A city of ancient origins that has preserved the appearance of the past, Comacchio is located in the center of extensive reclaimed lagoons, in the province of Ferrara.
With its canals crossed by bridges, the historic center is defined as a “little” Venice, but its history takes us back to the Etruscan city of Spina, disputed between Ferrara and Ravenna, but also by Popes and Emperors.
Comacchio over time
During the Middle Ages, Comacchio was known for fishing and the production of salt. Rival of Venice and after the Este era, the city was reborn under the dominion of the Papal State, during which the most important architectural and monumental interventions were carried out.
Today it is a lagoon city that lends itself pleasantly to daily trekking that leads us to the discovery of the most important monuments, starting with the Trepponti, one of the symbols of this place.
From trepponti to the discovery of the city
This particular bridge was built in the seventeenth century and at the time was the fortified gate for entry into the village for those coming from the sea, along the fortified canal. Built in 1634 by the architect Luca Danesi, it consists of five large stairways that culminate in an Istrian stone floor. From the trepponti you enter the village to discover the city
Once on top of the Trepponti, you can choose whether to continue towards the Ponte degli Sbirri, dating back to the seventeenth century and located in the central junction of communications between the canals, or to the right and then towards the village bridge.
Located a few meters from the Loggia del Grano, adjacent to Piazza del Popolo, with an elegant brick facade, the church of the Suffragio dates back to 1644. Inside, behind the altar, there is a pictorial triptych among which the central canvas by Antonio Randa depicts the Madonna and Child, St. Anthony, and the souls in purgatory to which the saint gives refreshment by pouring water from a vase.
Church of the Carmine
Not far from the Church of the Suffragio, following the side channel to the temple, there is the church of the Carmine. Located on the side of the Pizzetti bridge, opposite the bridge of the same name, it is a simple building with Renaissance lines. Inside it preserves a wooden ancona with the image of the Madonna and Child.
Continue the path
Following via Carducci and via Cavour, we arrive at the Loggia del Grano and the Civic Tower. The latter could be the reconstruction of an ancient tower that collapsed in 1816. The semicircular niche houses the stone statue of the Madonna and Child.
The Cathedral of San Cassiano
Not far away is the Cathedral of San Cassiano, with its spectacular background and its Bell Tower. This majestic building is dedicated to the patron saint of the city and was built in place of the ancient Romanesque cathedral, demolished in 1694. It has a brick facade, while the interior has a single nave. Various paintings can be admired between the twelve side chapels. In the eighteenth-century marble altar, there is also the sixteenth-century wooden statue of the martyr Cassiano, protector of the city.
Next to the Cathedral stands the Bell Tower. The first project dates back to 1751 by the Venetian Giorgio Fossati. Collapsed in 1757, it was rebuilt and completed in 1868. With the reconstruction, it was deprived of the top.
Church of Santa Maria in Aula Regia
Another interesting building of worship is that of the church of Santa Maria in Aula Regia which can be reached from Corso Mazzini, and is preceded by a long portico with 142 arches. In the last section, there is the door of an ancient fish factory which can be visited. Also known as the Church of the Capuchins, it is located in the area of the former Monastery of Santa Maria in Auregiario, from the 10th century. The interior has a single nave. In the side chapels, you can admire several well-made canvases
We continue the visit
Retracing our steps, we arrive at the civic tower, and following via Manfrini we admire Palazzo Partigiani, probably dating back to the nineteenth century. This two-story building was inhabited by the Comachian patriot Antonio Bonafede. And following the street dedicated to him, we come to the seventeenth-century Ospedale degli Infermi, now a museum, but a witness to the neoclassic style.
This grandiose work was designed in 1771 by the Ferrarese architect Antonio Foschini.
A few steps and we are back to Trepponti. We just have to reach the Ponte San Pietro and walk along the Foce road to get to the Ecomuseum of the Comacchio Valleys . 4 kilometers and 300 meters, on foot (or by car if the distance scares us) and immerse ourselves in nature, going to admire the casoni, but also the flora and fauna of the park.
The typical dish of Comacchio is eel marinated with vinegar and herbs, but it can also be tasted grilled or stewed. It is often accompanied by the Pair of Ferrara or the local bread. And washed down with the only red wine that fits this dish: Bosco Eliceo Doc Uva d’oro.
Marinated eel is the product par excellence of the area and is also included in the Slow Food presidia. In the nearby Ferrara beaches, however, fresh fish is appreciated. Finally, the Topini d’Ognisanti, biscuits that are prepared only for the first two days of November and that are tied to the law by mice that invaded the cemetery and were driven out by prayers addressed to the Madonna.
How do I get to Comacchio?
Comacchio is reached by following the A13 motorway from Verona or Bologna, taking the Ferrara Sud exit, then the Ferrara-Porto Garibaldi highway to Comacchio.