Valli di Comacchio, Italy

The Valli di Comacchio, meaning “fish basins of Comacchio“, are a series of contiguous brackish lagoons situated to the south of Comacchio, close to the Adriatic coast of the Emilia-Romagna region in northern Italy. They lie within the comuni of Comacchio and Argenta in the province of Ferrara and the comune of Ravenna in the province of Ravenna. The area, covering almost 17,000 hectares within the Parco regionale del Delta del Po, the regional park of the Po Delta, is classified as a Site of Community Importance and a Special Protection Area. It is also rated internationally important by the Ramsar Convention for the conservation and sustainable utilization of wetlands.

Some of the most common plants in the area are oaks, pine, beech in higher ground, and reeds, and tamarisk. Additionally, many types of flowers can be found, including several species of Limonium. In this region there are many pine forests, most notably those of Cervia and Ravenna as well as the Mesola Forest. The Valli di Comacchio are home to the greatest variety of birds of Italy. There are over 300 species of birds such as flamingos, Black-winged Stilts, egrets and other herons and kingfishers. In addition, there are fish such as bream, eels, sea bass, mullet, and sole. Foxes are common. Fishing is a common occupation: in fact there are still many fishing settlements in the area today. Typical of the area are fishing lodges mounted on poles in the water. These structures serve both as fishing stations and places to monitor for illegal fishing. Also common are eel-fishing basins called lavorieri. There are numerous salt-panning facilities in the area.

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