My second go to to Comacchio was supported by Go to Comacchio and Ravenna Tourism
Comacchio’s canals could be fewer and fewer well-known than these additional north in Venice, however they maintain their very own share of secrets and techniques and tales. Discoveries in and round these waterways vary from pre-BC Roman Ships with their wares intact to the long-lost Etruscan port of Spina. And now, the standard fishing city sitting on the mouth of the Po River – Italy’s longest – has turn into an abode for a brand new sort of resident: 20,000 pink flamingos which name the shrimp-rich waters of the Po Delta’s salt pans residence.
Having been minimize off and considerably secluded till round 1820, when the primary essential street was constructed, Comacchio developed in its personal sleepy means – with some investments from the previous rich homeowners, the Dukes of Este. Eel is the speciality on the plates right here; fishing strategies and homes stay conventional – though the business has suffered drastically because the Fifties – and the verdant huge lagoons and wetlands of the Po Delta and different close by protected areas have remained pristine.
One among Italy’s hidden gems, Comacchio, is greatest explored slowly, spending a couple of days flitting between wildlife, the laid-back historic centre and the seashores. Nonetheless, I recognize not everybody may have as a lot time, so under you’ll discover solutions on tips on how to do Comacchio as a day journey and extra recommendations on issues to do in Comacchio for these planning an extended go to, together with lodges and vacation resorts.
Attending to Comacchio
Comacchio is within the Emilia Romagna area of Italy. In case you have a automotive, reaching Comacchio is simple from all of the close by main cities. The driving time from Bologna is round 70 minutes, from Ravenna 40 minutes, and from Venice round two hours.
By public transport, the best route is from Ravenna, the place there are some direct buses from the central bus station and Ravenna Farmacia. Nonetheless, it should take between 80 minutes and two hours. Coming from Ferrara by bus is analogous (with a connection), whereas from Bologna, I’d recommend making it an in a single day go to as a day journey shall be fairly lengthy.
How you can spend at some point in Comacchio
To greatest discover throughout your Comacchio day journey, I’d suggest hiring a motorbike if you wish to spot flamingos and see the Po Delta, returning it within the afternoon. In case you’d want to discover on foot solely, see my solutions of excursions and actions after the at some point itinerary and decide and select which works greatest for you.
If you wish to use any native buses in and round Comacchio, for instance, to go to a vacation village or the seaside, you’ll be able to seek for the very best timetables on tper.it.
Morning: Discover the Po Delta and spot flamingos
One of the crucial magical elements of Comacchio is the city’s proximity to the Po Delta. This huge protected park – the mouth of the Po River, Italy’s longest – is spectacular, with salt pans, marshes, conventional fishing homes referred to as Trabucchi Comacchiesi and loads of pink flamingos – 1000’s of which now name the park residence.
You’ve obtained a couple of choices to discover the park, however I’d suggest renting a motorbike to simply get nearer to the very best half: the salinas (salt pans), the place many of the flamingos are normally discovered. Bike leases can be found from the IAT Comacchio vacationer workplace and the Manifattura dei Marinati. Po Delta Tourism gives quite a lot of different choices, similar to boat and bike or simply boat excursions of those lagoons. Nonetheless, they’re solely on sure days of the week, so I suggest hiring the bike individually and making your personal tour (see the under observe about licensed guides for the salt pans). Nonetheless, you’ll be able to try all of their Po Delta tour choices right here to see if their schedules match yours – Peter, my information once I first visited Comacchio, was actually a personality.
Upon getting your bike, you’re free to cycle across the giant lagoons of the Po Delta, recognizing the fishing nets of the standard stilted buildings en route – if the boat tour is operating, you should use this to cross to the salinas slightly than making all the loop. Essentially the most spectacular half is the stretch alongside the Valli di Comacchio, a slender slither of raised land raised flanked by water, and alongside right here you’ll normally see loads of flamingos. They thrive on this space because of the excessive amount of brine shrimp, the pink pigment giving the birds their color.
Simply remember to get nearer and go to the salt pans or the viewing tower, you should be with an authorised information because it’s a protected space – organized with the Salina di Comacchio instantly or one other operator such because the Po Delta Excursions talked about above.
Lunch: Sea view seafood lunch
In case you’re not sticking round in Comacchio for dinner, I recommend returning the bike and having fun with lunch alongside the canal. However if in case you have the time, benefit from your bike and cycle to Comacchio’s coast, the place you’ll be able to take pleasure in a seafood lunch and even perhaps a fast dip.
