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Lake at Lido delle Nazioni

A paradise for water sports and more

For a weekend of total relaxation or as one of the stops on your summer holiday on the Riviera, the Lake at Lido delle Nazioni offers numerous attractions and the possibility of many different activities suitable for all ages. Let us try to discover them together, not before mentioning a little of the lake's history and when and how it became an essential destination for a truly Italian holiday. 

Lake Nazioni: a bit of history

Lago delle Nazioni is an artificial basin of brackish water located in Lido delle Nazioni, in the municipality of Comacchio. It covers about one hundred hectares, between the Bertuzzi Valley to the west and the Lido di Volano pine forest to the east, making it the largest body of water in the province of Ferrara. 

Construction of the lake at Lido delle Nazioni began in the 1960s for mainly tourist purposes. What was reclaimed was the Valle di Volano, a valley formed, according to some reconstructions, as early as the late Middle Ages as a result of seawater infiltration (which explains the brackish nature of the waters of Lake Nazioni to this day) and which has changed shape and structure several times over the centuries, also due to the progressive receding of the coastline. Today, the exchange of water within the reservoir is guaranteed, unlike in the past, by a canal in the mouth of the Volano at Taglio della Madonnina. 

Practising water sports in the lake at Lido delle Nazioni: what you need to know

Although it has changed morphology several times, the Lake at Lido delle Nazioni still shows clear signs of the will that, in addition to the need to reclaim a marshy area considered unhealthy, led to its creation: to promote the tourist industry in the area, already on the radar of holidaymakers due to its proximity to some of Italy's most popular seaside resorts, by offering additional attractions and services and trying to become, above all, the ideal destination for water sports enthusiasts. Thus, today, in addition to the numerous bars, restaurants and kiosks where one can sit and enjoy an ice cream or an aperitif overlooking the lake, Lake delle Nazioni is frequented for kayaking, sailing and every other type (or almost any) of water sport.  

On the southern shore of the lake at Lido delle Nazioni is, in fact, the Lega Navale Italiana (LNI), which with its National Nautical Centres (there are three in all: the other two are in Sabaudia and Taranto) is the real point of reference in Italy for those who want to learn to kayak or sail. Courses and lessons of various types are organised throughout the year: individual or group, for beginners or at a competitive level, all united by a trait d'union such as being able to immediately put into practice what has been learnt on the calm waters of the lake. 

Over time, however, the institutional presence of the Italian Naval League at Lago delle Nazioni has been flanked by that of others who, in various capacities, give windsurfing lessons, for example, or catamaran lessons, making the place well frequented by lovers of all kinds of water sports. 

Water sports are not, however, the only sports that can be practised at Lago Nazioni. Not far away, and in many ways in an area contiguous to that of the lake, Delta horses are bred in the wild: a breed very similar to and directly derived from the Camargue horses. Horse lovers or those with young children who want to do experience the thrill of their first ride can be organised for a lesson, a short course or a simple horseback ride. 

Nature at Lago delle Nazioni: what species can be seen 

However, you don't necessarily have to be a sportsman to enjoy Lake Lido delle Nazioni. You can lie out in the sun on the shores or look for a shady spot to sit and read for a while and, as already mentioned, enjoy an ice-cream snack with your children at one of the various kiosks in the area. 

Those who go there in search of flora and fauna to discover, however, may be a little disappointed. Partly because of its artificial origin and partly because of the numerous interventions that have taken place over time, the area is now practically devoid of marsh vegetation with the exception of the marsh cane, which, in fact, makes up the bulk of the vegetation, along with specimens of salicornia patula (more often known as sea asparagus) especially in the more depressed areas and those that remain flooded for longer during the year, and rare specimens of orchids in the drier and sandier areas. While in the past it was a favourite wintering destination for some species of birds such as the duck and pochard or the heron guardabuoi, today the lake is frequented almost exclusively by cormorants, also and above all due to its proximity to areas such as the Comacchio Valley where the species is a common nesting ground
What to do near Lake Lido delle Nazioni

It may not, in short, be the ideal place for birdwatching or for engaging in educational activities with children on the secrets of nature, but, as mentioned in part at the beginning, Lake Lido delle Nazioni may well be the starting point or intermediate stage of an itinerary in the Comacchio area with many and varied attractions. Those who want to immerse themselves in nature to switch off after a whole week of work and family commitments could in fact take advantage of the opportunity to make an excursion on foot or by bicycle, alone or in groups, autonomously or by following the itineraries organised in the Po Delta Park: an area of naturalistic interest covering more than 50 thousand hectares and where very different landscapes alternate, from pinewoods to sand dunes. Those who cannot conceive of a holiday without a bit of history and culture could set aside some time to visit the centre of Comacchio: a town that clearly preserves, even in its buildings, the signs of the exclusively maritime life that once took place there, and where history enthusiasts can even visit a Museum of the Roman Nava. Speaking of history, a few steps from the seafront is the Capanno Garibaldi, where tradition has it that the Hero of Two Worlds landed with the dying Anita. Of course, the Ferrara Lidos are an excellent alternative for the seaside and, moving into the city, Ferrara with its Este past has no shortage of historical and cultural attractions. 

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