Look out from the imposing "guardian of the river mouth" to the horizons that inspired writers and poets
❝White and slender, nestled between the sea and the bright lagoon, the Punta Maistra Lighthouse is one of the most evocative places in the Po Delta. Located near the mouth of the Po di Pila, downstream from the town of the same name, the lighthouse is located within an area of great landscapes. At the centre of boundless and evocative horizons, it was a "place of meaning" and a source of sublime literary inspiration.❞
The Punta Maistra Lighthouse represents a sort of reference point for the Delta, an inescapable and well distinguishable landmark in all seasons and in all kinds of weather. The old lighthouse, erected in 1885 and destroyed during the Second World War, was near the village of Pila, while the current building, rebuilt further east near the mouth of the Po, is about two kilometres from the outlet of the river, proof of the continuous and inexorable encroachment and evolution of the Delta.
The “faro” (lighthouse) is located on the left bank of the Po di Pila, on a small island accessible only by boat. It is about 45 metres high and reaches, with the lantern at the top, a light range of about 30 kilometres. The imposing building, which still constitutes the easternmost building of the entire Delta, has inspired writers and poets who, in their stories and verses, have immortalized the splendid river scenery nearby. The Polesine writer Gian Antonio Cibotto mentions it several times in his novel Scano Boa: "The movement of the waves seemed to help him sleep, while on his head the beacon continued to shine, intense, protective, like a human voice, heartening ". At other times, the light from the lighthouse could hardly be seen through the dense fog of the delta: "The white bulk of the lighthouse stood out against the dark humidity of the sky like a ghost". Cibotto and Eugenio Montale climbed up this lighthouse in the 1950s, during an inspiring excursion in the Po Delta. Montale was particularly attracted by the imposing lighthouse and, once they got to the top, was overcome by great emotion at the sight of the panorama and the vast and evocative horizons of the lagoon. The poet thus began to compose new stanzas: a sort of melody in which his voice, that of the wind of the Delta and that of the sea, competed. Apparently, his poem entitled “L’anguilla” (The eel) was written during this visit.
On the right, Maistra Lighthouse looks down on the Scano Boa and the Basson Lagoon, while behind it are the Bùrcio Lagoon and Batteria Island. All around there are several small islands, sandy beaches and thick reeds, in which inextricable channels appearing in different shades (depending on their depth) wind along, colouring a landscape that seems to have been painted with shades of green and blue by a hugely talented artist. These are the ideal habitats for the avifauna that enjoys peace and refuge here. The strip of land on which the lighthouse stands is also home to a large heronry that looks like a sort of condominium: each species finds its space and it's likely you'll be able to see herons, egrets and cormorants.
The lighthouse can be reached by boat only, here's the information to arrive at the harbour of Ca' Tiepolo (Porto Tolle).
By train: Ca' Tiepolo is situated about 25 km from Loreo station (railway line Rovigo-Adria-Chioggia).
Where to eat:
we suggest Ristorante Al Faro (Via Lorenzo Brunetti 37, Ca' Tiepolo, Porto Tolle; tel. 0426 88014) and Pub Pizzeria Officina 405 (Via Giacomo Matteotti 405, Ca' Tiepolo, Porto Tolle; tel. 0426 82061).
Where to stay:
we recommend Albergo Ristorante Italia and Albergo Ristorante Pizzeria Klaus (V.le G. di Vittorio, 52/B Ca' Tiepolo, Porto Tolle; tel. 0426 81018).
Tours and bike & boat rental:
for bike and horse trips and boat tours please refer to the website of Parco Delta del Po.
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