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Comacchio

Trepponti bridge in the town of Comacchio

Comacchio is a city that many compare to Venice. The city stands on thirteen islands in a park in the Po Delta. The historic centre is very small, well-preserved and can be walked around in a day.

 

The most famous sights are the unmissable Trepponti with its impressive staircases, the Cathedral of San Cassiano from the 17th century. the houses in the centre of Comacchia are low and pastel-coloured. They are almost glued to each other and differ only in different shades. Some views are reminiscent of the island of Burano, which is why Comacchio is also called "Little Venice".

 

If you want to see the city from an unusual point of view, you can cruise the canals aboard a batana, a typical local boat. The batana is made of wood and is used for fishing in shallow waters. The special name comes from the sound the flat side of the oar makes when it touches the water surface, as if it is constantly "beating".

The starting point of the ride is in front of the Hotel Antica Pescheria, a few steps from Trepponti.

Batana boats in the museum in Comacchio

Loggiato dei Cappuccini
From the centre of Comacchia, take the Corso Mazzini, which will lead you to the start of the Loggiato dei Cappuccini. This is a 400 metre long arcade with 142 arches that leads to the church of Santa Maria in Aula Regia. It was built in the 17th century to protect the citizens on their way to the sanctuary from humidity and bad weather.

 

Manifattura dei Marinati
At the end of the Loggiato dei Cappuccini, a door leads to the Manifattura dei Marinati, where fish was once brought for processing. It was a vital place for the Comacchia economy and is still partly used today.

 

Torre dell'Orologio e Loggia del Grano

Continuing along Via Ugo Bassi, you will come across the Torre dell'Orologio and the Loggia del Grano.

The Torre dell'Orologio (Clock Tower) has a square base and is equipped with a mechanical clock. The monument dates back to the 19th century and probably replicates the original 14th century structure, which was destroyed. Take a few steps along Via Cavour, along the canal and then turn towards the tower. You'll get a spectacular view.

Comacchio - Torre dell’Orologio, Ospedale San Camillo, Loggiato dei Cappuccini

A few metres away is the Loggia del Grano, a 17th-century stone building whose upper floor was used as a grain store for the city's poor.

Ponte degli Sbirri
After Via Fogli, the first bridge you'll see is the Ponte degli Sbirri or Ponte della Ca', so named because of its proximity to the former prison. The bridge was built where the most important canals in Comacchio cross: it connects Piazza Centrale and Loggia del Grano with Trepponti.

The Ponte degli Sbirri bridge offers one of the most beautiful views of the Trepponti

Trepponti

The most famous landmark of Comacchio is the Trepponti or Pallotta Bridge, named after the cardinal who built it in the 17th century.

It originally had a defensive function. It was the first fortified gateway for those arriving from the sea via the canal. The structure is very original: an arched bridge with two towers and five staircases, three at the front and two at the back.

 

Just a few steps away is the Antica Pescheria, where there is still a fish market with old marble stalls. Art exhibitions are held in this building.

 

What to taste in Comacchio

The typical dish of Comacchio is the eel, prepared in a thousand different ways, from stewed to fried or grilled.

Comacchio - eel traps

eels are an essential part of Comacchio's life, economy and history. They are born in the Sargasso Sea and, after crossing the ocean, find an ideal environment in the waters of the Po Delta. The inhabitants of Comacchio devised a very ingenious system of eel fishing, known as the "lavoriero", which consists of pens and connecting chambers to stop the eels from returning to the open sea.

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