Estense Castle

Largo Castello 1 - Ferrara

In Ferrara in 1385, a dangerous revolt convinced Niccolò II d’Este of the need to erect mighty de ...

Estense CastlePublic buildings

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Largo Castello 1 - Ferrara

Opening Hours

9.30-17.30. The ticket office closes at 16.45. June, July and August: 9.30-13.30 / 15.00-19.00. The ticket office closes at 18.15. February, March; April, May, June and September OPEN DAILY. July, August, October, November, December and January CLOSED ON MONDAY Closed on December 25th.

Basic Info

In Ferrara in 1385, a dangerous revolt convinced Niccolò II d’Este of the need to erect mighty defences for himself and his family thus the Castello di San Michele was built, a fortress erected against the people. Its imposing proportions, its moat, its drawbridges and its towers date back to that remote period. Centuries went by and the risk of riots died down. And so the castle became the magnificent residence of the court and was embellished with roof terraces at the top of the towers, marble balconies, the Renaissance style courtyard and sumptuous apartments. The imposing towers stand out at the four corners of the Castle, symbols of the magnificence of the Este Family.

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    Estense Castlepublic buildings

    Cathedral

    Piazza della Cattedrale, Ferrara

    The cathedral of Ferrara dates from the 12th century and bears witness to all the historical periods ...

    CathedralSacral objects

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    Piazza della Cattedrale, Ferrara

    Opening Hours

    Working days: 7.30-12.00 / 16.00-18.30. Sundays and holidays: 7.30-12.30 / 16.00-19.30.

    Basic Info

    The cathedral of Ferrara dates from the 12th century and bears witness to all the historical periods of the city. The outstanding façade was begun in Romanesque style, still visible in the lower part. The upper part was built some decades later in a Gothic style and besides the numerous small arches and windows presents an extraordinary Last Judgment by an unknown sculptor. The side facing Piazza Trento e Trieste is decorated with two galleries and small columns of various shapes. The interior was completely rebuilt at various times and today hosts a complex decoration of paintings and sculptures.

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      Cathedralsacral objects

      Palazzo dei Diamanti

      Corso Ercole I d'Este, 21, 44121 Ferrara

      The magnificent Palazzo dei Diamanti, at the centre of the Addizione Erculea, on the important cross ...

      Palazzo dei DiamantiPublic buildings

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      Corso Ercole I d'Este, 21, 44121 Ferrara

      Opening Hours

      National Gallery 9.00-14.00. Thursdays: 9.00-19.00. Visits are possible during the opening hours of the National Gallery and of the Gallery of Modern and Contemporary Art.

      Basic Info

      The magnificent Palazzo dei Diamanti, at the centre of the Addizione Erculea, on the important crossroads known as the Quadrivio degli Angeli belonged to the duke’s brother Sigismondo d’Este. Its name derives from over 8000 pink and white marble ashlars in the form of pyramids (or diamonds) that cover the two façades. The architect Biagio Rossetti rendered it a townplanning masterpiece by placing the most important decoration on the corner: a contrivance destined to highlight the importance of the crossroads. Today, the palace is home to museums: Pinacoteca Nazionale and Galleria d'Arte Moderna.

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        Palazzo dei Diamantipublic buildings

        Palazzo Municipale

        Piazza Municipale, 2 - Ferrara

        Begun in 1245, the City Hall was the residence of the Este family until the 16th century. ...

        Palazzo MunicipalePublic buildings

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        Piazza Municipale, 2 - Ferrara

        Opening Hours

        Working days 9,00 – 14.00 Closing days Saturdays, Sundays and holidays

        Basic Info

        Begun in 1245, the City Hall was the residence of the Este family until the 16th century. The main entrance is through Volto del Cavallo, opposite the cathedral, and is flanked by two sculptures, copies of the original 15th century ones. The present-day facade is a neo-Gothic reconstruction that includes the Torre della Vittoria, where the bronze monument to Victory, a work of great value by Arrigo Minerbi (1918) is housed. Today the building hosts the municipality of the city of Ferrara

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          Palazzo Municipalepublic buildings

          The walls, stretching for nine kilometres, surround Ferrara almost entirely, forming one of the most ...

