It is crescent-shaped and lies within the arms of three strips of land that are broken along a length of some 30 miles (45 km), creating a marshy environment that is fed by rivers yet flushed by salt water from the Adriatic. Many of the Lagoon’s islands are reclaimed land and some entirely artificial. Some are essentially dunes, including those of the coastal strip (Lido, Pellestrina and Treporti). Murano (glassmaking), Burano (colourful houses and lace) and Torcello are the most important islands on the lagoon.
The Po is the longest river in Italy at 405 miles rising in the Alps on Italy’s western border and emptying into the Adriatic Sea in the east. The Po is navigable from its mouth to Pavia. From the Delta vessels uses the Bianca Canal and other canals to reach the main Po River at Adria. Cities along its course include historic cities like Bologna, Cremona, Ferrara, Mantua, Padua and Verona.