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 the province 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 and Lusia.
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.
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