Bilancia di Bepi
Have you ever seen a working mechanically-operated lift net? At Palazzolo dello Stella, in a natural setting of rare beauty, you’ll be able to see the “Bilancia di Bepi” in action: a pile dwelling on the river with a large net (25 by 25 metres) operated by an electrical motor.
Fishing for Daniele, the owner, is a family tradition: his grandfather, Bepi, fished for years with a bilancione or lift net, a fishing system which does not harm the river bed) and was a veritable institution for visitors to the Stella river, including Ernest Hemingway who particularly loved these places. Visitors can enjoy birdwatching and hire kayaks or canoes with three guided itineraries.
CASONI DEI PESCATORI (TRADITIONAL FISHERMEN’S HUTS)
You’ll be able to visit the village of casoni, the distinctive thatched-roof buildings built by the fishermen who lived on the lagoon, near the mouth of the Stella. You’ll have the chance to stop and eat at a typical casone (Casone di Geremia). On returning to the “Bilancia di Bepi” you’ll be able to observe fishing with the lift net.
The excursion lasts half a day (9am – 1pm or 2pm – 6.30pm) and costs €25 per person (kayak/canoe and equipment hire, tasting of a traditional local product, a stop in the private park on the Stella river). Special family offer: €69 for the whole family (regardless of number of children); minimum number of participants: 2, maximum number of participants: 10. The cost for one person is €30.
DESCENT OF THE STELLA RIVER
The departure point is chosen according to tide conditions. Descending down the river, there is a stop with refreshments at the little church of the Madonna della Neve, Titiano. On returning to the “Bilancia di Bepi” you’ll be able to observe fishing with the lift net.
The excursion lasts from a minimum of one and a half hours to a maximum of three and a half hours. Departures are mornings only, while the minimum number of participants is 2, and the maximum number is 6. It costs €25 per person (kayak/canoe hire, transport of kayak/canoe to the embarkation point, guide/refreshments, a stop at the “Bilancia di Bepi” and illustration of the mechanism).
Departing in the morning directly from the “Bilancia di Bepi”, this excursion takes you upriver to Shell Island (Isola delle conchiglie), where you’ll be able to bathe. During the journey a stop in the lagoon is scheduled for onboard refreshments. On returning to the “Bilancia di Bepi” you’ll be able to observe fishing with the lift net. The excursion is reserved for fit people (with four hours of kayaking), and is not suitable for beginners. The excursion lasts all day and departure time is morning only.
The minimum number of participants is 2, while the maximum number is 12.
Cost: €30 per person (kayak hire, guide, support boat, onboard refreshments, a stop at the “Bilancia di Bepi” and illustration of the mechanism).
Technical information: the kayaks are of the “sit-on-top” (open) kind. Nevertheless, participants must be able to swim. A cap or bandana is recommended for sun protection, as well as sun cream, water and binoculars.
The excursion period is from spring to late autumn, but is subject to weather conditions. The area forms part of a major bird migration route, so for the more adventurous, who are not put off by the cold, the autumn months are most fascinating too.