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Adria, Rovigo Province



Adria is a town and comune in the province of Rovigo in the Veneto region of Northern Italy, situated between the mouths of the rivers Adige and Po. The remains of the Etruscan: “the Latin atrium is derived from the Etruscan town of Atria (modern Adria), ascribing the form to the houses of the town”. city of Atria or Hatria are to be found below the modern city, three to four metres below the current level. Adria and Spina were the Etruscan ports and depots for Felsina (now Bologna). Adria may have given its name during an early period to the Adriatic Sea, to which it was connected by channels.  Adria derived its name from the Adriatic Sea;  however Hecataeus asserts that both Adria and the Adriatic sea both got their names from the Adria river.


  • Church of Santa Maria Assunta della Tomba (formerly the cathedral), of medieval origin but rebuilt in 1718. It houses an octagonal baptismal font from the 7th or 8th century, with the carved name of the 3rd bishop of Adria, Bono.
  • Other artworks include several 15th and 16th centuries paintings, and, in the chapel, a terracotta relief depicting a Dormitio Virginis, attributed to Michele da Firenze.
  • Adria Cathedral, the New Cathedral (Cattedrale Nuova dei Santi Petro i Paulo), dedicated to Saints Peter and Paul
  • Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Adria


The first settlements built on the area are of Venetic origin, during the twelfth to ninth centuries BC, consisting from stilt houses in the wetlands, that were then still close to the sea. At that time the main stream of the Po, the Adria channel, flowed into the sea by this area. The Villanovan culture, named for an archaeological site at the village of Villanova, near Bologna (Etruscan Felsina), flourished in this area from the tenth until as late as the sixth century BC. The foundations of classical Atria are dated from 530 to 520 BC.

The Etruscans built the port and settlement of Adria after the channel was not the main stream any more. During the later period of the sixth century BC the port continued to flourish. The Etruscan-controlled area of the Po Valley was generally known as Padanian as opposed to their main concentration along the Tyrrhenian coast south of the Arno. Greeks had been trading with the Veneti from the sixth century BC at least. “On the north side of the Delta, sixth century objects have been found at Adria where Greeks traded with the Eneti who inhabited the present Venezia.” especially the amber, originally coming from the Baltic sea. Mass Celtic incursions into the Po valley resulted in friction between the Gauls and Etruscans and intermarriage, attested by epigraphic inscriptions on which Etruscan and Celtic names appear together. The city was populated “Adria appears to have been a Greek (possibly Aiginetan)emporion, but it also had a substantial Etruscan population, and possibly also Venetic and Celtic elements (Fogolari and Scarfi 1970).” by Etruscans, Veneti, Greeks and Celts. Pliny the Elder, a Roman author and fleet commander, wrote about a system of channels in Atria that was, “first made by the Tuscans Etruscans, thus discharging the flow of the river across the marshes of the Atriani called the Seven Seas, with the famous harbor of the Tuscan town of Atria which formerly gave the name of Atriatic to the sea now called the Adriatic.”

Those “Seven Seas” were interlinked coastal lagoons, separated from the open sea by sand pits and barrier islands.Two bands of sand dunes east of the city mark the former sea front in Etruscan-Greek times, and in Roman times. The Etruscans extended this natural inland waterway with new canals to extend the navigation possibilities of the tidal reaches of the Po all the way north to Atria. As late as the time of the emperor Vespasian, shallow draft galleys could still be rowed from Ravenna into the heart of Etruria. Under Roman occupation the town ceded importance to the former Greek colony Ravenna as the continued siltation of the Po delta carried the seafront further to the east. The sea is now about from Adria. The first exploration of ancient Atria was carried out by Carlo Bocchi and published as Importanza di Adria la Veneta. The collections of the Bocchi family were given to the public at the beginning of the 20th century and comprise a major part of the city museum collection of antiquities. There are several ideas concerning the etymology of the ancient toponym Adria/Atria. One theory is that it derives from the Illyrian ( Venetic language) wordadur “water, sea”.

At the time of the fall of the Western Roman Empire, the port of Adria had lost most of its importance. It finally declined after the total change of the local hydrography in 589, and Adria became a fief of the archdiocese of Ravenna. After a period as an independent commune, it was a possession of the Este of Ferrara and, in the 16th century, of the Republic of Venice. At that time Adria was a small village surrounded by malaria-plagued marshes. It recovered its importance when Polesine was reclaimed in the same century. During the Napoleonic Wars it was first under France, then under Austria, to which it was assigned in 1815 after the Congress of Vienna, as part of Lombardy-Venetia.

