ITALY: VENETO: ROVIGO
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The territory between the final lengths of the Adige and Pò
Rivers is known as the Polesine. Already in the times of the
Republic of Venice, this area was known as the breadbasket of the
Veneto. Today it is one of the richest agricultural areas of Italy.
"This is a narrow land between two majestic shores of the
two great Italian Rivers; this is a land where toil, the struggle
for survival and tenacity have been, for thousands of years, the
rules for working people of strong and proud spirit. It is the
Polesine, not a common land; a land that must be first known and
understood in order to be appreciated."
One can say that the Polesine came from the water. The Adige and
Pò Rivers have transformed this region by continuously adding to it
as they transport silts, sands and rock towards the sea. It is an
orderly and fertile plain, full of farmland and trees and carved by
rivers and canals. It has excellent area for hunting and fishing.
The Polesine "Valli" (see below) are, in fact, replete
with excellent species of fish such as the cefalo, the orata, sole
The Polesine is also famous for the art of inlaid woodworking and
wood sculpting. Inlaid woodworking is a type of mosaic made with
pieces of wood of different species and sizes. They are laid side by
side to form all manners of designs.
|The Pò reaches the Polesine are to the east of Ostiglia and further
ahead it divides into many smaller branches. Afterwards begins the
delta of the Pò River, which covers a territory of 400 square
kilometres. It is like a fan of waterways. Near the open sea, the Pò
Delta is an intricate area of water pools called "Valli".
Some of these "Valli" have salt water and some have fresh
water. These "Valli" are defined by long strips of land and
are the realm of those who carry a passion for hunting and fishing.
|The Adige River, once it reaches the Polesine area, travels parallel
to the Pò River for over 50 kilometres and spills into the sea just
south of Chioggia.
|Adria: This was a powerful Etruscan colony. It had many ties with
Greece and diffused much of that culture and civilization in the
Pianura Padana (the plains of the Province of Padua).
|Fratta Polesine: Here we find Villa Badoer, a creation of the famous
|Lendinara: A centre for processing beets and hemp. It has an
artistic Palazzo Comunale (Town Hall) and a beautiful Duomo (church)
adorned with precious paintings.
|Badia Polesine: An agricultural and commercial centre with the
Palazzo degli Estensi, now a hotel.
|Arquà Polesine: This tow has an ancient castle reconstructed by the
|Loreo: At the centre of an area reclaimed from swampland.
|Porto Tolle: The largest agricultural and industrial town of the
|Avelli Francesco Xanto, from Rovigo City (? - 1548): Ceramist and
|Luigi Croto, from Adria (1541-1585) also known as the Blind Man of
Adria: Poet, playwright and translator of Greek and Latin works.
|Ercole Sarti, from Ficarolo (17th Century): Painter
|Antonio Fortunato Oroboni, from Fratta Polesine (1794 - 1823):
|Sante Baseggio, from Rovigo City (1810 - 1872): African explorer
|Giovanni Miani, from Lendrinara (1825 - 1883): Patriot and writer.
|Rovigo City is the capital of the Polesine (see above). It is found
on the plains on the shores of the Adigetto River, between the Adige
and Pò Rivers. It is a typical city of the Veneto Region shaped like
a pentagon. It is characteristic for its towers, steeples and ancient
plazas. It is also an important agricultural and industrial centre.
|As demonstrated by urns, coins and clay containers found in the
region, Rovigo City is of Roman origin. Its original name was "Rhodigium",
a name that is derived from the Greek word for "Rose".
|With the fall of the Roman Empire, Rovigo City is spared from the
barbaric invasions thanks to the swamplands that surround it.
|From 1194 to 1482, the Estensi family from Ferrara rules the City.
It then passes under the rule of the Republic of Venice and therefore
follows the exploits of the Serenissima for several centuries. This is
a period of splendor for Rovigo City: it dries up the swamplands,
expands and adorns itself with beautiful buildings and churches.
|From 1797, with the fall of the Republic of Venice, Rovigo City
falls under the dominion of the Francesi family for a period of time
and then under Austrian rule for a much longer period of time.
|In 1866, Rovigo City is liberated and reunited with the rest of
|In Piazza Vittorio Emmanuele II, there is the famous Column with the
Lion of St. Mark perched on top. It is a symbol of the Serenissima
(the Republic of Venice) to which Rovigo was an ally for many
centuries. In the Piazza there is also the City Hall, the Palazzo
Roncale, one of the more impressive buildings of Rovigo City and the
Palazzo dell'Accademia dei Concordi, the home of two important
libraries and an Art Gallery containing noted works of Veneto painters
such as Piazzetta, Longhi, Giambellino and Tiepolo.
|In Piazza Matteotti, two leaning towers rise. Torre Donà, is one of
the tallest towers in all of Italy and Torre Mozza is part of the
remains of the castle that was built to defend Rovigo City.
|Some interesting churches include: the Duomo, containing famous
paintings; the Church of the Beata Vergine del Soccorso also known as
"The Rotonda", dedicated to the Madonna that grants graces;
the church of San Francesco; the church of San Bartolomeo.
JEWISH PEOPLE FROM ROVIGO:
(DAYYENA), DAVID - Italian rabbi; he lived at
Rovigo at the end of the seventeenth century.
(PIGO), AZARIAH BEN EPHRAIM - He was the author of "Iggerot u-Teshubot,"
letters and responsa, published...
ISRAEL BERECHIAH BEN JOSEPH JEKUTHIEL - Italian rabbi and cabalist;
lived at Reggio Emilia, later at Rovigo, at
the end of the seventeenth century and in the first half of the
(RAPHAEL), IMMANUEL HAY BEN ABRAHAM - Italian rabbi, cabalist, and poet;
born at Ferrara 1688 (1693, according to Jellinek in "Orient,
Lit." vii. 232); killed near Cento Feb. 25, 1743. About two years
after Ricchi's birth his father removed to Rovigo...
BEN SOLOMON - After having completed his studies he settled as rabbi at
- Italian Talmudist and liturgist of the sixteenth and seventeenth
centuries...was one of the rabbis that participated in the heated
controversy over the "Mikwah" of Rovigo...