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Comacchio - Italy

Ponte Treponti, Comacchio Canal Streets, CommachioFlamingos, Po Delta National ParkPo Delta National ParkLido di Comacchio

Just inland form the many beach resorts on the Adriatic coast is the small town of Comacchio. It used to be completely surrounded by water and built around a series of canals, much like Venice. Much of the surrounding lagoons have been drained for farmland but the town is still surrounded on three sides by water and there is a network of canals running through the town's streets.

Comacchio is a very sleepy and untouristed town, with just a few canal side cafes and restaurants. There's virtually no traffic, as the canals make road travel just about impossible and are only crossed by narrow stepped bridges.

The main feature of the town besides the huge blocky cathedral, visible for miles around, is the beautiful Ponte Treponti, a bridge that spans the intersection of five canals. It has five flights of steps and a couple of small towers and is a great place to relax and enjoy the warm sun.

The rest of the town is nice, and a walk along the many canals through the narrow streets is very pleasant. Commachio makes a great detour from the resort towns of the coast, and is a good starting point for cycle and boat trips into the surrounding wetlands.

The area around Comacchio forms part of the Po Delta National Park and is rich in bird life. The lagoons and former salt pans are great for a boat trip, or to cycle through. It's a really strange flat landscape, with canals and rivers running through the lagoons, separated from each other by low banks.

From the former fishing station at Foce, it's a short walk to the edge of the salt pans, which provide an ideal habitat for flamingos. These are really strange birds to see in the wild, very out of place with their vivid red legs and pink wings. They seem very ungainly and have difficulty getting into the air, but are a marvellous sight to see.

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