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The Po - along the big river

Along the left bank of the Po river
CastelmassaThe Province of Rovigo is marked off by the two biggest Italian rivers: the Po and the Adige. It has its origin in the waterways that with their alluvial contribution gave rise to this western belt of the Po valley. This area is situated in the most southern part of the Veneto region. Its past is anything but univocal and flat, as it was marked by conflicts, which were extremely harsh at times. During the Middle Ages the Estensi family from Ferrara, the Scaligeri family from Verona, the Gonzaga family from Mantua, the Carraresi family from Padua came up against each other, eventually the Republic of S.Marco prevailed on all of them.
Therefore a borderland, contended by different powers from the regions Veneto, Lombardy and Emilia that left their mark within the history of the Polesine area. The mark left by the two “Signorie” that from the XV century until 1797, date of Napoleon’s arrival, was particularly strong. They divided the Polesine up into two parts: the Northern  area under the influence of the “Serenissima” (Republic of S.Marco) and the Southern area controlled by the Este family (Ferrara), later replaced by the Papal State in 1598 after the death of Alfonso II d’Este which did not have any heir to the throne. The part of the Polesine controlled by Ferrara was called “Transpolesana Ferrarese”. The border that divided it from the territory controlled by the Republic of S.Marco was not always well defined, it was mainly marked by rivers: Poazzo and Canalbianco river in particular.
It was not until 1815 with the Congress of Vienna, with the simultaneous and the political autonomy of the regions Veneto and Lombardia now under Austrian domination, that the natural borders of Polesine, the two big rivers Po and Adige, natural lines were outlined. These territorial boundaries were later confirmed by the third war of Indipendence by the Italian State that recognized definitely as integral part of the Veneto region the original portion of inter-fluvial territory that made up the Province of Rovigo, also known as “Italian Mesopotamia”.
However a secular history made up by uses, customs and traditions anything but homogeneous could not and should not be cancelled by a political-administrative decision, so that still today the coastal area of the river Po is still strongly influenced by Ferrara. The villages of Melara, Bergantino, Castelmassa and Calto, situated in the most western part mix with Mantua villages. This aspect enriches the natural vocation of Polesine as land of relations, open to different social and cultural influences, eager to offer its visitors a municipality of aspects linked tradition, and this can be seen especially as culinary specialities are concerned. The cuisine aspect has not to be underestimated.
It is with this awareness that we are about to follow a long itinerary divided into 7 stop-overs. We will mainly follow the bankside path along the left bank of the Po: from Melara, where the river enters the Polesine area until Papozze where the first two arms of the great waterway originate (Po in Venice and Po in Goro). This itinerary is rich mainly in environmental attractions, thanks to the bright games that nature offers on the water of the river, the white beaches that suddenly open up in the thick vegetation of the flood plains, undisputed reign of various species of birds, but also a very interesting route to follow thanks to the artistic and architectural aspects that a land having a millennial history can boast.

Melara - Bergantino

Itinerario 1 lungo po

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Castelnovo Bariano - Castelmassa - Calto

Itinerario 2 Lungo Po

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Salara - Sariano - Trecenta

Itinerario 3 Lungo Po

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Ficarolo - Gaiba - Stienta

Itinerario 4 Lungo Po

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Occhiobello - Canaro - Polesella

Itinerario 5 Lungo Po

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Guarda Veneta - Crespino

Itinerario 6 Lungo Po

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Canalnovo - Villanova Marchesana - Papozze

Itinerario 7 Lungo Po

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