Inside the property of S. Caterina in 2002 has been find a little stony necropolis dated by the Roman Imperial age (40-80 AD) where have been discovered five very nice and rich steles of the Fadiena Family, with related entombment. This rich in property family took advantage of the river proximity to trade its products in the entire Empire. Where the river flowed, now there are the two lakes near which there is the farmhouse.
Oasis of Bando
The Valley Bights Oasi of Porto, to protect, the fauna is situated in the municipalities of Portomaggiore and Argenta and it covers an area of 608 hectares. It is known also as “Bando Basin” o “Bando Bights”, due to the characteristic complex of bodies of water of about 55 hectares. Basins have been used since 1983 by Eridania for the plumbing and settling of waste-waters due to the production of the Bando sugar factory, some miles far away from our farmhouse. In the 1971 it has been established an oasis to protect the fauna, due to the big quantity of birds living in the area during months in which the production process of sugar was stopped.
After the factory has been closed, the area has been populated again by a big quantity of birds and fishes, so to be considered of first environmental relevance. To avoid the transformation of basins in agricultural terrains, the Ferrara provincial administration in the 1985 rented the area, and in 1989 bought it. In the area of our province these basins are very important for birds living in and for the preservation of native fish species.
UNESCO world heritage city
In 1995 the historical centre of Ferrara became a UNESCO world heritage, as an extraordinary example of city designed in the Renaissance, in which the historical centre is intact. The urban planning ideals there used had a profound influence for the development of city planning in the following centuries. In the 1999, also the Po Delta and the route of the “Delizie of Estensi” became world heritage. Since then the entire area received the name of “Ferrara, city of Renaissance, and its Po Delta”.
Laid down in the middle of the Pianura Padana, Ferrara maintains intact the atmosphere of its past, well integrated with the one of its vivid present.
The best known image of the city undoubtedly is the one of its extraordinary Renaissance, the age of the majesty of the Estense Court, which is manifested everywhere by indelible manifestations: in the huge plan of the Addizione Erculea; in painting cycles of XIV and XV Centuries; in the Cathedral Giudizio Universale of Bastianino; in the Palazzo dei Diamanti. Starting from the Castle one finds the large streets of the Addizione Erculea, expansion due to the duke Ercole, by which Ferrara became “the first modern city of Europe” in the Renaissance, and by which, in our days, Ferrara became UNESCO world heritage, together with it Po Delta.
See also: Palazzo Massari, with its permanent exposition of Boldini paintings; Palazzo dei Diamanti, with its art gallery used as permanent exhibition of important artistic expositions; Piazza Ariostea, where you can see the most ancient Palio in the world; le Mura, ancient city walls which maintain intact their ancient glory.
The Little Venice
At about 30 miles from Ferrara, in the direction to the Adriatic sea, one finds Comacchio, also known as “Little Venice”, which is the most original and fascinating historical centre in the Po Delta. Heir of the ancient Spina, for many decades point of contention by Ferrara, Ravenna, Papas and Emperors, it has very ancient origins. At the beginning of Middle-Age, it rose up 13 islets and it based just on water its urban and economic development. Fishing, fish-farming in coombs or lagoons, salt production were the origin of the its wealth, but also of its declines, due to wars with Venice.
Today it’s a city with unique architectonic details, inhabited by people proud of their origins e with a strong identity, a city with many canals, bridges and palaces, some of which monumental. The current historical centre maintains many proofs of its past: very nice churches and monuments in between bridges over canals, mostly the Trepponti of the XVI Century, the ancient doorway to the city. You must also see the Museum of the Load of the Roman Ship, which shows finds found inside a commercial ship of the I Century AD.
The Trepponti Bridge was commissioned by the Cardinal Pallotta in the first half of the XVII Century, designed by the architect Luca Danese. It is composed by five arched staircase. Running down from the central staircase one enters in the place where every morning there is the fish market, inside the characteristic Fish Shop, also of the XVII Century. Along the canals are docked the typical boats (batane), on which you can have a trip to visit the city from a more evocative point of view.
The Po Delta Park
A few miles from here one finds the Comacchio Valleys, 11.000 hectares of salt waters surrounded by stems and bumps rich in the typical flora and fauna of lagoon ambient. Very evocative places are the Boscoforte peninsula and the salt pans, where one can see a thick colony of flamingos.
The Po Delta Park is the most vast park in the region, occupying a very vast portion of the Emilia Romagna territory.
The Park area is organized in six sites, anyone of which has its specific environmental, panoramic and historical details. You can visit the Park by many different routes, anyone nice per se, which can be covered by car, bicycle or foot. Moreover, one can travel by boat and, for example, reach the Gorino lighthouse and have a lunch in the characteristic restaurant. Here, the nearest attraction is in Goro, where you find one of the biggest Adriatic farm for shellfish and oysters.
During the stay in the Park, one can admire an extremely varied flora and fauna, due to the different environmental types of which the Park is very rich. The marine lavender, the sea rocket, the reed, the very rare white water lily and the aquatic gentian, are some of the many flora species which one can find in these extraordinary sites.
Regarding birdwatching, one can find the american and the native trabuso, the aquatic blackbird, the avonceta monachina, which nest in between the high greenery, preferred niche also of the kingfisher, the little magpie and the cannoila.
Mesola and the Castle
The Estense Castle of Mesola have been built in the XV Century, commissioned by the last duke of Ferrara, Alfonso II, for his third wife, Margherita Gonzaga. The last of the Estense castle (delizia), it is characterized by its severe, but also elegant, look. In the centre of an enormous hunting property, the Castle was enclosed by a wall of 12 miles, today totally destroyed. But one can admire the service facilities organized in semicircle around the Castle, today transformed in shops and restaurants. Inside the Castle there are the Environmental Education Center, the Library and temporary exhibitions.
The seven Comacchio beaches, by the Adriatic Sea
Due to their pedestrian alley and the many shops and restaurants, near the beach, the seven Comacchio beaches are a touristic area rich in amusements. Mostly, the seven beaches offer very large and long sea-sides by a very clean sea, fitted for the vacation of families and youngsters, due to the sport and amusement facilities.
From any beach one can have trips to oasis and valleys.
Pomposa and its Middle-Age Abbey
The Pomposa Abbey is a complex of facilities considered one of the most distinguished Benedictine cloister of the Middle-Age: the heart of the Abbey is constituted by the Cathedral, the Dining Hall, the Capitulary Hall and the courtyard.
Benedictine monks founded the Abbey in the VII Century AC. About around the year 1000, the Abbey was highly considered in the region and abbot had an important social and politic role.
Benedictine monks remained there till the beginning of the XVI Century; since then they lived in Ferrara. In that period the Abbey became a private property for farming, until about one Century ago it became a national monument.
In its history the Abbey was visited by famous personalities, like the Barbarossa and Dante Alighieri.
The characteristic architecture is a mix between the Romanesque and Byzantine styles; in the art works one can recognize details of the Ferrara and Bologna schools.
Verginese Castle and S. Vito Church
The farmhouse Ai Due Laghi of Verginese is located very near one of the Estense castle (delizia): the Verginese.
Moreover, very near, one can find many other interesting sites, one of which is the Romanesque S. Vito Church and the Estense Castle “Belriguardo”, with its archeological museum.