Though it is classified as an artificial fishing reservoir, ValGrande is much more in terms of nature and the emotions sparked in those who explore it. Water, mirages, greenery, history, sounds, colours and silences cause these emotions.

Simply going through a gate will bring you to an unexpected, surprising and exalting environment. Within a few minutes, the holiday setting full of bustle and liveliness yields to a quiet, secluded intimacy that contains a multitude of industrious animal species, busy building nests, flitting from one tiny island to another, pecking at the trees.

Just outside Bibione, there is a fishing area that might be more properly called a nature reserve, with hundred-year-old holm oaks, free-range horses, curious fallow deer peeping from the scrub, mallards taking flight, herons nesting and tortoises taking a dip in pools. To say nothing of the ruins of a Roman house, where one can still see fragments of a mosaic floor.

An extraordinary Eden where organic fish are being bred, their growth and harvesting taking place on a natural schedule, where bass, bream and mullets feed only on what they catch in the canals. And it could not be any other way, because of the genuinely authentic setting they live in, a graceful, respectful setting that captures the imagination and takes you back to long-ago times, one that recalls ancient traditions far from today’s forced globalisation. Valgrande borders another part of the lagoon, Vallesina, which cannot be visited as it is private property.

Valgrande can only be seen through guided tours. For more information and to make reservations, call 0431 447220 or ABA Viaggi – Corso del Sole, 2, 30020 Bibione (Venice) – Tel. 0431 430101