Around the lagoons
The path along the banks of Comacchio Valleys is about 55 km long.
From the south end of Lido di Spina, take the road that runs along the beach; at the end of this road go left and cross the bridge over the Logonovo canal, and you are at the Lido degli Estensi: you can go right where you take the bike path that leads to the backshore or, alternatively, continue straight along Viale Carducci crossing the Lido in its entire length.
At the end of the road you get to the ferry service on Magnavacca canal, used for the transport of both people and bicycles, and you go to Porto Garibaldi.
From here, along the fishing port and the fish canal you reach Comacchio, a city of ancient origins built in the middle of extensive lagoons on a group of thirteen islands.
It was contended by the Pope and the Emperor, by Ferrara and Ravenna; in an attempt to find peace, the city submitted to the Este family in 1304, tying its fortunes to those of Ferrara.
The Este government impoverished the population, taking away control of the salt pans, the rights about fishing and the exploitation of the forests, while in the Papal period the economic situation experienced some improvement.
In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries the papal legates had built churches and monuments that still give the city its distinctive appearance.In the twentieth century, thanks to the reclamation of a large part of the valleys, Comacchio was joined to the mainland, but its old town still retains its original appearance and is crossed by a network of canals whose banks are connected by bridges in brick.
There are many monuments to see: the Church of the Carmine, the Church of the Rosario Rosary Church, the Church of Santa Maria in Aula Regia, which is attached to the Marian Museum of Contemporary Religious Art, the Cathedral of San Cassiano, the Loggia dei Mercanti, the former hospital of San Camillo, the Loggia dei Cappuccini and the Palazzo Bellini, cultural and exhibition centre. Near the seventeenth century Fish Shop there are the famous Trepponti, symbol of the city.
From Comacchio you exit and go left following Via Spina towards Ostellato and after about 1 km turn onto the bridge that leads to Valle Pega, whose reclamation was completed only in 1957. Follow the Fattibello canal until Casone Foce, which houses the Museum of the Valleys.This is an extremely charming place, from which Comacchio still seems a lagoon city, standing in the middle of the blue horizon of its valleys.
On foot or by boat, you can follow a route between water and land, in a very suggestive environment: in addition to the flora and fauna, you can visit the seventeenth-century fishing huts called “casoni” and the "lavorieri”, traps for the capture of eels.
From Casone Foce you take the road that runs along the northern side of the valley and reach the Valley Zavelea: this wetland of freshwater once was a wider area, and today is an oasis for protected fauna.Continue along Argine Agosta road, which probably follows the route of the Roman road between Ravenna and Adria. From the road you can enjoy the amazing view of the non reclaimed largest valleys (9,600 ha), which seem to have the same hugeness of the sea.
Just before arriving in Anita, turn left and you will soon reach the bank of the Reno River, where you can enjoy the view of the long Boscoforte peninsula, a very important natural area, formed from the surfacing of a dune bar of the Etruscan era. From the entrance of the Boscoforte peninsula continue on the white carriage way that runs above the bank of the Reno River: on the left you see the Lagoon of Lido di Magnavacca.
Then you can admire the restored hut that hosted Giuseppe Garibaldi when he was in the valley, while a large area of reeds extends along the shore.
Further on, past a wide bend river you can see on the right the sluice of the Reno River, while on the left the valley ends with wet meadows and patches of tamarisk and hawthorn. You can follow with the utmost caution a stretch of State Road Romea to return to Comacchio and its beaches.