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The valleys of Comacchio

The area is a paradise for hundreds of species of resident and migratory birds. The Valleys of Comacchio are the most extensive area of saltwater wetlands in Italy and one of the most important sites recognized by the Ramsar Convention for the protection of birds. It is an ideal spot for birdwatching and observing the typical flora of saltwater areas.

The place is at its best at sunset when the colours of the sky reflect in the water, leaving visitors with unforgettable memories. There are many signs from the past and the present, showing how man has learned to live off the land and the water. These include the “casoni” for eel fishing, the ancient saltworks, the draining pumps, and even the town of Comacchio itself, built on 13 islands connected by bridges, the most famous of which is the Trepponti, an ancient city gate which opened onto the river.

Visit the Valleys:

On foot: the nearest route to the Lidi Nord area starts near Passo di Primaro, north of the River Reno. Park your car near a restaurant and walk along the pedestrian-cycle path for 10 km, between the valley and river. This route is highly recommended for lovers of Nordic Walking enthusiasts. In an environment like this, travelling by canoe or by bike means you can visit all the hidden corners of the area and get a closer look at the birds. For less energetic people, we recommend going by car to Comacchio from S. Alberto.

By car, motorcycle or bike: given the size of the valleys, a fast means of transport is essential if you plan to visit the whole area in one day.  From S. Alberto follow the signs to the ferry on the river Reno. When you reach the other side, turn left and follow the signs to Comacchio.

 A word of warning: during rainy periods the whole area can get very muddy!

 Fauna

                                                                                                                                                              The particular characteristics of these valleys make it an ideal habitat for many different types of birds. Here is a short list of some of the most well-known species, with their Latin and English names:

Ardea alba (Great Egret)

Ardea pupurea (Purple Heron)

Platalea leucorodia (Eurasian Spoonbill)

Phoenicopterus roseus (Greater Flamingo)

Tadorna tadorna (Common Shelduck)

Anas strepera (Gadwall)

Aythya nyroca (Ferruginous Duck)

Circus aeruginosus (Marsh Harrier)

Himantopus himantopus (Black-winged Stilt)

Recurvirostra avosetta (Pied Avocet)

Glareola pratincola (Collared Pratincole)

Sterna bengalensis (Lesser Crested Tern)

 Flora

                                                                                                                                                              The flora present in the Comacchio Valleys consists mainly of submerged vegetation in salt water, surrounded by fields of crops but also area of plants that require or tolerate salty soil, mainly located in the Bellocchio Nature Reserve.

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