The new archaeological museum of Comacchio is housed in the former Ospedale degli Infermi di Comacchio. (Photo: Visit Comacchio)

The new archaeological museum of Comacchio is housed in the former Ospedale degli Infermi di Comacchio. (Photo: Visit Comacchio)

Comacchio’s archaeological splendor

italy, journey, tip, tourism

A museum dedicated to the history of the millennium Po Delta, has recently becomes the pride of the adriatic small town.

Since the 25th of March 2017 the picturesque village Comacchio has become a significant attraction in the Italian region of Emilia-Romagna. After 30 years of planning, the brand new Museo Delta Antico has opened its doors in the Via Agatopisto.

About 2,000 exhibits will give an insight into the development and history of the many-thousand-year-old Podelta region, from the Bronze Age to the Middle Ages, to be more precise. Professional reconstructions and interactive elements make the leap into the past even more attractive to visitors.


The valuable archaeological collection is presented in the former “Ospedale degli Infermi di Comacchio”, an imposing, neoclassical building from the 18th century, Pope Clement XIV, had once inspired the construction of the hospital in the course of the papal reform. And so it is also not surprising that the sight of the front side makes one think of a cathedral.

The large atrium with its colonnades and pointed gables as well as the two elegant “church towers” on the right and left are not only very well integrated into the cityscape, but also make the former hospital, which also used as such until the mid-70s of the 20th century , one of the most important buildings in Comacchio’s historic center.

The fact that the Museo Delta Antico, restored after extensive renovation work, will further intensify the attractiveness of the building, is already a matter of a few days after the opening ceremony. The valuable cargo of the Roman ship of Comacchio is of great interest. These merchant ship from the 1st century BC was discovered in 1981 on the edge of the adriatic sea, and quickly emerged as a “Pompeii of the sea”.

Among its 2,000 years old, well-preserved goods are work tools and personal items of the occupation, pottery and wooden tools as well as small, precious votive stamps, amphorae and iron bars. The 3D reconstruction of a Roman ship from Augustus times is also remarkable in this context. In addition to the Roman department, the Museo Delta Antico also distinguishes four other chronological and thematic areas.

The oldest display items date from the late Bronze Age and early Iron Age, followed by a section devoted to the archaic and classic periods. The focus of the exhibition is the Etruscan city of Spina, whose ancient harbor was an Etruscan outpost for trade with the eastern Mediterranean. In this sense, this department is not only concerned with the structure of the former laagons with its necropolis, but also with regard to Spina’s relations with Athens and Greek culture, as well as to other Etruscan, Venetian, and Celtic populations.

Finally, the two areas are also interesting: the geological development of the delta from the formation of the Po valley to the present day, and the later age of Comacchio. When the Roman cities slowly disappeared, Comacchio appeared next to Venice as one of the first coastal settlements on the scene.

Salt and commerce determined the happiness of the beginning. From the time when the River Po moved farther north, the great commerce ended after the twelfth century, in order to enter a locally limited fishing trade under the power of foreign rulers. The region invites you to enjoy the great culture and the Mediterranean atmosphere.

further information: to the website Comacchio (english)

Claus-Detlev Bues

Claus-Detlev Bues

Claus-Detlev Bues has been working as a senior editor for caravaning for decades. In addition to several print titles, he is also responsible for online reporting as a D.C.I chief editor and also oversees the areas of test and technology. Several books about caravaning come from his pen. In his spare time, he likes to work on oldtimers and is an active self-employed and developer of motorhomes with whom he is traveling all over Europe.
Claus-Detlev Bues