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Home » The Po Delta » Biodiversity » Landscape

Active Delta and Fossil Delta

The Delta is generally divided into two parts corresponding to its younger part, called "Active Delta", and to its most ancient part, called "Fossil Delta".

The Active Delta is the result of the river flow since 1604, that is when the people of Venice performed the so-called "Taglio di Porto Viro" (Porto Viro Cut-Off), the waterworks deviating the course of the river Po towards the south. The waterworks were built were today Taglio di Po rises, a town recalling with its name that measure.

The Active Delta is therefore the most recent territory in the Po area, and represents the stretch involving Parco Regionale Veneto and consisting of five main branches and other minor branches.

From Po Grande or di Venezia, Po di Maistra branches out in the north (since it is controlled by the lock of Volta Grimana, Po di Levante can no longer be considered an active branch); Po Piccolo or di Goro, Po della Donzella or Gnocca, and Po delle Tollebranch out in the south. In its final stretch, Po di Venezia is called Po di Pila, branching off into Busa di Tramontana in the north and Busa di Scirocco in the south; in the point towards the sea, the river Po is called Busa Dritta and flows into Punta Maistra, where you will find Pila Lighthouse.

The Fossil Delta begins in the south of Po di Volano, where the Po Delta was situated in the Middle Ages. This area is no longer crossed by the active branches of the river and preserves some wetlands, like valli Bertuzzi and di Comacchio, which are what remains today of the boundless swamps covering the whole territory until the last century.

Active Delta and Fossil Delta
Active Delta and Fossil Delta
(photo by: Archivio Parco Regionale Veneto del Delta del Po)
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