Comacchio and the Wetlands of the Po Delta

Explore this "Little Venice" linked to the eel and little fishes of the lagoon

Comacchio is tied to the waters that lap along its southern boundary. This "Little Venice," with its canals has always been linked to the eel and little fishes of the lagoon. Comacchio is in the Emilia Romagna region.

A visitor who makes the journey to this manageably small town will find it a pleasant way to explore the Po Delta territory, although the current delta of the Po is actually located thirty km to the north.

To understand the economic realities of Comacchio you need to go to the Manifattura dei Marinati, the factory in town where they dumped the eels to be roasted in the twelve ovens, then pickled in a marinade before being canned. You get there via a loggia, the Loggiato dei Cappuccini, the longest in Italy, shown below.

loggiato dei cappucini cormacchio

Inside the factory museum you'll see videos from the 1940's when the eel fishing was at its peak. To augment this information, take the boat trip in the lagoon, which is a guided visit with a multi-lingual specialist to places where this process took place.

There is also an interesting museum documenting a Roman ship that ran aground in the lagoon near Comacchio and was recently recovered.

Food and Wine

The local wine is a fizzy red called Bosco Eliceo. It's good with the local anguille, eels and other seafood, including cappesante (scallops, large and small versions), canocchie (mantis shrimp) and vongole, clams.

Map of Comacchio

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Comacchio Lagoons

The wetlands to the south of the town of Comacchio are called the Valli di Comacchio. They are some of the largest wetlands in Italy. The lagoons are home to the greatest variety of birds of Italy; over 300 species like flamingos, black-winged stilts, egrets and other herons and kingfishers ply the waters of the Valli di Comacchio.

...The Oasis of Boscoforte... is a true naturalistic paradise, located on a dune cordon of the Etruscan era , which divides the Porto valley from the Lido di Magnavacca valley, one of the most suggestive corners of the Park of the Po Delta. A particular area because a variety of environments are mixed, linked to the simultaneous presence of freshwater and brackish water areas: reeds, salicoroneti, sandy bumps and canals. The avifauna is very rich: it is the privileged place for nesting and resting of foxes, avocets, spatulas and flamingos. ~ Machine Translation of Valli di Comacchio in bici: un paradiso sostenibile (Valli di Comacchio by bike: a sustainable paradise).

You can walk or bike the paths around the wetlands. You can even walk to Ferrara. You can even Bike and Boat.

There are also salt flats here, which still plays host to a salt-extracting system built in the Napoleonic era.

A couple of days walking or biking the area is a pleasure, expecially for birdwatchers and those who like the calm of still waters.

Comacchio Travel Toolbox

There is no train station in Comacchio. Comacchio is 50 km from Ferrara, 35 km from Ravenna, 110 km from Venice.

The closest airport is Padua Airport.

With a car, you can arrive at Comacchio from Venice quite easily, a trip of under two hours. Padua is about an hour and a half from Comacchio by car.

The very interesting Benedictine Monastery called The Abbey of Pomposa is a mere 20 minutes away. Highly recommended is a visit and lunch on the abbey grounds.

Our favorite place to stay is marked and linked on the map above. The highly rated B&B Al Ponticello has offers fine rooms and complimentary after-dinner drinks as well as discounted tickets to attractions in Comacchio. They have bikes for you to use in exploring the lagoon. Free parking and internet complete the deal.

For other options, check out the booking box below.

Downtown Comacchio

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Page modified: March 29 2023.