The Parks of the Po Delta

There are two parks in the Po Delta, one in Emilia-Romagna and the other in Veneto.
The Park in Emilia-Romagna was established in 1988 and has been managed since 1996 by Consorzio del Parco Regionale del Delta del Po Emilia-Romagna, formed by the provinces of Ferrara and Ravenna with the Municipalities of Alfonsine, Argenta, Cervia, Codigoro, Comacchio, Goro, Mesola, Ostellato, and Ravenna. The Po Delta Regional Park in Veneto was established by Regione Veneto in 1997. It extends in the province of Rovigo and includes the territory between the river Adige and Po di Goro, with the municipalities of Ariano nel Polesine, Porto Tolle, Porto Viro, Rosolina, Taglio di Po, Adria, Corbola, Loreo, and Papozze. Both Parks include today the areas of naturalistic value within the Community "Natura 2000 Network".
Both Parks have tried to implement territorial choices and programs promoting the safeguard of the existing realities and their development.

Sunset in the lagoon
Ancona di Bellocchio
Ancona di Bellocchio, photo V. Arbali

The Value of the Wetlands

The territory of the Po Delta is rich in precious naturalistic features: riverbeds, river islands and mouths, oxbows, flood plains, banks, abandoned meanders, beaches, lagoons, shoals, brackish stretches of water, freshwater marshes, fossil dunes, ancient riverbeds, woodlands, pinewoods, precious flora, and important wildlife species. Moreover, it also preserves important evidences of our history, like archaeological sites, towns, villages, churches, castles, noble villas, bridges, rural houses, buildings linked to the land reclamation activity, salt pans, and navigable channels. They are features of supranational importance whose value has been recognized only a few years ago.

 Punte Alberete
Punte AlbereteValle Comacchio
Valle di Comacchio (Ferrara)

Trail in Valli di Comacchio (Ferrara)

Salt pan

The Parks as Laboratories

The Parks of the Po Delta are not enclosures within which things are immutable: they include much more complex and important realities characterizing an area which is extremely fragile from a physical and economic point of view.
Physical problems seem bound to worsen, also because of the expected global climate change; a chance that makes it necessary to organize the territorial management respecting more the natural processes and ongoing changes.
On the other side, it is essential not to sacrifice the economic development of the area. Therefore, the Parks have had and will have the difficult task to combine these needs with the aims of protection, recovery, and enhancement of unique objects and environments, considerably improving their accessibility. So far, the achieved results have been many, also thanks to the European Community contributions, and the projects for the future are not less ambitious. The Parks of the Po Delta should provide new experiences and management trends to set up a new development model that may be valid also outside them.

Po Delta Lagoon
Barene Po
Shoals in the Po Delta
Joint cartography of the Po Delta Parks of Emilia-Romagna and Veneto, elaborated by M. BONDESAN and A. MINCHIO

Leader+ Community Initiative Measure 2.1 Action 2.1a) "Interterritorial Cooperation"
Project: "Historical-Cultural Heritage Enhancement and Tourist Promotion of the Po Delta Territory"
Action A: Po Delta "Heritage Promotion"