An itinerary that takes us along the northern Adriatic coast begins inthe region of Veneto, at Chioggia, and crosses the pristine countryside of the Po Delta Park. It then goes inland toward the Region of Emilia Romagna to discover Unesco World Heritage, the art centre of Ravenna. Unfortunately, the departure from Chioggia is quite dangerous; there is the risk of becoming enchanted by this city. The tourist who is visiting it for the first time will need a little time to get used to the coexistence of water and terra firma. Every road seems to lead to awall, a field, or to the gate that encloses a house with a garden. In order not to get lost, one only needs to keep his or her eye on the long pedestrian road that begins at the city's entrance gate, Porta di Santa Maria, and follow it along to the Vigo pier.
This historical city is divided into two islands, separated by the "Canal Vena," the centre of fishing activity. Here it is possible to see artisans at work making "bragozzi, " antique boats with sails of many colors. Seen from above, Chioggia reveals a unique urban structure. The historical centre has the aspect of fish bone, with the Corso del Popolo as the central axis, and some seventy little streets leading away from it like the teeth of comb, with the Tombola neighborhood at its head. Immerse yourself in the antique traditions of the Chioggia culture, admiring the little squares, the bridges, the foundations, the squeri or boat building docks, the palaces, the doorways, the churches, the bell towers - Sant'Andrea, which houses the oldest clock in the world - and the world-famous fish market. We have one eye on the culinary culture of the city as well; the vegetable-based soups are excellent, as is the radicchio di Chioggia, raw, baked in the oven, or grilled over hot coals. L'asparago bianco di Bassano should also be savored, as well as the "castraure scaltrže" (young artichokes), and the "succa baruca," (Chioggia oven-baked squash).
From here we leave for Ravenna, a treasure trove of some of the world's greatest art, history and culture. This city of ancient origins has a glorious past being a three-time capital. In this place, the art of the mosaic is still very much alive, and is taught inprestigious schools. The mosaic artists of the city exhibit modern original pieces or reproductions of antique mosaics. Another highly esteemed art is the byzantine embroidery which can befound in the workshops of master embroiderers in Russi and Brisighella.There is the chance to admire the stupendous byzantine mosaics in the churches of S. Vitale and Sant'Apollinare, or Dante's mausoleum,where the supreme poet is buried. During the journey along the Adriatic state highway, one can appreciate the landscape of the Ferrara shores, crossed through by the River Po. If weather permits, one can stop at a dock, rent a rubber dinghy, and see the fauna of this stupendous lagoon.
Ravenna offers a wide variety of landscapes, such as wide open country and fruit orchards, valley sand canals bordered with characteristic fishnets, sandy well-equipped beaches,and centuries-old pine woods. Not to be missed are stops at the local typical restaurants in the area.From Faenza to Cervia, we find a succulent cuisine that includes grilled giblets and scalognoor scallion, and excellent wines, ranging from Albana, to Sangiovese to Trebbiano.
For those who love nature and excursions, there is nothing more exciting than a stop in the oasis of Punte Alberete. Here, one can find a silent swampy forest, a refuge for rare bird species, or visit the museum, Museo NatuRa di Sant'Alberto, located on the border with the valleys. The historical pine woodsof San Vitale and Classe, with the unique natural monuments have qualified them to be part of the protected areas of the Po Delta Park.