It’s early in the morning when we arrive at the Cubo Magico (magic cube), a visit center placed near the end of the Bevano River. This is one of the many access to the Regional Park of Po’ River Delta, a unique wetland that covers 54.000 hectares between Ferrara and Ravenna, two important cities of Emilia Romagna. Since ages, men and water live together: a natural struggle that, along the time had several highlights. Men tried to govern the water, the Pò river, and the sea out there (Pò is floating into Adriatic sea), but still this area is one of the most authentic and well preserved in Europe.
Birds stop here regularly to spend the summer before going back to warmer places in winter: here they find the best conditions to grow their children, to eat, and be protected. Not only birds but also wild animals like deer, foxes, and many others.
The park shows not only wet lands but also ancient forests of pinewoods, created by the romans when they arrived here and a whole historical valley life style. The economy of these places was completed founded on water: haunting animals, fishing mussels and eels, working with marsh grasses to make every day’s life objects such as shoes, baskets, bags, hats and many other things. Not to forget the illegal activities: smuggling for example. The valleys were used by robbers or those who had trouble with the law, often for political reasons.
Into the Regional Park of Pò River Delta: living the nature from inside
We are few kilometers far from the byzantine city or Ravenna. Today we will explore this area with Andrea, the guide of Cubo Magico and Mattia. Our journey will be on a boat and we will arrive at the end of the Bevano river, visit the natural beach with the ancient sand dunes and then go back to a tiny water arm beside and go back.
The river’s sides are populated with the Romagna typical “casoni di pesca” (fishing houses): they are built in wood or other materials, but they all have in common the squared net for fishing. It’s a huge “basket” that goes up and down in the river. This morning, going towards our final destination, we met a couple of old men, quietly sitting in the balcony, waiting for some fish to jump into the net.
What a wonderful way to spend the time! Maybe, I will have the chance to visit one of them. They are owned by people who pass the property from generation to generation. They hardly can be bought or hired, but if you know an owner, he can make you live a great experience.
And in the meanwhile, Andrea is keeping on explaining us the life and habits of the birds we are meeting, included a small family of swans, proceeding in a row, ignoring us.
Silence is the only sound, and even we, six women, are talking very low or even not talking at all. Nature here is so honest and true that you can only breathe her, as deeply as you can, and take it with you when you go back to your life. In the area we also visit a watch tower for birdwatching. Flamingoes and other birds are there and we use a special telescope to watch them.
The beach and the natural dunes of the Pò river
And finally we arrive at the beach. An untouched and secluded area that cannot be entered but only seen behind a protection curtain. Here the natural dunes of white sands are created by the sea and wind work that slowly goes on every day.
The nature here built a natural system that protects the land from the flows of the river and from the erosion of the sea brought by the high and low tide. The Adriatic coast, especially northbound, had this aspect, before men started to build houses and hotels, starting from the beginning of the last century, when tourism started here.
Going back to our starting point, we stop at the visit center. Here, through a 3d animation, you can understand the history of this area and its development along the years. A very interesting place, especially if you have children with you.
Last but not least! The visit center was once the house of the watchmen of the near dewatering system, built during the 30’s in the Fascist period. It’s still working and well kept but not available for a visit.
Our morning in the nature ends. It’s time to go back to reality.
Info for your visit
The visit center is opened from March until September. If you want to book a visit, contact the center here: 0544 528710/529260, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
The staff will be pleased to welcome and guide you. If you need an English speaking guide, just ask and they will find you the right person.
Disclosure: this post was realized on Settimana del Buon Vivere blog tour. I would like to thank Fabiana Succi of Atlantide for helping me choosing the best itinerary, Andrea and Mattia for being so nice during our visit, answering to all our questions and showing us the best places to write about on our blog.