Arqua Polesine, Rovigo Province


arqua polesina

The name of Arquà comes from the word "arquata" (curlew) or curve because this roman center is found on a curved road that crosses the Polesine.

The small and quiet town is enriched by its beautiful medieval castle, built in 1146 to act as stronghold for the Este family and then the Venetians. Today, it is filled with municipal offices. From the building tourists can admire the crenellated tower built on three floors and the central body with thirteen arcades from the seventeenth-century that overlook the large courtyard. The moat that surrounds the building that needs to be surpassed in order to visit the rooms of this building is certainly charming. The rooms are all decorated with frescoes that represent mythological scenes.

The fifteenth century hunting lodge of the Estense family that has been repeatedly modified is also interesting. Its romantic park is one of the most beautiful parks in the Polesine. The Baroque church of S. Andrea, built around the year one thousand and restored in later centuries, preserves a fine marble altar and some interesting paintings. The Villa Ca' Torelli (now called the Rossi Villa) is worth visiting, a fifteenth century complex that includes a complex of the fifteenth century with a manor, a rustic house and a small stable.

Badia Polesine | Veneto Region


badia polesina

Badia Polesine is a comune (municipality) in the Province of Rovigo in the Italian region Veneto, located about southwest of Venice and about west of Rovigo. It is part of the upper Polesine, and is bounded by the Adige river, which separates the communal territory from the province of Padua. Badia Polesine borders the following municipalities: Canda, Castagnaro, Castelbaldo, Giacciano con Baruchella, Lendinara, Masi, Piacenzad'Adige, Terrazzo, Trecenta. The main sight is the Abbey of Vangadizza. The town has a station on the Verona- Legnago-Rovigo railroad. It can be reached by road through the SS343 Transpolesana national road.

Positioned on the right bank of the Adige river, Badia Polesine owes its name to the Abbey ofVangadizza, an important Benedictine monastery founded before the year·1000 and abolished in 1810 during the French domination.

Today, only the cloister of this great monastic complex can be seen. The cloister dates back to 1200, which is accessed by a Gothic brick arch from 1400. The square outside the church houses the remains of two Este sarcophagi that hold the mortal remains of the Estensi family, benefactors and founders of Hanover, ancestors of the current British royal family.Badia Polesine has other artistic treasures such as the impressive Church of San Giovanni Battista, distinguished by the large painted medallion on the ceiling. Visitors should also visit the gracious Oratory of Beata Vergine Maria della Salute, which contains an impressive altar in polychrome marble. The Theater, the pride of the town, also called "scatola d'oro" (gold box) because of the numerous gold leaf friezes or "small Fenice" because of its similarity to the prestigious theater of Venice.

Passing through the streets of the city you can admire other beautiful buildings and the "A. E. Baruffaldi" Civic Museum holds substantial documentation on the history of the town, a number of important Roman archaeological findings and paintings by painters from Badia.

Bike Touring the Rovigo Province | Veneto


bike touring the rovigo province

When you bike in the Rovigo Province of Italy you will not be challenged with any hills. The province sits on the northern banks of the Po and southern banks of the Adige, most of this is reclaimed land that was once marshland and swamp. The are tracks that have historical sites dating back to the Romans and the province is part of the bread basket of northern Italy. Riding is mostly along canals and country roads and the landscape in never changing at times so you want to time your visit with the blooming of Spring or the harvest in the Fall. Also understanding the history and layout of the province, otherwise you could be riding nondescript roads for hours.

I enjoy bike riding in Rovigo and was a perfect destination for getting younger family members into shape to ride and explore some forgotten history of Italy. The top places to ride are:

  1. Destra del Po- this is a marked bike route that follows the course of the Po River.
  2. Tracing the Adige River- Not a marked bike route but plenty of secondary roads and lots of hiddenhistories.
  3. Po Delta -This is wetlands national reserve.

Bike the Rovigo province if you have the chance and if you like relaxed and exploring types of rides this can be a great option.· The best way to explore this province is by bicycle.

Fratta Polesine, Rovigo Province


Fratta Polesina

At one time Fratta Polesine was a major trade city along a branch of the Po River.  However the river has dried up but Fratta Polesine has preserved its communal agricultural origins that can be seen in its architecture.

There are many manors that belonged to the founding gentry, such as the famous Villa Badoer, built on a project by Andrea Palladio and declared a World Heritage by UNESCO. After careful restoration, the villa now houses conferences, exhibitions, plays, operas, and ballets. The adjacent barns have become the house of the National Archaeological Museum, with displays of unique exhibits of European importance. The nearby Villa Grimani Monin, which is interesting because of its similarity with the Badoer villa, is a classic example of a patrician family country house with two separate courtyards, one for working and the other being the main courtyard.

