Protected Areas Open Day at the Po Delta Regional Park

May 22nd, Po Delta Regional Park, Italy - During the Protected Areas Open Day, free guided tours were offered to the Dunes of Massenzatica and the mouth of the Bevano Torrent in order to promote this less known destinations.

On Wednesday 22nd of May and commemorating the World Biodiversity Day, the Management Body for Parks and Biodiversity - Po Delta, as part of the Interreg Central Europe CEETO Project in which it is involved through the Emilia-Romagna Region, organised four guided tours in two significant but little-known sites of the Park:

  • Fossil dunes of Massenzatica (Mesola - FE);
  • Foce del Torrente Bevano (Ortazzo and Ortazzino) (Ravenna - RA).

 The chosen places are very interesting from a naturalistic point of view and represent real excellence of the territory since they can tell the story and development of the territory over the last centuries, starting 3’000 years ago.


visitors on one of the guided tours - Photo by Emilia-Romagna Region

 The Fossil Dunes of Massenzatica are an ancient coastal dune system dating back to the 9th century BC. They are now located inland, more than 11 km from the nearest coast, due to the advancement towards the east of the coastline itself caused by the gradual accumulation of alluvial deposits from the Po river. This ancient coastline corresponds to the pre-Etruscan coastline which passed from Ravenna through the current localities of Argine Agosta, Marozzo, Ponte Maodino, S. Basilio and continued northwards until Chioggia. In Massenzatica and S. Basilio the dunes were particularly high (up to 7 m a.s.l.) and are still visible today.

 The Bevano’s mouth is an important area of about 40 hectares, which bears witness to how the entire regional coastline must have looked before the important interventions made by man. In the area you can find natural features such as the Ortazzo valley, a wide freshwater swamp constantly submerged by the waters of the rivers Bevano and Fosso Ghiaia. This area was once a rice field but, in the '50s and as a result of subsidence and salt intrusion, was abandoned and it has been now re-colonised. In the area there is also the wetland zone of Ortazzino: a brackish area adjacent to the beach that alternates ponds behind dunes, reed beds, sand dunes, meadows with Mediterranean vegetation and coastal pine forests. This areas is one of the few strips of land that have never been altered by man and, therefore, allows the researcher to study the natural evolution of the territories of the back-coast. 


Views from the wetlands - Photo by Emilia-Romagna Region

As part of the Interreg Central Europe CEETO Project, the Po Delta Park Authority aims to reduce the pressures from tourism, especially during the spring-summer periods. In some sensitive areas of the Park, different solutions will be implemented to redistribute these tourist flows throughout the year, what is called seasonal adjustment, and relocate them to neighbouring areas equally attractive in terms of nature tourism. 

With these guided tours the Park wanted to promote the knowledge of the territory and its treasures to:

  • Residents, who are often the unaware of their existence or that underestimate them, in order to increase their awareness;
  • Tour Operators, who are the first to get in touch with the tourist and, sometimes, are not able to give all the information to stimulate the desire to visit them.

About Po Delta Regional Park

You can get further information on the Po Delta Regional Park webpage and watch the video-teaser below, in which the natural values and touristic challengest that the park is facing are portrayed:


Watch the video-teaser of Po Delta Regional Park

Furthermore, you can discover other CEETO Pilot Protected Areas involved in the implementation and testing of innovative sustainable tourism management models here.