The Ortazzo and Ortazzino coastal site has the greatest biodiversity of the entire coast of Emilia-Romagna. It is located inside the Pinewood of Classe and stretches over 40 hectares around the mouth of Bevano stream, which is the last meandering estuary of the Adriatic Sea still evolving freely. The area is an evidence of the regional coastal strip as it looked like before massive human intervention.
West of the Bevano mouth, the wetlands of Ortazzino include the fossil meanders of the river and part of the coastal dunes, the brackish wetlands with surfacing groundwaters as well as dry meadows where junipers and sea buckthorns grow. Almost all halophytes typical of northern Adriatic Sea are present in this area, for instance bushes of annual and perennial salicornia, spartina, sea rush and alkali grass. Behind the dunes are the state pinewoods (called Ramazzotti and Savio), planted at the end of the 19th century as a natural barrier protecting crops from the sea wind.
Ortazzo is one of the most uncontaminated valleys of the Adriatic, showing also a great biodiversity. Originally a fresh water valley, stemmed and obtained from the conversion of paddy fields, the area is today a big coast pond under the influence of brackish groundwaters. In the summer, the lowest points dry up and create an expanse of mud populated by typical halophytes. The marsh is crossed by a peninsula with pine trees.
Ortazzo is an important site for the wintering and migrating of waterfowl and birds of prey (especially harriers and spotted eagle), as well as for the nesting of Charadriiformes seabirds (black-winged stilt, avocet, gull-billed tern, little tern, common tern).
The area is located in the heart of Classe Pinewood, east of Strada Statale 16 Adriatica between Classe and Fosso Ghiaia. The Ortazzo can be reached by car along via Bevanella until you get to a car park, from which you can walk on the bank of the swamp towards the pinewood of Classe. In the wood, not far from the swamp, you will find an observation tower and a hut for birdwatching. A further tower rises along the left bank of Bevano stream (where the Bevano meets Fosso Ghiaia canal) in via della Sacca, a street on the left of Strada Statale 16 Adriatica in the direction of Rimini.
Edited by the editorial team
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Last modified date: 18/05/2018