Comacchio is a beautiful 'town' that has developed across a number of islands in the Po Delta, now joined by bridges, and an attractive place where tourists can admire impresive buildings and numerous churches.
Your visit to Comacchio can begin by following the path of the Canale Maggiore, which is marked by some fairly important architectural monuments - starting with two bridges, the Bridge of St. Peter and the so-called 'Prison Bridge'.
From the top of the bridges you can admire the beautiful neo-classical façade of the 1770 San Camillo Hospital (designed by Antonio Foschini ). The palace, designed as a hospital for the poor, is fascinating: the facade reminds us of a Greek temple, with Ionic columns and two slender towers on either side.
Close to here you can also see the Bellini Palace, in warm brick tones and now home to the Public Library and Comacchio City Gallery.
Continuing towards the Piazza Maggiore there are two buildings that are striking for their elegance and beauty: the Loggia dei Mercanti with its beautiful porch dates from 1621 and was once the the public granary of the city; and the octagonal Clock Tower, rebuilt in the first half of the 19th century.
Further along the Canale Maggiore you come to the 17th century Carmine Church and the Church of the Rosary with a brick façade and portal stone, and quite spectacular because of the reflected light of the brick of both the Church and of the bell tower.
The interior has one nave and four side chapels, and some interesting 16th - 17th century paintings such as the Annunciation by Jacopo Bambini, the Beheading of St. John by Carlo Bononi , and the Virgin of the Rosary, by the local painter Cesare Mezzogori.
Also interesting in this part of Maggiore is the fish-market (Pescheria), with its open-air fish market trading on benches of stone and marble.
Nearby is the most beautiful bridge of the many to be found in Comacchio. The Trepponti bridge, built in brick and stone from Istria in 1634 by Luca Danesi (who is also responsible for the so-called Ponte degli Sbirri and uses extraordinary architectural skill to link four waterways in a structure of great compositional harmony - there are five arches, meeting from opposite directions, under which passed the waterways of the city.
Returning to Piazza Maggiore, to the west you can see the Cathedral of St. Cassiano, begun in the mid-17th Century, with one nave and several side chapels, and dedicated to the patron saint of the city.
Next to the cathedral are the magnificent Bell Tower, with a base of Istrian stone, and the 17th century Loggiato dei Cappuccini (Capuchin Portico), with more than 140 arches which continue to the Shrine of St Mary.
If you are looking to have a picnic in Comacchio travel along the Romea road to the nearby 9th century Pomposa Abbey. The abbey church has a basilica structure and was an important religious and cultural centre during the Italian Middle Ages.
Next to the basilica is the extraordinary and very tall bell tower dating from 1063 and with a a series of mullioned and four-trefoils windows.
Photos taken in and near Comacchio
Map of Comacchio & popular sights
Selected places to visit near Comacchio
See the Emilia-Romagna guide for more travel ideas...