The administrative centre of the Union of Municipalities, Marshes and Delizie, Portomaggiore is located halfway between Ferrara and Comacchio.
Built at the centre of the ancient waterway network, the town is today characterised by a strongly agricultural economy. The place name derives from the important river port that once existed on the river Sandalo and that allowed trade with the nearby waterways (Fossa di Porto, Po di Primaro and Persico rivers) and with the sea through the Comacchio marshes.
Nearby is the famous Delizia Estense del Verginese, one of the Este family's stately homes (known as the "Delizie"). It is a two-storey rectangular villa with four crenellated towers at the apex, built in whitewashed brick. It is connected to a private chapel via an 18th-century portico. At the rear there is a brolo (a Renaissance garden) and a dovecote tower (present in the Ferrara area, in several stately homes).
A stone's throw from the Delizia del Verginese, there is also the Archaeological Museum: The Sepolcreto dei Fadieni (The Burial Ground of the Fadienis) which documents the discovery of a small Roman necropolis dating from the 1st and 2nd centuries A.D. More than 200 artefacts were found in the tombs, including sealed earthenware, thin-walled ceramics such as glasses and cups, as well as bottles, oil lamps, amphorae and funerary ritual artefacts, silver and bronze objects and an exceptional collection of glass vessels.
Another attraction in the municipality is the Oasi di Porto (Port Oasis), an area that is ideal for birdwatching and sport fishing. This Oasis covers 11 hectares with a 7-hectare stretch of water.
In the third week of September, the Portomaggiore Fair is held, one of the oldest festivals in the Ferrara area (documented as early as 1424). It is one of the most prestigious events in the area, with traders from many Italian regions and visitors from various provinces of Emilia Romagna, Veneto, Tuscany and Lombardy.