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Gaiba



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Gaiba

The place name Gaiba domes from the term Gaybo which means torrent or riverbed and which denotes the fundamental role played by the Po in this small characteristic coastal town.  In Chiunsano, important archaeological findings show that the area was inhabited in roman times; here too was discovered the famous burial ground of an Ostrogothic woman known as the “Chiunsano dame”.  Gaiba’s ancient historical records date back to the early Middle Ages and are tied above all, to the monastery of San Lorenzo alle Caselle where, it is traditionally thought, a meeting between Pope Benedetto VI and the German emperor Ottone II took place.  The central nucleus of the town originated with the arrival of the Fiaschi marquis who, in the XVII century, obtained investiture from the Estensi over a vast territory in the district of Gaiba, called Caselle.  The Fiaschi had an imposing villa built on the foundations of a previous rural residence belonging to the marquis Saracco.  In the first half of the eighteenth century, behind the walls of the park, a chapel was also built and dedicated to St. Anna.  Within its interior one may admire a precious canvas by Gianbettino Cignaroli.  Not far along the banks of the Po, one encounters the ruins of the church of St. Carlo.  St.Carlo Borromeo is said to have sought refuge in the temple erected here to protect from flooding and as a refuge for travellers.  There are many cultural and folklore events during the year; particularly characteristic is the Fiera di St. Anna, held at the end of July with its famous palio.  The event recalls the historical happenings of the Renaissance era and guests are entertained with musical and flag-waving performances.  Most evocative is the historical parade of the five contradas (village streets or quarters) into which the town is divided.  Each parade is opened by a gonfaloniere and is made up of a variety of characters such as dames, knights, squires and of course the contestants that take part in the games.  Also worth noting, the original project of a “miniature Polesine”, a perfect reproduction on a scale of 1:1000, which is currently being built.