycle trail that, from the Taglio della Falce and cycling by the Wood of Mesola, will allows you to reach the tourist harbours of Goro and Gorino.

The territory of the Po Delta is also a gastronomic paradise for lovers of good food: Goro is the capital of the Verace Clam, Mesola is famous for the fine Sparrow grass and the Delta Truffle, Bosco Mesola is known for Red Chicory and Codigoro for Delta Rice, in addition to the vastness of fruit and vegetables and the Sand Wines.

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