          Corso Ercole I d’EstePublic squares and streets

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          Opening Hours

          Always open

          Basic Info

          The walls, stretching for nine kilometres, surround Ferrara almost entirely, forming one of the most comprehensive and varied routes in Italy. All the most significant periods of Italian military architecture are represented there, surrounded by the greenery of the embankments and ramparts. Also studied by -michelangelo as an example of the highest military art, the red tile curtain walls bear wirtness to the important past of the city.Nowadays, the city walls have become a large park, in addition to the smaller ones within the city.

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            Corso Ercole I d’Estepublic squares and streets

            Piazza Ariostea

            Piazza Ariostea - Ferrara

            This very special oval piazza set below ground level and also famous for the races of the Palio, is ...

            Piazza AriosteaPublic squares and streets

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            Piazza Ariostea - Ferrara

            Opening Hours

            Always open

            Basic Info

            This very special oval piazza set below ground level and also famous for the races of the Palio, is the work of the architect Biagio Rossetti. The town-planning intent was to give the new city (the so-called Addizione Erculea) its own meeting point, which could then become the 'new market square'. But the main marketplace always remained the one along the side of the Cathedral. The piazza, framed by two of Rossetti's palaces with porticoes, was formerly called Piazza Nuova, but is now named after the poet Ludovico Ariosto, whose statue stands at the centre on a column.

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              Piazza Ariosteapublic squares and streets

              Jewish Ghetto

              Ferrara

              In the heart of the medieval city lies the ghetto, an area which conserves the memories of the centu ...

              Jewish GhettoPublic squares and streets

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              Ferrara

              Opening Hours

              Always open

              Basic Info

              In the heart of the medieval city lies the ghetto, an area which conserves the memories of the centuries-old Jewish Community of Ferrara and where the same community was from 1627 to 1961. Via Mazzini, formerly known as Via dei Sabbioni, was the main thoroughfare of the ghetto: at no. 95 is found the 15th century Synagogue, still in use; beside its door two stone tablets constitute a tangible record of the terrible racial persecutions. Inside is found the treasured Jewish Museum.

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                Jewish Ghettopublic squares and streets

                National Archaeological Museum

                Via XX settembre, 124 - Ferrara

                The museum, housed on the first floor of the Palazzo Costabili, exhibits the findings of the Etrusca ...

                National Archaeological MuseumMuseums and galleries

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                Via XX settembre, 124 - Ferrara

                Opening Hours

                SUMMER TIME: From Tuesday to Sunday from 9.30am to 7pm (Ticket office closes at 6.30pm) WINTER TIME: From Sunday to Thursday from 9.30am to 5pm (Ticket office closes at 4.30pm) Friday and Saturday from 9.30am to 7pm (Ticket office closes at 6.30pm

                Basic Info

                The museum, housed on the first floor of the Palazzo Costabili, exhibits the findings of the Etruscan city of Spina which flourished from the 6th to the 3rd century B.C. and survived until the first centuries A.D. After it was submerged by the water of the Po Delta, it became just a legendary name for centuries, until, at the beginning of the 20th century, the first necropolises were brought to light again by land reclamation works. The museum conserves various types of objects, many of them of excellent artistic quality. Only part of the collections are displayed taking up six rooms.

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                  National Archaeological Museummuseums and galleries

                  Charterhouse

                  Piazza Borso 1. Ferrara

                  The Charterhouse, built by Borso d’Este in 1461, was transformed into a monumental cemetery at the ...

                  CharterhouseSacral objects

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                  Piazza Borso 1. Ferrara

                  Opening Hours

                  Working days 7,30 – 19,30

                  Basic Info

                  The Charterhouse, built by Borso d’Este in 1461, was transformed into a monumental cemetery at the beginning of the 1800s and conserves important sculptures. Visitors are welcomed by two long arcades almost forming a semicircle. The complex is dominated by the St. Christopher’s Church, started in 1498 and attributed to Biagio Rossetti. The façade is unfinished. The interior of the church has a single nave that is wide and full of light with six chapels on each side and a deep presbyterial area with anapse.

