Italiaoutdoors Travel Guide to Italy

Rovigo | Rovigo Province

Communita di Rovigo


The City of Rovigo is the capital city of the Province of Rovigo and located in the Veneto Region of Italy.   Aso know as capital of the Polèsine, the town is first mentioned in the 9th century, in 1194 the Este family of Ferrara came into power until 1482.  In 1482 the area became under the control of Venice, which left its mark on the town's buildings for the next 300 years. It benefited from the construction of the Padua-Rovigo railway in 1866. In the 19th century, the walls were destroyed and the ramparts and moat transformed into public parks. In the 1950's and 1960's Rovigo finally developed from being a traditional market town to an industrial center.

Rovigo is located on the low ground known as Polesine, by rail southwest of Venice and south-southwest of Padua, and on the Adigetto Canal. The comune of Rovigo extends between the rivers Adige and Canal Bianco, west of the Adriatic Sea, except the frazione of Fenil del Turco that extends south of the Canal Bianco. Polesine is the name of the low ground between the lower courses of the rivers Adige and Po and the sea; the derivation of the name is much discussed, generally applied only to the province of Rovigo, but is sometimes extended to the near towns of Adria and Ferrara.


The architecture of the town bears the stamp both of Venetian and of Ferrarese influence. Main sights include:

  • Ruins of the Castle (10th century), of which two towers remain
  • Church of Madonna del Soccorso, best known as La Rotonda. If was built between 1594 and 1606 by Francesco Zamberlan of Bassano, a pupil of Palladio, to house a miraculous image of a sitting Madonna with Child carrying a rose. The edifice has octagonal plan, surrounded by a portico, begun in 1594. The original construction had a cupola, which was later substituted by a simple ceiling for static reasons. The fine campanile, standing at 57 m, was built according to plans by Baldassarre Longhena (1655–1673). The walls of the interior of the church are wholly covered by 17th centuries paintings by prominent provincial and Venetian artists, including Francesco Maffei, Domenico Stella, Giovanni Abriani, Alessandro Varotari (il Padovanino), Pietro Vecchia, Pietro Liberi, Antonio Zanchi and Andrea Celesti.
  • Cathedral (Duomo, entitled to St. Stephen), originally built before the 11th century, but rebuilt in 1461 and again in 1696. The art works of the interior includes a Resurrection of Christ by Palma the Younger.
  • Church of the Immacolata Concezione (1213).
  • Church of St. Francis, in Gothic-Romanesque style but with extensive intervention from the 19th century. The belfry is from 1520. In the interior are several Saints sculptures by Tullio Lombardo (1526).
  • The Town hall, which contains a library including some rare early editions, belonging to the Accademia de Concordi, founded in 1580, and a fair picture gallery enriched with the spoils of the monasteries.
  • Palazzo Roverella, largely restored but still a good example of Renaissance architecture.
  • Palazzo Roncale, a fine Renaissance building by Michele Sanmicheli (1555).
  • Palazzo Venezze (1715)
  • Pinacoteca dei Concordi ("Concordi Gallery") houses important paintings, including a Madonna with Child and Christ with the Cross by Giovanni Bellini, a Flagellation of Christ by Palma the Elder, a Venus with the Mirror by Jan Gossaert, and portraits by Tiepolo and Alessandro Longhi.
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