Po Delta

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Po Delta
44°57.8′N, 12°30.42′E Chart icon.png
Plan of the Po Delta
Typical Po Delta river channel

The Delta of the River Po in Italy, some 15 miles S of the lagoon of Venice, is one of the most beautiful wetland areas in Europe and a World Heritage listed site since 1999. Here the mighty Po River, which winds its way from the Western Alps 600 kilometres across the Lombardy Plain before disgorging into the Adriatic, meets the sea through a maze of shallow channels and lagoons. The area is rich in history and a haven for wildlife, with over 300 species of birds having been recorded. Sadly, however, for the yachtsman, there are few easily accessible harbours in the delta and most of these are only suitable for shallow-draft vessels. Even the larger harbours such as Marina di Albarella and Marina di Porto Levante, which can accommodate average draft yachts, have shallow access channels with shifting shoals to trap the unwary. However, for yachts of shallow to moderate draft, equipped with large-scale charts and in settled weather, the delta offers one of the most remarkable cruising grounds in Europe.


British Admiralty
1467 (south part only)


During the summer months the prevailing winds in the Adriatic are light to moderate coastal seabreezes. In spring and autumn, northerly winds are more frequent and can quickly rise to near gale force, especially in the northern Adriatic, where the much-feared “bora” is caused by high pressure over the mountains to the NE coupled with low pressure over southern Italy. Fortunately, the fiercest “bora” is normally to be expected in the winter months. Thunderstorms are occasionally experienced in spring and especially autumn and can be accompanied by violent winds of gale force and above. Luckily they are rarely long-lasting. In the southern Adriatic, the “scirocco”, a S/SE wind blowing up from North Africa which can last for several days, is more common. Unlike the “bora”, which can arrive without warning, a “scirocco” tends to build in strength over 24-48 hours, sometimes reaching gale force (especially in winter).

Sources for weather information:

  • There is a continuous (computerised voice) weather forecast on VHF 68 - first in Italian and then followed with an English translation
  • The same forecast is given in Italian and English on VHF coastal stations following a notification on channel 16
  • Navtex weather forecasts covering the Adriatic are broadcast from stations at Roma, Trieste, Kerkyra (Greece) and Split (Croatia)


See Adriatic.




Also see World Cruiser's Nets.


Most of the harbours in the Po Delta are accessed via shallow, winding channels and great care is needed to observe all navigation marks and pilotage instructions. Entry should not be attempted in fog or with strong onshore winds. For information, see the individual ports.

Note: along this stretch of the Adriatic coast tidal ranges can exceed 1.0 metre at springs, so judging the tides right can make a significant difference to safe access to the shallower harbours.


The following are the main harbours in the Po Delta, from S to N:

Porto di Goro

Porto di Goro from S

World icon.png 44°48.32′N, 12°22.17′E - Chartlet
Porto di Goro is a small craft harbour lying at the head of its own lagoon at the SW extremity of the delta, some 12 miles N of the harbour of Porto Garibaldi. The harbour has 120 berths managed by the local yacht club, the Club Goronautica (telephone: +39 0533 995037), and suitable for small yachts up to 12.0 metres. The entrance channel is constantly shifting and a yacht should keep the posts marking the entrance channel around 10 metres to starboard on the approach until reaching a red beacon marker, following which the posts should be left the same distance to port until arriving at the harbour entrance, which is protected by a curved breakwater. Depths in the channel range from 1.5 - 3.0 metres and in the harbour from 2.5 - 3.0 metres, so entry is advisable only on a rising tide close to high water. Facilities include: fuel station; water and electricity points; slipway and basic engine and hull repairs.