On my most up-to-date journey, I visited Le Dune Seaside, the place you’ll discover a couple of eating places. I had a scrumptious lunch of fritto misto (blended fried fish) and a chilly seafood platter at Monnalisa Restaurant – a part of the Vacation Village Florenz – paired with a couple of too many glasses of their regionally produced white wine, which has a novel style because of the grapes being grown near the sand.
Alternatively, you’ll be able to observe the Canale Logonovo again from the Po Delta to the marginally nearer Lido degli Estensi, the place you’ll discover different eating choices. After lunch, think about briefly passing by means of Porto Garibaldi, the port city the place fishing nonetheless happens.
Afternoon: Strolling tour of Comacchio’s canals and historical past
Comacchio is compact, and in only a few hours, you’ll be able to see town’s highlights and essential museum on a strolling tour, adopted by a couple of detours and additional exploring of the secondary canals.
The very best place to start out is on the Ponte dei Trepponti, thought of Comacchio’s distinguished landmark and the previous entrance gate. This peculiarly pentagon-shaped bridge – with two units of staircases on one aspect and three on the opposite – was constructed within the seventeenth century; nevertheless, additional towers and diversifications have been added since. As soon as crossed, you’ll see one of many oldest buildings within the city, the previous fish market, which now homes momentary artwork exhibitions or puppet theatre reveals. Stroll a couple of steps forward on the Through della Pescheria, previous the previous jail (fish theft was rife as soon as upon a time, and also you’ll see the four-columned facade of the Museo Delta Antico.
Used as a hospital till 1970, the spectacular constructing now serves because the city’s historical past museum, and it’s a vital cease to study extra about Comachio’s historical past. Masking every little thing from how dredging and land reclamation had been used to discovered the fishing city to archaeological discoveries from the long-lost Etruscan city of Spina – as soon as some of the essential buying and selling cities on this planet – the interactive museum offers loads of info in English. Most fascinating is the Fortuna Maris, an previous Roman service provider ship which was found principally intact and full of products, garments and different objects throughout a canal dredging within the Eighties – due to the excessive salinity of waters, it remained extremely nicely preserved.
Night: Conventional dishes alongside the canals
Comacchio’s canals look their greatest at golden hour when the delicate amber mild bounces off the pastel-hued buildings and – when you’re fortunate with a windless day – displays on the water’s service. It’s additionally when the canals come alive, with folks having fun with aperitivo on the bars lining the canal. Some even have docked boats so you’ll be able to take pleasure in a drink or dinner whereas floating on the principle waterway.
One of the crucial intensive terraces providing improbable views could be discovered at La Locanda del Delta, a restaurant I’ve eaten at twice. I can extremely advocate the mussels or the rice mounded excessive with seafood, however if you wish to go conventional, you then’ll must order the eel. Essentially the most cherished of native specialities, Comacchio is residence to each an eel tinning museum and even an eel competition. Why? An unlimited variety of the slippery creatures transfer between the ocean and the Po Delta’s lagoons when the water temperatures change, and thus it grew to become the city’s essential meals supply. Actually, it’s not my favorite dish, however it’s the most common factor to attempt throughout your at some point in Comacchio.
Greatest issues to do in Comacchio and Emilia Romagna’s Po Delta
In case you have a extra prolonged keep deliberate in Comacchio (or simply need to select a spotlight or two), these are extra of the very best issues to do in Comacchio and close by within the Po Delta.
Take a dolphin recognizing boat tour with TAO
Once I was visiting the seashores close to Cervia, additional alongside the coast, I used to be fortunate sufficient to fulfill Andrew Ferrari, a marine biologist who works with TAO (Turtles of the Adriatic Organisation). On the time, he was engaged on a conservation venture there as a turtle had laid their eggs on the seaside – one thing slightly outstanding for this stretch of coast, as they have a tendency to solely come right here to feed. Nonetheless, I did study that they provide boat journeys to identify dolphins responsibly – the funds getting used for analysis – with departures from close by Comacchio.
Stroll the Outdated City’s canals and bridges
Typically referred to as ‘Little Venice’, the canals and bridges which outline Commachio inform the tales of the previous fishing group. Whereas there are solely a handful of waterways to hint right here, strolling alongside them and recognizing younger boys practising their gondola tour, having fun with a drink in a bar, or admiring the Trepponti bridge are arguably the city’s greatest draw.
Eat eel, or maybe attempt to attend the eel Competition
Whereas I’m discussing the delights of the ocean, I can’t skip Comacchio’s beloved eel. The primary time I visited the city anticipating calm canals, I used to be greeted with crowds on each nook: the Comacchio Eel Competition (in September or October) was in full swing, and everybody was right here to rejoice. With ample slippery creatures discovered close by – they transfer between the lagoon and sea when the temperatures change – it’s turn into a staple on nearly each restaurant’s menu, considerably completely different to the extra identified delicacies of Emilia Romagna.