The presence of other villas and stately homes offer relaxing walks, starting from Villa Oroboni, continuing with Villa Cornoldi-Fanan, Villa Monti-Viario, Villa David-Franchin and Villa Labia with its Park.

The small town also has many pieces of religious architecture such as the Church of S. Francesco that hosts sacred music concerts, exhibitions and conferences, or the parish church dedicated to the Apostles Saint Peter and Saint Paul that is decorated with frescoes, precious woodcarvings and Venetian sculptures.

Po Delta Along the Adriatic Coast


po delta

The Po Delta, in the province of Rovigo, is one of the most striking natural oasis of Italy, and the largest European wetland.

 The "sweet giant", as the Po river is known, fans upward, branching into seven waterways and giving life to a unique natural environment before pouring into the Adriatic. The waterway Po di Maistra, offers an occasion to visit the splendid oasis that makes up the flood area of Cà Pisani. Charming landscapes are found along the branch of Venice, the main branch constituted by river basins, lagoons, sandy islets and large reed patches.

Navigating along the Po di Goro you will re-live the thousand-year old history of land reclamation,while the Sacca di Scardovari, an area where delectable mussels and clams are cultivated, is located at the mouth of Po di Tolle, where the river meets the sea. Each branch of the river offers a different landscape, characterized at dawn by a faint mist covering, producing a muffled atmosphere, and at dusk by the reddish reflections of the sun. A bird sanctuary numbering over 370 species of residing, passing and migrating birds makes of this area a favored destination for lovers of birdwatching.

There are many ways to enjoy the Park: strolls, horse riding or boating and bicycle excursions. Numerous museums and visitors' centers have been established for tourists, amongst which we can note the large Ca' Vendramin draining pump, now called the Land Reclamation Museum and the Coastal Botanical Gardens in Rosolina, which have been declared a Site of European Significance (S.I.C.).

Polesine Region of the Po River Italy



The Polesine is a geographic and historic area in the north-east of Italy whose limits varied through centuries; it had also been known as Polesine of Rovigo for some time. Nowadays it corresponds with theprovince of Rovigo related to political geography. In the viewpoint of physical geography it is a strip of land about 100-km long and 18-km wide located between the lower courses of the Adige and the Po rivers, limited to the east by the Adriatic Sea and leaving the western limit undefined.

The eastern portion of Polesine corresponds to the delta of the Po, and it is constantly expanding eastward because of the detritus sediment phenomenon. The Po and the Adige are the first and the third biggest rivers of Italy as for rate of flow, yet another river flows across Polesine between these two main rivers: the Canal Bianco; this means that most of the fresh water of Italy flows into the sea through Polesine. Due to this large amount of water it has to deal with, it has lots of canals for drainage. The biggest city in the Polesine is Rovigo (51,000 inhabitants), followed by Adria (20,000 people). Other important centres are Porto Viro, Lendinara, Porto Tolle, Badia Polesine, Occhiobello and Taglio di Po. Important agricultural centres are Arquà Polesine, Loreo, Polesella andLusia.

Actual Polesine territory is, geologically speaking, of recent formation, created by silt deposits left by the rivers Po and Adige, and subsequently from human modifications. In fact, men reclaimed and decontaminated the area before embanking the biggest waterways. In prehistory before the rising of Alps and Apennine Mountains, the entire Padania Plain was filled by a long inlet (the Adriatic depression) and the seabed of this huge ditch was full of troughs and sand bars. At the end of the last glaciation (10.000 years ago), most of Padania actual territory was just formed. Landscape's last mutation was due to the raising of the sea level and the ice melting. In 1604, river Po's natural course was artificially modified and after this work actual delta was formed. Floods frequently happened in Polesine filled the depressions of the area with several bundles of sediments consisting in sand, clay and silt.

Where to Eat in the Rovigo Province


Where to Eat in the Treviso Province

Great places to eat in the Rovigo Province of Veneto Region, Italy.  Slow Food restaurants located in the Rovigo Province to try during your next vacation.




Castelnovo Bariano


Corte Vallona

Via Caveto Nappi, 548

Tel – 0425-87656



Al Ponte

Via Bertolda, 27

Tel 0425-669890

Porto Tolle

Santa Giulia


Via Longa, 29

Tel – 0426-388334



Ristorante Al Monte

Via Venezia, 60

Tel – 0426-337132


Al Corno

Piazzetta Sottotenente Appiotti, 13

Tel – 0425-421284

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