Drop down from Venice, a short hop and youre in the Po River Delta, a water wonderland of wildlife, dykes, and acres of wheat and rice. Then carry on westwards along the great River Po to visit Ferrara, Parma (cheese!), Cremona (violins), and on towards Milan. But first, stay awhile in the Delta. Our chosen location is Ca Bonelli, a very old-established estate where the cottages once used by agricultural workers have now been sympathetically converted into holiday apartments.
The apartments have independent entrances and are fully equipped. Cross the road (theres a regular bus into Porto Tolle by the way), and youre up on the embankment. The yellow building is right next to Bonelli and is a restaurant there are plenty of others around to choose from, but we preferred to do our own thing having previously stocked up at the Porto Tolle supermarket. Looking in the other direction youll see the rice fields stretching into the distance! From this embankment you can drop down the other side for a swim, or take a bike ride (Ca Bonelli has plenty and theyre free for guests). Youll see one of the pumping stations which keep the cultivated area drained. This is Italys main rice growing area the typical Italian fat-grain rice ideal for risotto. The beach, further down the peninsula, is part-pay, part-free (the pay part is maintained clear of debris!). Theres a beach-side café too.