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                    Charterhousesacral objects

                    Monastery of Sant’Antonio in Polesine

                    Vicolo del Gambone, Ferrara

                    Set in the heart of the medieval city, the monastery still gives the sense of isolation and tranquil ...

                    Monastery of Sant’Antonio in PolesineSacral objects

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                    Vicolo del Gambone, Ferrara

                    Opening Hours

                    From Mon. to Fri.: 9.30 – 11.30 /15.15 – 17.00. Saturday: 9.30 – 11.30 a.m. /3.15 – 4.30 p.m

                    Basic Info

                    Set in the heart of the medieval city, the monastery still gives the sense of isolation and tranquillity it did during its early years, when it stood upon an island in the middle of the Po. Founded by the Blessed Beatrice d’Este, daughter of Marquis Azzo VII, the convent was always protected by the Este family, who were never sparing with money for its embellishment. In its eriodo f greatest splendour, the growth of the Benedictine community was such that it occupied a large number of adjacent buildings; nowadays the nuns live in the oldest and most interesting wing of the complex.

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                      Monastery of Sant’Antonio in Polesinesacral objects

                      Palazzina Marfisa d’Este

                      Corso Giovecca, 170 Ferrara

                      The Villa is a splendid example of a 16th-century high-class residence and was once surrounded by ma ...

                      Palazzina Marfisa d’EstePublic buildings

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                      Corso Giovecca, 170 Ferrara

                      Opening Hours

                      9.30-13.00 / 15.00-18.00.. Closing days monday

                      Basic Info

                      The Villa is a splendid example of a 16th-century high-class residence and was once surrounded by magnificent gardens that connected it to other buildings known as Casini di San Silvestro. It takes its name from the princess Marfisa d’Este. Marfisa lived in it until her death and refused to leave Ferrara even after her family moved to Modena and the city was devolved to the Papal States. The façade on Corso Giovecca is in brick with large rectangular windows. The large garden behind is now closed off by a loggia painted with a fake bower, used for performances.

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                        Palazzina Marfisa d’Estepublic buildings

                        Palazzo Schifanoia

                        Via Scandiana 23, 44121 - Ferrara

                        The name of the palace derives from the motto 'schivar la noia' meaning 'avoid tedium' and refers to ...

                        Palazzo SchifanoiaMuseums and galleries

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                        Via Scandiana 23, 44121 - Ferrara

                        Opening Hours

                        9.30 - 18.00. Closing days monday

                        Basic Info

                        The name of the palace derives from the motto 'schivar la noia' meaning 'avoid tedium' and refers to the building's function as a place for fun and recreation as it was an Estense ‘Delizia’ (palace for recreation). Nowadays, the palace has the appearance of a long building divided into two wings. The most famous and interesting room is definitely the Sala dei Mesi (Room of the Months), frescoed by Ferrara painters of the 15th century: Francesco del Cossa, Ercole de' Roberti and others. Painted pilaster strips divide the wails into squares, each corresponding to a month.

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                          Palazzo Schifanoiamuseums and galleries

                          Abbey of Pomposa

                          Via Pomposa Centro 12, Codigoro (Fe)

                          A masterpiece of Romanesque art, Pomposa Abbey can be seen from a distance with its towering campani ...

                          Abbey of PomposaSacral objects

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                          Via Pomposa Centro 12, Codigoro (Fe)

                          Opening Hours

                          The complex: 8.30-19.00. Church open every day. The museum: closed on Monday. Opening hours on Christmas Holidays: 25th Dec. and 1st Jan. 1.30 - 7.30 pm

                          Basic Info

                          A masterpiece of Romanesque art, Pomposa Abbey can be seen from a distance with its towering campanile, which dominates the surrounding countryside like a "lighthouse" in the sea of green that surrounds it. The church was founded in the 6th century A.D. and from the middle of the 9th century the first community of Benedictine monks began to form, reaching its peak after the year 1000, when the Abbot’s spiritual and political jurisdiction extended over all the surrounding villages. A true lighthouse of culture, Pomposa had one of the most extensive libraries of the time.

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                            Abbey of Pomposasacral objects

                            Este Castle of Mesola

                            Piazza Santo Spirito, Mesola (Fe)

                            This important building, the massive and elegant hunting castle, was built by the last Duke of Ferra ...

