Top Ten Italy Off-the-Beaten-Path Adventures

Birdwatching in the Po Delta
By Valerio Diotto

On the northeast coast, where Italy's longest river, the Po, flows into the sea, the landscape is completely flat. The horizontal lines between sea and sky are seldom broken by human structures. Leaving the Via Romea, the ancient road connecting Venice and Ravenna, you enter a network of channels and salted lagoons. You can walk or ride a bike along the embankments, watching for rare stilt birds and the gatherings of migratory waterfowl. Moving south, visit the Mesola Woods, a thick forest of oaks where the dukes of Este used to hunt deer and wild hogs. Even further south are the fish ponds of Comacchio, where eels are raised according to age-old tradition. The Delta del Po is best visited in spring and fall. If you come in the summer don't be conservative about applying mosquito repellent.



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