Comacchio, A Nice Alternative To Venice

The city sits on 13 islands linked by bridges. More modest than the well-known Venice, but also full of charm. This is Comacchio.
Comacchio, a nice alternative to Venice

Comacchio is one of those cities that surprises when visiting for the first time. It is located in the northeast of Italy and they call it “the other Venice” or “the Venice of the poor”. Next, we show you everything that this beautiful city can offer you, and it is much more than you can imagine.

Where is Comacchio?

This city of labyrinthine canals  is in the province of Ferrara, in the Emilia-Romagna region. Specifically, it is located in the Po delta, an area declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.

Returning to Comacchio, the city is located on the Valli di Comacchio lagoon. A city built on 13 islets linked together by countless bridges.

The history of Comacchio

Comacchio Canal
Comacchio Canal

Like many of the cities belonging to Italy, the history of Comacchio begins many centuries ago. The Etruscans and Gauls were the first to occupy the area, although it is true that it was finally incorporated into the Eternal City, Rome.

In 854 the city was totally sacked by the inhabitants of Venice. The disputes would drag on for decades, 90 years later they completely destroyed Comacchio.

Its possession passed through several hands since that destruction. It was in the year 1566 when it was completely included within what was then the Kingdom of Italy.

Places you should not miss in Comacchio

If it is compared to Venice for something, it is because of the network of canals and bridges that link the neighborhoods of this city. Heir to the ancient city of Spina, Comacchio is rich in culture, and that is something to be appreciated in its well-preserved historic center.


View of Trepponti in Comacchio

It is one of the most outstanding monuments of Comacchio and a true emblem of the city. It was built in 1638 and it is really a small architectural complex, hence its name “three bridges”.

Built on a navigable channel leading to the Adriatic, this bridge was the entrance to the city. It stands out for the rows of stairs (there are five) that you have to climb to reach the bridge platform and for its watchtowers.

Cathedral of San Cassiano

Cathedral of San Cassiano in Comacchio
Cathedral of San Cassiano

It is the most outstanding religious building. Its origins date back to 708 AD, but it underwent renovations until the 17th century when the building was built as it can be seen today. Its structure has a nave and 12 side chapels with a sacred image in each one.

Next to the cathedral, but without being part of it, is the Torre Campanaria. It was raised in 1751, but collapsed just six years later. It was not until practically a century later, in 1868, that the bell tower was rebuilt.

Palazzo Bellini

The Palazzo Bellini is another of the monuments that stand out in the city. Built in the 19th century, it is a very characteristic building, since its two floors and all the windows it has are symmetrical with each other.

Today it is used to house the city’s library  and municipal historical archive, as well as numerous art exhibitions.

Your channels

Canal in Comacchio
Comacchio Channel – Ronald Menti /

The water network is the source of life in the city. Taking a ride in their boats, which served as transport for its inhabitants until a few years ago, will make you have the feeling of being in a gondola in Venice.

The city’s connecting bridges and the colors of the houses, practically all in pastel, give the city a fairytale look. Therefore, it is essential to take a walk through these beautiful channels.

If you want to enjoy the beach

Comacchio has it all. And it is that 20 kilometers from the city you can find beaches of fine sand and calm waters.  They are ideal beaches to rest a few days with the family.

If you want to know more about this city, its surroundings will not leave you indifferent. The Comacchio Valley or the Pro delta are excursions that will make you discover the natural wonders that are formed in the vicinity of Comacchio.

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