                            Este Castle of MesolaCity walls and forts

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                            Piazza Santo Spirito, Mesola (Fe)

                            Opening Hours

                            From mid-March: Tue-Sun. 9.30-12.30/ 14.30-17.30. From April to October: Tue-Sun. 9.30-12.30/ 15.00-18.00. For groups booking required Closing days: Monday

                            Basic Info

                            This important building, the massive and elegant hunting castle, was built by the last Duke of Ferrara, Alfonso II during the second half of the XVI Century. It was the last of the so-called "delizie" (delights) of the Este family. It was meant to provide hospitality for the court during the hunting season, but the entire complex was surrounded by fortification walls with towers. Nowadays the castle is used as the seat of the Municipal Library and the Historic Archive.

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                              Este Castle of Mesolacity walls and forts

                              Torre Abate

                              Via Belmonte, Mesola (Fe)

                              It 's the most significant evidence of the efforts made in the hydraulic protection of the territory ...

                              Torre AbateCity walls and forts

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                              Via Belmonte, Mesola (Fe)

                              Opening Hours

                              Visit only outside

                              Basic Info

                              It 's the most significant evidence of the efforts made in the hydraulic protection of the territory and is linked to the history of land reclamation undertaken by the Este Court in the sixteenth century. Originally the flow of water was controlled by a system of wind-powered gates, but later it ceased to be a lock because of the newer Porto Viro cut, and was used for defence and customs. The building is now once again surrounded by water and wetland vegetation thanks to environmental adjustment works.

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                                Torre Abatecity walls and forts

                                Roman Necropolis of Voghenza

                                Via D. Alighieri Fondo Setta, Voghenza (Fe)

                                Voghenza was a Roman city called Vicus Aventinus or Vico Habentia: an administrative hub of vast imp ...

                                Roman Necropolis of VoghenzaArchaeological sites

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                                Via D. Alighieri Fondo Setta, Voghenza (Fe)

                                Opening Hours

                                Open all year. You can see the necropolis only from the outside

                                Basic Info

                                Voghenza was a Roman city called Vicus Aventinus or Vico Habentia: an administrative hub of vast imperial properties. Excavations begun in 1976 have brought to light a burial and monumental area of a certain significance that can be dated between the middle of the 1th to the 3rd century A.D. The necropolis has already turned up 67 burial spots dating back to the 6th-7th centuries A.D. The materials found consists of common pottery, oil-lamps, glass balm containers and amber, metal, gold, onyx and bone objects. Some of these finds are on display in the Museo Archeologico di Belriguardo.

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                                  Roman Necropolis of Voghenzaarchaeological sites

                                  Rocca Possente di Stellata

                                  Via Argine Po, Stellata (Fe)

                                  Built in around the year 1000, it was extended and reinforced by the Este family in 1362. ...

                                  Rocca Possente di StellataCity walls and forts

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                                  Via Argine Po, Stellata (Fe)

                                  Opening Hours

                                  Visit only outside

                                  Basic Info

                                  Built in around the year 1000, it was extended and reinforced by the Este family in 1362. Its strategic position on the Po together with that of the Rocca di Ficarolo on the opposite bank to which it was connected by a chain, meant control over navigation. It was destroyed in 1521 but quickly rebuilt. Its peculiar walls at a slant gave better protection against enemy artillery. The star-shaped layout probably dates back to 1570 and it is this characteristic form that gave the name to the village of Stellata.

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                                    Rocca Possente di Stellatacity walls and forts

                                    Delizia Estense di Benvignante

                                    SS 16 per Argenta, Benvignante

                                    This work by the court architect, Pietro Benvenuto degli Ordini, was carried out for Borso d'Este an ...

                                    Delizia Estense di BenvignantePublic buildings

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                                    SS 16 per Argenta, Benvignante

                                    Opening Hours

                                    Visit only outside

                                    Basic Info

                                    This work by the court architect, Pietro Benvenuto degli Ordini, was carried out for Borso d'Este and is an excellent example of the refined, elegant Ferrarese style during the Renaissance period. Although the building is in the category of a country villa, it also played an important role as both a defensive outpost and as a symbol of political power. This might was represented by the vaulted, turreted tower in the centre of the building. The coat of arms gazes out over the brickwork arched entrance and is yet another sign of the splendour of times gone by.

