Wonder  }  Rivers and streams

Three men in a boat - 4 DI 6

Descent down the Po River - Day 4

Manrichetta, don't feel bad, but a little rowing trip couldn't be refused!

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46028 Sermide MN, Italia (14m s.l.m.)


Troubled night for one of the crew: oblivious to a cucurbit intolerance, after so much melon he wakes up pale as a rag, two dark circles like this. The hostess, moved by a vague sense of guilt, stretches him to the nearest pharmacy, while the others prepare the boat. It will take a horse antinausea before the crew regroups. The sailing plan calls for a landing at Stellata with a visit to the pretty little fortress set to guard the river. On the way back, animated confrontation with a bulldozer worker: on the one hand the reasons of the sand quarrymen; on the other those of the sturgeons who see their habitat disrupted.

g4-rocchetta-01Indeed, the stop also has a cultural motif, the tiny but fully stocked Stellata fortress guarding an ancient border

We pass White Island, documented since the 16th century, now a nature oasis. As a symbol, the great spotted woodpecker: spotted in fluency. We also pass the bridge of the Padova-Bologna highway announcing Pontelagoscuro. Thoughts turn to nearby Ferrara, washed by the lower branch of the Po Delta. Here we cross paths with a group of very special friends, lovers of vintage boats and river rowing, who patiently give us lessons in their ancient art. Moral, it's a good hour and we speed off toward Crespino, Veneto shore, on the vertical of Rovigo.

g4-picchio-02Here it is, the red woodpecker (Dendrocopos major), the symbol of the nature oasis managed by LIPU, Lega Italiana Protezione Uccelli

Pretty locality rich in history, but the stop has more prosaic motivation: dinner "Da Aligi, the fisherman," historic trattoria, specialty bisata, dialectal name foreel; one each, no kidding here, from grill to plate, skin literally charred, but from bewilderment we go immediately to delight, flesh cooked to perfection and lightly smoked, to be told. The eel calls for a special red, the Fortana del Bosco Eliceo, fragrant and sparkling vin de sable from the Ferrara coast, and for one night we feel like true connoisseurs. We close with a proper coffee and the ritual resentin, the rinsing of the cup with a last tear of grappa as is customary in the Venetias. Then we go up and down the embankment fighting our battle with the belligerent Sargasso native.

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Francesco Soletti


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