Tour the Manifattura dei Marinati museum
Positioned within the previous fishing district in town’s perimeters, the Manifattura dei Marinati is the place to go to grasp extra concerning the lagoons and specifically, eel. A small video (in Italian) offers an summary of the eel business and the way Comacchio used to look, whereas a small exhibit on the standard kinds of boots and instruments used provides just a little extra color. Contained in the previous smoking room, the place fires have coated the partitions in black, eels are nonetheless tinned for distribution, and chances are you’ll get to identify the work in motion.
Go to Comachhio’s farmed fish store
In case you’re self-catering in Comacchio, you’ll be able to’t go incorrect with a go to to Pescheria Trepponti to seize the freshest fish. The employees working right here can even fortunately provide you with recipe and preparation ideas, or you’ll be able to take pleasure in a seafood platter on ice on their small terrace.
See artwork within the previous Fish Market (Antica Pescheria)
One of many oldest buildings nonetheless standing in Comacchio, the Antica Pescheria (previous Fish Market) is simply throughout the Trepponti bridge. There’s not a lot to shout about, however typically you’ll discover some good shows from native artists or photographers on the partitions.
Chill out on the seaside
There are greater than a handful of seaside village resorts alongside the Emilia Romagna Riviera, with among the greatest near Comacchio being Le Dune Seaside, Florida Seaside, or the pine forest-backed stretch close to Lido di Spina. This protected space, which sits alongside the Sacca di Bellocchio State Reserve, is wild and undeveloped – which means no rows of umbrellas and solar loungers, however slightly birdlife and the soundtrack of waves.
Really feel typical fishing life in Porto Garibaldi
Porto Garibaldi, the Fifteenth-century fishing port, is only a brief journey from Comacchio’s canals. Whereas bombing in the course of the warfare sadly broken a lot of the port and left the city considerably worse for put on, a brief go to right here gives you a really feel for the native fishing business, particularly within the morning when the boats dock with their catch.
Tour the spectacular Museo Delta Antico archaeological museum
Museo Delta Antico is arguably Comachio’s spotlight. Once I first visited the city, I skipped this museum, however on my latest return, I gave myself an hour inside, which nonetheless wasn’t sufficient. The constructing – as soon as the city’s hospital constructed on the instructions of Pope Clement XIV within the late 18th century – is spectacular in itself, however the well-curated and interactive exhibitions are much more compelling.
The area covers every little thing about Comacchio’s historical past as a fishing city, together with the canals and dredging, with archaeological finds aplenty. The part targeted on the Etruscan city of Spina is especially fascinating, sharing the story of how this historical seaport was some of the distinguished buying and selling posts within the sixth Century BC.
You’ll even be impressed by the Fortuna Maris, an previous Roman service provider ship which was found within the Eighties as a part of a canal cleansing. Due to the mud and salt, the ship and its load have been extremely nicely preserved, but it’s nonetheless one in every of Europe’s hidden gems.
Study concerning the misplaced metropolis of Spina
After studying concerning the Etruscan metropolis of Spina within the Museo Delta Antico, you would possibly need to dig just a little deeper. Misplaced within the third century BC for causes but confirmed (maybe adapting commerce routes, sea degree modifications, or assaults and fires), myths and thriller abound – by means of mud and water have helped protect some insights.
In 1922, whereas dredging work was happening, stays and archaeological finds from Spina had been lastly discovered. These findings have now been used to reconstruct a few typical homes and a small open-air museum within the Valli Station of Comacchio.
Flamingo recognizing within the Salina di Comacchio by bike and boat
As detailed above within the Comacchio itinerary, you’ve got a couple of choices to attempt to spot flamingos and study extra concerning the salt pans and conventional boats of the area. Whereas I detailed a DIY choice above, when you can schedule your journey to incorporate one of many native boat and bike excursions by day and even at sundown, you’ll get some first-class insights from an skilled native information in addition to privileged entry to the salt pans and flamingo statement tower as these are solely accessible with an accepted information. The boat tour can even take you alongside among the conventional fishing huts (Trabucchi Comacchiesi) with their giant hanging nets.
Alternatively, kayak rental can also be out there if you wish to discover among the lagoons (however not the salinas) by yourself energy.
Study conventional clam fishing
One other tour I took on my first go to to the Po Delta Nationwide Park targeted on the standard strategies of clam fishing – nonetheless in use as we speak – utilizing a picket rake-style device, the rasca. As this tour takes you to the Sacca di Goro (by the regional border with Veneto), it’s fairly a journey, so solely beneficial if in case you have a couple of spare hours and an curiosity in seeing the standard fisherfolk nonetheless finishing up their style.
