Rosalina and Italy’s Po Delta

Follow Italy’s Romantic Roman Road beside the River Po until it reaches its confluence with the Adriatic. Here in the Po Delta you will discover wide valleys, lagoons, vivid sunsets, and scores of aquatic birds. The flora and wildlife amid the brackish backwater provides paradise for hiking, treks, and biking.

Pensione--Albergo Cappelo

Member Rating 3 out of 5 by Barb B on July 20, 2004

A backhoe was working diligently at the rear of the hotel when we arrived.---Glaziers were steadfastly replacing all the glass in the downstairs restaurant. NOISE, Noise, and more Noise!! --EVERYTHING was in total disarray!! REALLY not the best time to stay in a humble pensione (hotel/restorante) in Italy--but, we did!!

Have you ever heard of the world of pizza competition? Well, until we arrived at this tiny pensione in Rosalina, Italy, we never had! Upon arrival, we were greeted by the proprietor, who was very proud and excited to tell us that his son had won the "Pizza Olympics" in Las Vegas in 1999! We even saw the trophy!! WOW!

Devil or Angel -- Heaven or Hell?-- Your opinion of this tiny hotel with just 10 rooms will depend upon your choice of a wonderful bedroom -- OR -- fantastic food!!

The room left a great deal to be desired. The bed (queen sized) was not bad, in fact it was better than many we had experienced in Italy. However, the air conditioning really could not tame the 80-degree weather. If we opened the windows, the smell from the excavation at the back of the hotel was overpowering. TV was pretty limited, with CNN as the only English channel. The bathroom had a comfortable shower--but this was NOT a special room!! Comfortable and clean, that was about it.

Taking advantage of the pensione prices, we enjoyed breakfast and dinner included in our room rate. Priced at about 100 Euros per day for two, it was a very good bargain. Breakfast was a cappuccino and a packaged roll served by a not very pleasant waitress. She also served as our room maid, and we guessed that she was overworked and underpaid, so we left her a nice tip and hoped that her mood would improve.

A gracious young man named Carlo was assigned as our daily waiter. Each day he selected our menu and we could not have been more pleased with his selections. The food at Cappello was absolutely(!) exceptional!!

Locals also find this a wonderful place for dinner and it can be EXTREMELY crowded in the evenings. But as hotel guests, "Our Table" was always reserved for us!

By the way, the Pizza was, in fact, Olympic Class !!!!

Our rating of Albergo Cappello for now is only mediocre; however, with the planned improvements, this could be a valuable find!!

Albergo BellaRosa

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by Barb B on August 12, 2004

Thick slabs of salami,, pungent olives, sliced pancetta with fresh asparagus and sweet dates! A beautiful Italian wine, which we passed around--what more could we desire? We stayed at Albergo Bellarosa (a lovely hotel/pensione) in the seaside town of Rosalina del Mare. Our good friends Rita and Rino drove from their home in Trieste to join us for a beach holiday. As we sat on the balcony at Albergo Bellarosa enjoying the view and the flavors which Italy offers--Bellissima!

No ordinary pensione for our Italian cousins!--We had to select something special--but also a good bargain!. This entrancing beach community is endowed with Italy‘s best: excellent restaurants, fabulous beaches, alluring spas, fabulous shopping and very important (for Italians), a place to attend mass on Sunday! In Italy, even small things are important. The Catholic Church in this beach community had outdoor masses which was an important factor for our Italian cousins!!

We chose Albergo Bellarosa -- a comfortable pensione in the center of the town. Half-board (breakfast and dinner included) was reasonable (about 100 Euros-double, per day). We enjoyed leisurely breakfasts, then set out to the beach or sightseeing. Enjoyed lunch while traveling and returned for a lovely dinner each evening.

Rooms here were extremely adequate -- not spectacular, but adequate. VERY CLEAN! Comfortable queen sized beds (with the ever-present crucifix above the bed). Good-sized bath and shower. The outside balcony gave us a pleasant --albeit distant view of the beach. Air conditioning was adequate--even in 90-degree weather (not always the case in Italy!!). Bellarosa also offers free beach access - 300 meters from the hotel. In Italy, access is NOT always free - it can be costly. This was a nice plus!!

