The Destra Po, with approximately 120 kilometres of cycle paths, is one of the top cycling routes in Italy. It follows the bank of the River Po, which divides the Province of Ferrara horizontally with Stellata di Bondeno and Gorino Ferrarese at the two ends. It is part of the Eurovelo project, a network of 12 pan-European cycle tracks that connect all the countries in the continent and is the central stretch of EuroVelo route no. 8 from Athens to Cadiz. An extraordinary varied and scenic itinerary that accompanies the last 110 km of the Po river to the sea: the Rocca Possente (Mighty Fortress) of Stellata, the Mill on the river in the floodplain area at Ro, the fork in the river at Serravalle, the Castle of Mesola, the ports of Goro and Gorino up to the Lighthouse.
You can even take the opportunity to take a boat trip on the Po or in the Sacca di Goro!
The starting point is the small village of Stellata di Bondeno, where you can see the Rocca Possente di Stellata, a fortress built in its current form at the end of the 17th century and once designed in the shape of a star. Bondeno is the oldest settlement in the Ferrara region where archaeological artefacts dating back to Neolithic, Bronze, Iron and Roman times have been found. Make sure you plan a visit to Casa Ariosto, which belonged to the son of the great poet, now home to the "G. Ferraresi” Archaeological Museum which documents the rich history of the Bondeno area. Slightly over 30 kilometres away is Pontelagoscuro, a hamlet of Ferrara, at the narrowest point of the river, where the road and railway bridges cross the river.
Only 16 km from Pontelagoscuro is Ro, an agricultural centre that has a shared history with the Po, which has been marked by severe and periodic flooding. Immersed in an exceptionally attractive natural environment we find the Mulino sul Po (temporarily closed to the public). It is a faithful reproduction of the mills found on the river over a hundred years ago, which inspired Bacchelli’s novel. The mill has considerable monumental value and resulted from the historical research into the old floating mills, with a particular focus on their size, construction techniques, machinery and equipment. Carrying on for another twenty kilometres, you reach the fork of the river near Serravalle. This town is the exact point at which the delta of the river starts, in front of Punta Santa Maria.
After another 20 kilometres, the landscape slowly starts to change, with reeds and expanses of marshland becoming more frequent. Reaching Mesola, we find a charming village developed around the elegant and majestic Castello Estense, which was commissioned by Alfonso II at the end of the 16th century. It lies on the edge of what was once the vast hunting estate, which is now the Gran Bosco della Mesola nature reserve and home to the Cervo delle Dune. Today, Mesola is a point of reference for exploring the nature the Po Delta Park. Its castle is home to the Wood and Deer Museum of Mesola, where the evolution of the Mesola area, as well its most important features, are illustrated through cartographic documents. Making a detour for a ride in the forest or a visit to the museum is highly recommended!
Finally, the last stop takes us from Mesola to Goro, an important fishing port on the north-eastern edge of the Po Delta Regional Park. The ports of Goro and nearby Gorino have experienced a recent increase in tourism: numerous boats depart from here to explore the natural environment of the delta, sailing down the river to the sea, among islands, shoals and reeds, an ideal place for bird watching. On one of these areas, the Scannone di Goro, also known as the Island of Love, is a delightful little beach where you can sunbathe or have a picnic. The Goro lighthouse stands on this isolated strip of sand. If you arrive at lunchtime or dinnertime, there's nothing better than a plate of spaghetti with Goro clams, a masterpiece of local gastronomy!