Explore the enchanting town of Comacchio

Excursions between bridges, canals and hidden treasures

A stroll through the town

Encountering Comacchio means first of all being faced with the splendid stairways leading to the top of its ancient entrance, that elegant and unmistakable Trepponti overlooking the navigable canal. Heir to the ancient Spina, today it remains a city with distinctive architectural features, a city of canals, palaces and monumental bridges. Continuing the visit, we arrive at the small square overlooking the canal where the ancient Pescheria (fish market) is located, savouring the atmosphere of a place whose people have always been dedicated to fishing and salt production. Crossing the Ponte degli Sbirri, on the left, we can see Palazzo Bellini, a 19th-century noble residence, and the Museo della Nave Romana (Museum of the Roman Ship), in the former Estense prisons, with the entire cargo of a Roman vessel. Opposite is the classical old Ospedale degli Infermi. To the right, following the course of the placid canals, you reach the centre where the Clock Tower stands. Turn left and walk along the Loggia del Grano or dei Mercanti to reach the 17th-century Cathedral of San Cassiano, flanked by the Bell Tower that rises gigantically above the city skyline and seems to accompany the gaze towards the 143-arched portico of the Loggiato dei Cappuccini. Beneath the portico is the entrance to a unique museum-workshop: the Manifattura dei Marinati, still used for cooking and marinating eels. At the far end, the sanctuary of Santa Maria in Aula Regia, where a statue of the Madonna mysteriously arrived from the sea is kept.

A shipwreck in the valleys

A ship from the Imperial age was found in 1981 a few kilometres from Comacchio, wrecked probably due to a sea storm and stranded near the mouth of the river. The quick silting up allowed the preservation of the cargo now on display in the museum: tools, goods, objects of personal use, votive temples, lead ingots, ceramics and amphorae, leather clothing and vegetable fibre containers.

Weekday opening hours:
  • June, July, August: 10 a.m. - 1 p.m. 3 p.m. - 7 p.m.
  • September to May: 9.30-13.00/15.00-18.30
  • Sundays and public holidays: 10 a.m. - 1 p.m. / 3 p.m. - 7 p.m.
  • Mondays closed

An unusual excursion

Crossing a town by boat? In Comacchio you can, on the traditional Batane, the small flat-keeled boats which until a few decades ago were the normal means of transport for the inhabitants and which today stop near the Vecchia Pescheria waiting to take you along the waterways. Every day from March to October.

The Fire Hall

This is the heart of the Manifattura dei Marinati with its 12 working fireplaces from October to December that cook the slices of eel, cleaned of head and tail, threaded onto long skewers. After cooking, in the Sala degli Aceti, the pieces of fish are covered in brine for marinating. The best place to buy canned marinated eel and other specialities such as aquadelle and anchovies.
  • Summer hours (1 March - 31 October) 9.30-12.30/15.00-19.00
  • Winter hours (1 November - 28 February) 9.30-13.00/14.30-18.00
  • Closed Mondays