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The Panarella floodplain

Immersed among liquid memories and legends: the oasis that evokes Greek mythology

Along the banks of the great river, in a wide bend shaped by the Po, the Panarella floodplain unfolds. Here, in the peace of the silent flow of water, there are still reverberations of the Greek myth that tells of the disappearance of Phaethon and the Heliades. The girls were punished by Apollo, who turned them into trees and their tears into golden amber.

The oasis of Panarella rises in a placid and characteristic floodplain of the River Po. It was once populated by abundant wild fauna and inhabited by some fishermen, guardians of ancient legends that take us back to the dawn of the civilization in the Delta: a civilization linked to the pulsating heart of the Mediterranean.
The Greek myth tells how the Heliades, Phaethon's sisters, rushed to these very places to mourn the untimely death of their young and imprudent brother, having crashed into the river with the cart he had secretly taken from his father Apollo. This act of solidarity with their brother meant that even the Heliades were punished and transformed by the god into black poplar trees. Their tears were then turned into shiny and precious amber drops. These are subtle clues, which attest to the history of the ancient trading routes that linked the stretch of the river to the Greek and Mediterranean world, as confirmed by recent archaeological excavations. In Frattesìne, near Fratta Polesine, the National Archaeological Museum houses the remains of one of the best documented amber processing workshops in the ancient world. Scholars confirm that the precious material arriving here from the Baltic regions was refined and elaborated by skilled artisans in the specialized villages that arose along the Po, before continuing its journey throughout the Mediterranean basin.
Today, those poplar trees that evoke the myth of Phaethon and the Heliades indicate the border of the Panarella oasis that separates it from the road, as if wishing to protect its enchanted aura. The floodplain environment is a continuous alternation of woods, meadows, hedges, marshy areas and shrubs that leave space, at the end, to an evocative marshy basin, much frequented by various specimens of birds attracted by the lavish banquets they find there.
To satisfy the need to preserve the site and, at the same time, set up educational projects about environment, the Municipality of Papozze has entrusted the management of oasis, with an area of just over 20 hectares, to the WWF. An intervention of renaturalization has further redeveloped the entire floodplain, equipping it with paths for visiting and observing the fauna. The landscape and naturalistic value of the area is remarkable, as it is one of the most extensive and varied floodplain areas of the lower part of the Po.

1h 30m

How to Get There

By train: the Panarella floodplain is situated about 7 km from Adria station, with good cycle-rail interchange facilities.
By car: from Adria drive along SP495 to Papozze, then continue along Via Curicchi to Via Parco del Delta, reaching the oasis near the bank of Po river.

information

Opening times for visitors:
Golena di Panarella
Where to eat:
we suggest Ristorante Pizzeria Le Magnolie, Risto-pub & Pizzeria Brasserie (Via Curicchi 12, Bottrighe; tel. 0426 993054) and Teatro Ristorante Pizzeria Caruso.
Where to stay:
we recommend B&B La Possionanza and Locanda La Petite Maison.
Tours and bike & boat rental:
for bike and horse trips and boat tours please refer to the website of Parco Delta del Po.

In the environs

Museum of the Great Rivers

Museum of the Great Rivers

An interactive journey recounting the history of "liquid civilizations" shaped by the Po

River village of Porto Levante

River village of Porto Levante

A typical river village of fishermen is the gateway to the Po Delta’s history of navigation

Punta Maistra Lighthouse

Punta Maistra Lighthouse

Look out from the imposing "guardian of the river mouth" to the horizons that inspired writers and poets

Adria and its riviera

Adria and its riviera

An ancient Roman port at the centre of river navigation and the mythical "amber road"