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                                      Delizia Estense di Benvignantepublic buildings

                                      Delizia Estense di Belriguardo

                                      Strada Provinciale 274, Voghiera (Fe)

                                      Built in 1435, the Delizia del Belriguardo was the first to be built outside the walls of Ferrara. I ...

                                      Delizia Estense di BelriguardoPublic buildings

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                                      Strada Provinciale 274, Voghiera (Fe)

                                      Opening Hours

                                      Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and holidays: 10-12; 15.00-18.00. All days: with reservation for groups.Visits are possible during the opening hours of the Archaeological Museum.

                                      Basic Info

                                      Built in 1435, the Delizia del Belriguardo was the first to be built outside the walls of Ferrara. It was one of the largest and most sumptuous stately homes of the Renaissance period, so much so that it was dubbed "The Versailles of the Estensi". Besides the main building, it included two loggias around the minor buildings, with stables that could accommodate up to 200 horses. The entire complex was surrounded by vast gardens with ponds and fountains, embrasured walls with painted towers and a moat. Today, the Delizia houses two museums.

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                                        Delizia Estense di Belriguardopublic buildings

                                        Delizia Estense del Verginese

                                        Via del Verginese, Gambulaga

                                        In the small village of Gambulaga, set in the green countryside, stands this quaint Estense turreted ...

                                        Delizia Estense del VerginesePublic buildings

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                                        Via del Verginese, Gambulaga

                                        Opening Hours

                                        Sat and holidays: 10.00-12.30/15.00-18.30 (November - March) 10.00-12.30 / 15.30-19.00 (April - October). All days: with reservation for groups

                                        Basic Info

                                        In the small village of Gambulaga, set in the green countryside, stands this quaint Estense turreted villa, which, due to its small size, looks like a sort of miniature castle. Alfonso I had it built at the beginning of the 16th century on the banks of the River Sandolo, The architect Girolamo da Carpi converted a pre-existing farmhouse configuring the building as a castle bordered by four square embrasured towers. The aim was by no means defensive, but was highly ornamental and ostentatious. Alongside, stands a small 18th-century church, joined the building by a portico of the same period.

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                                          Delizia Estense del Verginesepublic buildings

                                          Villa della Mensa

                                          Strada per Formignana, Sabbioncello San Vittore

                                          This is a monumental complex of great importance, where the bishops of Ferrara stayed until the peri ...

                                          Villa della MensaPublic buildings

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                                          Strada per Formignana, Sabbioncello San Vittore

                                          Opening Hours

                                          Temporarily closed

                                          Basic Info

                                          This is a monumental complex of great importance, where the bishops of Ferrara stayed until the period of the Napoleonic suppression (1797). The great villa was built on the orders of Bartholomew della Rovere, nephew of the Pope Sixtus IV and brother of the Pope Jiulius II between 1474 and 1495. The Villa has a polygonal groundplan and a cloistered court. The front of the building, facing west, continues in two walls with battlements that extend to the service courtyards at the sides of the villa.

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                                            Villa della Mensapublic buildings

                                            Trepponti

                                            Comacchio

                                            The reason for which this singular structure was built lies in the need for defending the city. ...

                                            TreppontiPublic squares and streets

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                                            Comacchio

                                            Opening Hours

                                            Always open

                                            Basic Info

                                            The reason for which this singular structure was built lies in the need for defending the city. In fact, the only means of access was from the confluence of the river ways. It is the one single building which best represents the lagoon features of the city of Comacchio. It’s formed of five wide rounded staircases, each one extending over one of the canals, topped by a central structure in Istrian stone and two towers. Its purpose was to connect the network of internal canals with the canal leading to the sea. At the foot of the bridge there is a square on which the old fish market was located.

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                                              Treppontipublic squares and streets

                                              The Pickling Factory

                                              Via Mazzini 200, Comacchio

                                              The imposing eel pickling factory at Comacchio is a piece of the delta's history. Life in the Valli ...

