The Gran Bosco della Mesola, or Boscone, is a wooded area of approximately 1000 hectares, the largest in Ferrara, which is testimony to the presence of ancient lowland forests which stretched along the Adriatic coast from Aquileia to Ravenna. Its origin probably dates back to the Middle Ages, from the dunes of the mouth of the Po di Goro and Po di Volano, which gave the area an irregular, undulating shape with alternating dunes and hollows where water stagnated. Thanks to its extremely diverse landform, the vegetation of the Mesola Wood varies considerably: there are plants growing in wet conditions but also Mediterranean vegetation, dry meadows and marshes. Apart from the plant life seen here, the presence of unique animal species is hugely important to the forest: an indigenous population of deer, numerous species of fallow deer, but also many species of birds typical of wetlands. These birds now find refuge in a particular area inside the forest, which is generally closed to the public in order to protect these species. The Bosco della Mesola has been a Nature Reserve since 1977.