Porto Tolle - from energy to tourism

Published on Friday, 5 July 2019

From a thermoelectric power station to an innovative tourist hub. After ceasing production in 2015, Enel’s decommissioned Polesine Camerini power station at Porto Tolle is now preparing to start a new chapter. Redevelopment work will see the opening of Delta Farm on the site in 2023, creating a tourist, sports and agri-food park that will play an important role in the life of the Po Delta. The project, which is part of the Futur-e programme, was presented by Human Company, a Florence-based group that is also Italy’s leading open-air tourism specialist.

The industrial site’s bright new future was revealed on June 28 during a press conference held at Venice’s Palazzo Balbi, the Seat of the Regional Council. Attendees included Enel CEO Francesco Starace, Human Company CEO Marco Galletti, President of the Region of Veneto, Luca Zaia, and Porto Tolle’s Mayor Roberto Pizzoli. The signing of the preliminary sales contract between Enel and Human Company was also announced at the event.   

Delta Farm will be located the southern area of the old power station and cover 110 hectares, 20 of which will be woodland. It will be able to welcome up to 8,000 tourists per day, offering a variety of open air facilities, ranging from caravan pitches (2,000-2,200) to new generation mobile homes. The village will include commercial businesses, artisan workshops, and markets selling fish and food and produce from the Polesine area, as well as locally grown flowers.  Around 400 people will work in the village which will also be open to local entrepreneurs.  The project includes a water sports hub that may well set a new national and international benchmark. There will be a visitor centre to showcase the superb local environment and landscape, as well as one to help develop traditional agricultural and fish-based production.

The Porto Tolle project is another string to the bow of our Futur-e programme which aims to work with local institutions and communities to redevelop 23 decommissioned thermoelectric power stations and a former mining area.  

The Polesine site redevelopment was awarded to Human Company after a call for projects which began in 2016 and actively involved both the local community and the academic world, thanks to the support of the Milan Politecnico. The Porto Tolle power station was opened in 1980 and ceased production in 2009 prior to being fully decommissioned in 2015. Now that the preliminary sales contract for the site has been signed, construction of the new tourist hub can begin in earnest. The project has a circular economy approach: the demolition of the structures that cannot be used as part of the new activities planned for the site will begin at the same time as the building work, and this will cut the completion time. The aim is to open Delta Farm for the 2023 tourist season, in actual fact.

Find out more about “Delta Farm: the Porto Tolle renaissance” 

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