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Salara

Salara - Sariano - Trecenta


Visualizza Salara - Sariano - Trecenta in una mappa di dimensioni maggiori

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Starting location:  Salara
Place of arrival:  Trecenta
Municipalities crossed:  Salara, Trecenta

Description

Itinerario 3 Lungo PoLet us proceed along the bankside road, around the flood plain that in the Salara area becomes really wide, with a thick poplar forest in the midst of which a private dock opens up. In the past in this point the river branched and then rejoined near Ficarolo, thus creating a wide island that was within the jurisdiction of Mantua. Then the northern part of the river gradually silted up, therefore the entire fluvial island called “Bosco Papino” (pope’s wood) rejoined the Polesine land. However it was not until 1847 that an administrative acknowledgement sanctioned that the wide wooden area was controlled by the province of Rovigo and not by that of Mantua. Therefore the village of Salara that stood on the branch that has disappeared today is a bit distant from the po river. In the past this river was used for transportation of salt from the sea  to this village by boat, the place name derives from the word salt. In the past the S.Croce Benedictine Monastery was an important place in Salara. This great architectural complex (today widely renovated and adapted to private homes) was at monks' necessities but was also a hospital and hostel offering a safe shelter to travellers from the XII century  onwards.
The church and the town hall are situated at the centre af the village. The XVIII century Parish church is dedicated to S.Valentine: the patron saint is remembered in the painting “Jesus crucified with the Saints Valentine and Carlo Borromeo”, by the painter Ercole Sarti, known as the dumb of Ficarolo, who was active in the Ferrara area in the first decades of the XVII century. Some findings of Roman origin are preserved in the Town Hall, to witness how ancient this village is. The cultivation of strawberry, and the Fair that takes place every year at the end of May constitute an interesting occasion to visit Salara. Let us now follow the road towards Trecenta to reach the small village named Sariano, where our attention is drawn by the peculiar the historical building, surmounted by a central Tower known as “The Castle”. It is in fact “Casa Pepoli-Spalletti” which was built in the XVI century on a pre-existing fortress the tower of which, embodied in the house, still remains. Next to the owner's house there is a cottage that was adapted to cattleshed and hayloft (also this has a turret on the side used as a pigeon-house) that emphasizes the mainly rural function that this complex has taken on over the centuries as against the original. Nearby there is the Church of S.Maurelio, which was built at the beginning of the XVIII century incorporating partially a XV century chapel, that still has precious frescoes, waiting to be appropriately restored.
Between Sariano and Trecenta we find an area which has a very strong naturalistic appeal with many small lakes known as “Gorghi”. They are spring sheets of water (probably a inheritance of the ancient routes of the Po river) that are real natural oasis, in which common reeds coexists with Poplar trees and Alders offering a natural habitat for avifauna: Moorhens, Mallards, Baldicoots as well as rodents, in fact there is a colony of coypus. Let us proceed on our fascinating path among eddies, also characterized by the presence of interesting rural estates, like for example Gaspera Court, with a wide owner's house next to a four-storey tower and an elegant hayloft with five semicircular arcades alternated with pilaster strips. Then we reach Trecenta, the so-called “Palazzon”, that is Pepoli-Spalletti Palace seems to greet us. It is a prominent building that according to the rules of Emilia military architecture has the central part backward as against the two side bodies shaped like turret. The palace was built on an ancient massive building probably used as a lock to control the water flowing into the Canalbianco, recently restored. Inside there is a peculiar helicoidal staircase and a spacious reception room with balcony and XVII century decorations. This is the proof of the entertaining role the palace had, in fact in the past it hosted lavish moments for high society.
Let us proceed on the central square where there is Villa Trebbi, XVIII century building that has been widely renovated and currently hosts the town Hall. This was a reference point in the first decades of the XIX century for the “Carbonari” meetings in Trecenta. Another XVII century building faces the square, dominated by a Tower which is the symbol of Trecenta, it hosts the library, then there is the XIX century theatre. Nearby we also find the XVIII century Biasi Bellini Palace, where the Institute of Agricolture has its headquarters today. This building was a legacy by the brothers Mario and Teodosio Bellini, that lived here. Across the XIX and XX century they experimented innovative cultivation techniques, thus giving a strong revitalising impulse to agriculture in Polesine. Another famous personality who lived in Trecenta in the same period was Nicola Badaloni- remembered in a monument placed in front of the primary school. He was very esteemed as a philanthropist and famous as a doctor for his researches aimed at wiping out the pellagra disease.
The Parish Church dedicated to S.George is of particular interest. It was designed at the beginning of the XVIII century by Vincenzo Santini, an architect from Ferrara, and subsequently restored by his son Angelo in 1760. it has an harmonious and elaborated façade with pilasters and is divided into two orders each of which is embellished with niches with statues of saints, whereas on the gable standing over the portal there are two statues of bent angels. Slender pinnacles are on the top sides, whereas the vertex of the great central gable is crowned by a statue of the “Madonna con Bambino”. Also the church interior is beautiful. Among the various painting there is one dating back to the XVI century: the “Adoration of the Magi” by Carlo Bononi. Near the Parish Church there is a nice “tempietto” dedicated to the “Beata Vergine”, with oval plan, known also as the temple of the “Madonna della Cintura”, or even as “S.Chiara” due to an image of the saint. Also this was designed by V.Santini.

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