                                              The Pickling FactoryMuseums and galleries

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                                              Via Mazzini 200, Comacchio

                                              Opening Hours

                                              Winter (1 November-28 February): 9.30-13.00 / 14.30-18.00; Summer (1 March-31 October): 9.30-12.30 / 15.00-19.00. Guided visits on arrangement.

                                              Basic Info

                                              The imposing eel pickling factory at Comacchio is a piece of the delta's history. Life in the Valli was hard, a life spent between the ubiquitous water and the meagre patches of flat land, searching for eels and fish to survive.The Museo dei Fuochi tells of these affairs with its twelve functioning chimneys that served to give the eel that characteristic cooking that has put it back on modern menus. The fires, the spits and the barrels have all been restored to recreate the fascinating storyline of a territory interwoven with legends and truths.

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                                                The Pickling Factorymuseums and galleries

                                                The Valleys of Comacchio

                                                Via Agatopisto, 3 Comacchio

                                                Although land reclamation has reduced their size, the marshes are still one of the largest lagoon sy ...

                                                The Valleys of ComacchioParks and gardens

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                                                Via Agatopisto, 3 Comacchio

                                                Opening Hours

                                                From April 1 to June 8 and from September 13 to October 31 Excursions 11.00am-3.00pm guaranteed Excursions 9.00am-5.00pm departure guaranteed with minimum 10 people From June 9 to September 12 Excursions 11.00am-5.00pm guaranteed Excursions 9.00am-3.00pm departure guaranteed with minimum 10 people

                                                Basic Info

                                                Although land reclamation has reduced their size, the marshes are still one of the largest lagoon systems in Italy. They cover an area of more than 11,000 hectares between Comacchio and the river Reno and are connected to the sea via canals. They form an environment of rare beauty within the Po Delta Park: in some places the stretches of brackish water are interrupted by rises in the land or divided by embankments and ancient sandbars, in others they extend freely like mirrors reflecting the ever-changing light of the sky. The valleys are included in the Po Delta regional Park.

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                                                  The Valleys of Comacchioparks and gardens

                                                  Campotto oasis

                                                  Via Cardinala 1/c Campotto

                                                  The Campotto Oasis is part of the Po Delta Park and represents an important rest area for migratory ...

                                                  Campotto oasisParks and gardens

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                                                  Via Cardinala 1/c Campotto

                                                  Opening Hours

                                                  Valle Santa: free. Thu, Sat., Sun. entirely open. Val Campotto, Valle Bassarone and Bosco del Traversante only with a guide together with the Museum - min. 5 pax.

                                                  Basic Info

                                                  The Campotto Oasis is part of the Po Delta Park and represents an important rest area for migratory birds. A station for the capture and ringing of wild birds is based in the oasis, where experts meet periodically to check the routes of migratory flocks of birds. The Oasis isd divided into three parts: the Campotto and Bassarone floodplains, the Valle Santa and the Traversante wood. The lagoons were created in their present form at the beginning of the last century and essentially serve as enlarged reservoirs to hold any waters overflowing from the rivers in the Lower Bologna Plain.

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                                                    Campotto oasisparks and gardens

                                                    Mesola Wood

                                                    Via dei Frassini 24, Mesola

                                                    The Gran Bosco della Mesola covers an area of 1,058 hectares which represent the remains of a woodla ...

                                                    Mesola WoodParks and gardens

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                                                    Address | Location on Map

                                                    Via dei Frassini 24, Mesola

                                                    Opening Hours

                                                    Tuesdays, Fridays, Saturdays and holidays from 9 a.m. to one hour before sunset. Open from March to October. Not all the wood can be visited, but the trails allow sightings of red deer and fallow deer. Access on foot, by bicycle or on the ecological farm wagon.

                                                    Basic Info

                                                    The Gran Bosco della Mesola covers an area of 1,058 hectares which represent the remains of a woodland complex, once much larger, which originated around the year 1000. One part of the wood is a Full Nature Reserve, an area fully protected and left to its natural evolution, while the rest of the area is a Nature Reserve. The terrain is of alluvial origin and is irregular, a symptom of ancient dunes which in parts form pools of water with marsh vegetation. The wood is part of the Po Delta regional Park.

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                                                      Mesola Woodparks and gardens

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