Porto Barricata

Porto Barricata

World icon.png 44°50.64′N, 12°28.14′E - Chartlet
Porto Barricata is a small craft harbour, mainly dedicated to fishing vessels, situated at the mouth of the C, around eight miles NE of the entrance to the lagoon of Porto di Gori. The harbour has about 300 berths for vessels up to 15 metres, including 20 for yachts in transit. The channel is marked from the river estuary by posts and the basin lies around 600 metres upriver to port, Depths in the entrance channel are 3.0 metres and in the basin 2.0 - 3.0 metres. Facilities include: fuel station; water and electricity points; toilets and showers; bar and restaurant; mobile crane (25 T); hard standing; slipway and basic engine, electrical and electronic repairs. To contact Porto Barricata: call on VHF channel 09; telephone: +39 0426 89125; Email; Wbsite.

Porto Viro

World icon.png 45°00.95′N, 12°12.83′E
Porto Viro lies around 18 miles inland from the estuary of the river Po delle Pila on the N bank of the river. The harbour has 250 berths for vessels up to 17 metres on seven pontoons.

The best approach is via the estuary of the Po delle Pila World icon.png 44°58.32′N, 12°33.18′E, although access is also possible via the Porto Barricata channel. There are several sandbanks in the river and entry should only be attempted on a rising tide. However, the E55 trunk road crosses the river just before Porto Viro (NB: the bridge clearance is unknown), so access may be restricted to motor boats and yachts which can drop thesir masts. The basin is entered via a narrow channel to starboard half a mile above the bridge. Depths in the channel and the basin are 2.0 - 5.0 metres. Facilities include: fuel station; water and electricity points; toilets and showers; mobile crane (22 T); fixed crane (30 T); hard standing; slipway and basic engine and electrical repairs.

Marina di Albarella

World icon.png 45°03.72′N, 12°21.44′E
Marina di Albarella is a large marina situated at the southern end of the island of Albarella, close to the mouth of the river Po di Levante, which offers around 450 berths for yacht up to 25 metres in depths of 2.8 - 4.5 metres. Click on link Marina di Albarella for details.

Marina di Porto Levante

World icon.png 45°03.10′N, 12°22.08′E
Marina di Porto Levante is a similar sized marina situated at the mouth of the river Po di Levante, about one mile SSE of Marina di Alberella, which offers around 520 berths for yacht up to 18 metres in depths of 2.5 - 3.5 metres. Click on link Marina di Porto Levante for details.

Marinas & Yacht Clubs


There are numerous anchorages in the delta where a yacht can anchor clear of the access channels. It is usually necessary to set bow and stern anchors to avoid swinging into shallower waters in view of the occasionally strong tidal streams.

Yacht Repairs and Services

Marine Stores

Submit addresses and contact details of marine related businesses that are of interest to cruisers.


See individual port entries.

Fuel, Water, & Electricity

See individual port entries.

Things to do Ashore


Typical Po Delta wildlife
Po Delta landscape

The finest occupation in the Po Delta is to simply sit quietly and appreciate the astonishing diversity of wildlife and landscape, which ranges from salt and freshwater lagoons to pine forests, mudflats, sand dunes, salt pans and fisheries. Among the wildlife highlights are some of the few European colonies of flamingoes and other rarities such as crested porcupine and hazel dormouse. The delta is excellent walking country and there are also numerous cycle rental outlets.

Grocery & Supply Stores

See individual port entries.


See individual port entries.


See individual port entries.


See individual port entries.

Garbage Disposal

See individual port entries.


See individual port entries.


Contact details of "Cruiser's Friends" that can be contacted for local information or assistance.


List links to discussion threads on partnering forums. (see link for requirements)


References & Publications

See Italy.


We welcome users' contributions to the Wiki. Please click on Comments to view other users' comments, add your own personal experiences or recommend any changes to this page following your visit.

Verified by

Date of member's last visit to Po Delta and this page's details validated:

  • Data compiled from web research (please update if possible)--Athene of Lymington 15:58, 18 January 2011 (UTC)

This page has an outline in place but needs completing. Please contribute if you can to help it grow further. Click on Comments to suggest further content or alternatively, if you feel confident to edit this page, click on the edit tab at the top and enter your changes directly.

SailorSmiley.gifContributors to this page

Names: Athene of Lymington

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