The self-cleansing properties of rivers exploited in a project to protect the Lagoon
❝The Ca' di Mezzo Oasis acts as a natural purifier of polluted river water and is a valid alternative to costly and often less efficient artificial purification systems. Right by the Bacchiglione river, its 30 hectares of agricultural land, re-flooded to maximise the natural, self-depurative capacities of the river, constitutes one of the most innovative natural depuration projects of recent years in Veneto. ❞
The watery expanse of Ca' di Mezzo lies not far from Chioggia, amid the amphibian lands of the Veneto Lagoon and the mouths of the great Alpine rivers. It is an oasis with remarkable landscape and natural features, where the environment and valuable strategies for the protection of ecosystems and territorial reclamation, have productively come together.
The Venetian Lagoon is an extremely fragile and complex ecosystem, threatened by phenomena such as subsidence (lowering of ground level) and the absorption of polluting agents of agricultural, industrial and urban origin into the afferent waterways. A gradual increase in initiatives to preserve it has been witnessed over the last 20 years. Of these, one of the most significant projects was carried out at the Ca' di Mezzo site, within a prior reclamation project, in the territory of Codevigo. Thanks to the collaboration between the Adige Euganeo Reclamation Consortium and the University of Padua, an experimental project was commenced, with very positive outcomes.
As from the year 2000, an area of over 30 hectares next to the Bacchiglione has been flooded, thus creating a lamination basin that assists in the natural phyto-depuration of the waters. In other words, it favours the natural purificatory breakdown of polluting agents, made possible by reinforcing the natural cycle of water. The wetland zone of Ca' di Mezzo is in fact capable of filtering and uplifting around 50 tons of nitrogen and 5 tons of phosphorous per year which derive from the 9,700 hectares of upland cultivation.
The area was created not only to improve the quality of surface waters, but also to recreate a natural environment that is an ideal habitat for a number of life forms. Thus, a rich zone of biodiversity was established, accessible both to the community and tourists, equipped with paths and a working observatory. The Oasis is an ideal place for excursions and for educational and leisure activities.
By train: the natural Oasis is located about 11 kilometres from Pontelongo station (Venezia-Adria railway line), with good cycle-rail interchange facilities.
By car: Motorway A13 (Bologna-Padova) exit at “Monselice”, then proceed along the SP5 and SR104 roads following signs to Chioggia, then join the SR105 road and continue towards the SS309 road (Romea), finally turning into Via Argine Destro. Coming from the SS309 road (Romea), turn along the SR105 road towards Cavarzere near Passo della Fogolana, then turn onto Via Argine Destro. Car parks available for visitors near the Oasis entrance.
Where to eat: we recommend the “Trattoria La Rotonda” (Via Altipiano 61, Codevigo; tel. 049 5850320) and the “Trattoria Da Toni” (Via Argine Sinistro 101, Codevigo; tel. 049 5850096), where it is possible to enjoy the excellent wine and food specialities of the region. In the nearby Correzzola, is the “Trattoria La Famiglia”, while in Conetta di Cona (Venice) is the “AnticaTrattoria Al Portico”, a historic restaurant typical of the territory between the Adige and Bacchiglione rivers.
Where to stay: a few km from the Oasis we recommend the “Hotel La Corte", built in a wing of the ancient Benedictine Court of Correzzola, the characteristic “Casolare La Quercia”, in exquisite rural surroundings, and the “Agriturismo Fondo San Benedetto” (farmhouse).
The Ager Romanus and ancient land organization between the Brenta and Muson Vecchio rivers
Urban water-scapes and the ancient tower “Torlonga” of the Carraresi Castle