Expertise Comachhio’s canals throughout February’s carnival
In case you’re in Comacchio for the one-day occasion in mid-February, you’ll discover the winter blues being blown away by vibrant floats and costumes on the city’s Carnival. Whereas Carnival isn’t a novel factor to the city, the truth that the vast majority of the leisure takes place on boats makes it price a go to when you’re close by.
Greatest time to go to Comacchio
The very best time to go to Comacchio and the Po Delta is from spring till autumn. Nonetheless, be mindful temperatures in July, August, and early September can soar, making it barely uncomfortable for a busy day’s sightseeing. When you may additionally go to within the winter season for a stroll across the city or chicken watching, the seaside clearly turns into much less interesting.
The very best time to go to Comacchio for birdwatching is spring and autumn when the migrations happen; pink flamingos at the moment are noticed year-round, as they’ve additionally taken up residency right here. The Eel competition takes place both in September or October.
Nice locations to remain in and round Comacchio
Whereas Comacchio doesn’t have an enormous selection of lodges, it gives one thing for each worth level – from tenting stays and holiday-style resorts to extra upscale boutique stays. It’s advisable to ebook upfront round fashionable holidays and from July till August.
Tenting and vacation resorts close to Comacchio
Round Comacchio and the Po Delta, there are many tenting choices that are a far cry from a plot of grass to your tent. A few of them, such because the Spiaggia Romea Membership Village in Lido Delle Nazioni (the place I stayed on my first go to), supply a nature-based resort near the seaside, full with swimming pools and actions alongside completely different types of lodgings and buffet-style eating places. This land was destined for over-development, however fortunately a household bought the land and solely constructed on a small space, preserving the remainder for nature and wildlife. An electrical golf cart can take you on a ‘mini-safari’ by means of this a part of the park the place white Camargue horses roam, and bird-spotters look ahead to native species.
Different first rate selections embrace the Vacation Village Florenz, which has each cabins, pitches and glamping tents and its personal seaside membership, or Tenting Tahiti, which is just a little again from the seaside (it has a complimentary shuttle), maybe probably the most family-friendly resort I’ve been to within the space.
Accommodations and boutique stays in Comacchio
The vast majority of lodging in Comacchio is non-public houses and flats, however when you’d want a resort, there are a couple of I’d recommend. The rooms at Locanda del Delta (above one in every of my favorite eating places on the town) are good, fashionable and seconds from the canal – some even have views of the waterway. The Villa Cavour B&B has spacious rooms, a quaint backyard to take pleasure in a lazy breakfast, and a few the rooms face a smaller canal. Locanda La Comacina is one other canal-facing spot that was extremely beneficial to me, although I haven’t personally visited, so I can’t give any private suggestions.
The place to go after Comacchio and the Po Delta
After you’ve explored the canals, noticed the flamingos, and savoured all of the eel one may presumably eat, you could be questioning the place to go to subsequent in Emilia Romagna. Listed here are a couple of close by solutions.
Marvel on the mosaics of Ravenna
Ravenna is undoubtedly some of the underrated cities in Europe. As soon as the capital of the Western Roman Empire, town has eight Unesco-listed monuments, with the colorful Byzantine mosaics being the star of the present. I’d recommend spending not less than two days in Ravenna, though it’s a reasonably compact metropolis in order that lots could be loved on a day journey.
Ravenna journey information
Take pleasure in seaside days on the Emilia Romagna coast
The Emilia Romagna Riviera is a superb place to flee the warmth on summer season days. Lounge on the seashores of Cervia and discover Milano Marittima – a backyard metropolis turned seaside resort city – to the south of Comacchio.
One week itinerary for Emilia Romagna’s Riviera
Cycle the streets of Ferrara
Barely inland from Comacchio, the grand metropolis of Ferrara (the capital of the province that Comacchio falls below) makes for a wonderful day journey. Rent a motorbike and uncover the highest issues to do in Ferrara, such because the Este Fort and town’s cathedrals and palaces.
Issues to do in Ferrara
Discover extra of Emilia Romagna (and past)
From Comacchio, you’re nicely positioned to find extra canals in Venice, spend two days in Bologna consuming probably the most scrumptious dishes, head to the hidden away medieval city of Brisighella or discover the entire different wonderful locations to go to in Emilia Romagna. You can even go on a day journey to San Marino, a landlocked micro-country.
Greatest locations to go to in Emilia Romagna