Valli di Comacchio

Valli di Comacchio
Valli residue del comprensorio di Comacchio
Saline di Comacchio.JPG
Saline ponds in Comacchio
Map showing the location of Valli di Comacchio
Map showing the location of Valli di Comacchio
Location in Italy
LocationEmilia-Romagna, Italy
Nearest cityComacchio
Coordinates44°36′55″N 12°10′01″E / 44°36′55″N 12°10′01″E / 44.61528; 12.16694
Official nameValli residue del comprensorio di Comacchio
Designated4 September 1981
Reference no.225[1]

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.[2] It is also rated internationally important by the Ramsar Convention for the conservation and sustainable utilization of wetlands.[3]


The Valli di Comacchio are a lagoon and wetland complex comprising four principal basins, The Valle Lido di Magnavacca, the Valle Fossa di Porto, the Valle Campo and the Valle Fattibello, and several smaller ones. Approximately ten kilometres to the north, also in the territory of Comacchio, is the Valle di Bertuzzi. The lagoon was formed around the tenth century due to subsidence of the soil and silting of the coastal zone. At the time of formation, the area was flooded with fresh water from the recurrent flooding of the rivers. From the sixteenth century on, they gradually were filled with sea water resulting in the modern appearance of brackish water-filled basins.

The original extent of the Valli di Comacchio - covering about 73,000 hectares - was progressively reduced as a result of various land reclamation projects. The current coverage of the wetlands is around 13,000 hectares, from the Comune of Comacchio to the river Reno.[4] The Valli di Comacchio remain some of the largest wetlands in Italy.[5]

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