From Rosalina del Mare we visited historic sites and enjoyed birdwatching while ambling the nearby marshes.

Food at Albergo Bellarosa was excellent! Dinner menu "del Giorno" offered three selections for each course.

Primi-- Spaghetti with Octopi and peas was dear hubby’s choice. I stayed with a more sedate penne pasta with tomato ragu.

Secondi -- we both chose Zucchine ripiene--fritta of zucchini flavored with tangy "almost hot" spices.

Contorni (or vegetable course) was patate grigliate (potatoes), peperoni al slto (roasted peppers) or buffet di vedure (salad bar). Since we were already quite full, we opted for small selections from the salad bar.

Dessert was, of course, Frutta di stagione (seasonal fruit).

Our server, a young lady from Croatia, had lived in Italy only 6 months, yet she spoke impeccable Italian (and a bit of English) - sure wish I could speak so well in such a short time!!

On our last night, I mentioned to the "Donna de la casa" (lady of the house) that the bas-relief plates in the restaurant were extremely beautiful! When we checked out, I found that the "Donna" had left a lovely bas-relief plate - created by the "ceramica de Rosalina" - gift wrapped for the Americans to take home! THANK YOU!

Adria - Ancient Town on the Po Delta

Member Rating 0 out of 5 by Barb B on July 16, 2004

Antique Meter Maids on bikes???
When we arrived in Adria, we parked our rental car on the street next to the canal--No parking meters, wow, what a discovery! We started out on foot to explore this picture post card town, but unfortunately our journey was soon interrupted by an elderly gentleman who approached on a bicycle. "Uno Euro," he said. We weren’t sure who he was, or exactly what he expected--but we knew he wanted one Euro (about $1.20). After a bit more questioning, we discovered that he was the local version of a "Meter Maid" and we could park for 3 hours for One Euro. We exchanged a few pleasantries with him and were soon on our way (after paying the required Euro - of course).

At the gateway to Italy’s Po River Delta, the diminutive town of Adria is situated upon the banks of the Canal Bianco within the province of Rovigo. Adria exudes rich historic and artistic evidence. The origin of the name Adria is still uncertain, but it has been established that the Adriatic Sea was named after this ancient city. According to local legend, the city’s name derives from King Adriano of ancient Pelasgi and the legend further boasts that the body of the king is buried inside his golden coach somewhere underground in Adria.

We strolled through the famous working-class neighborhood of "Cannareggio" located along the Corso Mazzini road beside the canal. With streets paved in cobblestones and chimneys jutting out from the roofs, it was inhabited in the past by fishermen and gatherers of marsh reeds (an occupation of the poorer part of the population).

Since we had only a few hours for our stop in Adria, we visited just a few of the most historic sites:

Archaeological Museum--
On daily display are historic items unearthed mostly from the Necropolis area digs. These treasures provide relics and documented evidence from as far back as the Middle ages. Entry fee is 2 Euros and hours of operation are Daily from 9:00 AM to 8:00 PM

The Cathedral--
The cathedral is decorated with works of art dated as early as the sixth century. Frescos by Sebastiano Santi and woodcarvings of Giacomo Piazzetta are prized for their historic significance. The cathedral dominates the Piazza Garibalci, which overlooks the Bishops Residence.

The Church of Santa Maria Assunta--Our Lady of the Assumption
Numerous beautifully restored frescos adorn the walls and alters inside the church and its Baroque facade was renovated in the 18th century. The nearby bell tower was inspired by the campenello at Piazza San Marco in Venice.

We left a bit of time to enjoy a glass of wine in the piazza and to stroll along the Corso Vittorio Emanuele with its fashionable shops. Everywhere we adventured, we found delightful people--proud of their city and anxious to talk with us and tell us about their lovely city.

We will return to Adria again soon!

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