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Rovigo



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Rovigo

Rovigo is a lively yet quiet town, characterized by the pleasant atmosphere of small historic towns.  Its history starts from afar: it was certainly frequented by the people of ancient Veneto, the Etruscans and later by the Romans, even if its foundation is dated in the 900s.  The Estensi were present in Rovigo already in 1117 and apart from a brief parentheses, Rovigo remained under the Estensi for almost three centuries.  There are several testimonies of this important presence: the castle tower, today known as Tower Donà, which at a height of 66 metres, is one of the highest Italian medieval towers and almost certainly was the highest tower in masonry of its era.
The domain of the Republic of Venice lasted another three centuries – from 1482-leaving its mark in the Piazza Maggiore (today piazza Vittorio Emanuele II), the Torre Civica and the column with the Lion of San Marco, dated 1519.
At the beginning of the XIX century, after the fall of the Republic of Venice and the establishment of the French occupation, Rovigo underwent renewed social and cultural impetus towards growth and development.  The Austrian rule followed, until the annexation to the Kingdom of Italy.
Rovigo captivates the visitor with the refined elegance of its Renaissance and Neoclassical square, its buildings and churches.
The main square, dedicated to Vittorio Emanuele II, is surrounded by buildings which in their architectural disharmony testify the diverse influences to which the city was subjected.  Among the various buildings definitely worth mentioning is: the Loggia dei Nodari, seat of the council administration, Palazzo Roverella and Palazzo Roncale.

Alongside the Town Hall stands the Accademia dei Concordi, dated 1580, it boasts one the richest art galleries of the Veneto, recently transferred to Palazzo Roverella.  Here, one may discover the works of Nicolò di Pietro, Bellini, Palma il Vecchio, Luca Giordano, Piazzetta and Tiepolo.

Adjacent to Piazza Vittorio Emanuele II is Piazza Garibaldi with the bronze statue of Giuseppe Garibaldi by Ettore Ferrari, inaugurated in 1896. Overlooking the square is the Teatro Sociale, inaugurated on the first March 1819 by the Emperor of Austria, Francesco I and venue for the traditional opera season.
The oldest building is the Medieval Castle commissioned by Bishop Paolo di Adria in 954 and around which the town of Rovigo developed.  Initially a rudimentary fortification, after having been re-built several times, it became an imposing castle with walls, towers and gates.  Of the six original gates, only two remain today.  There are several faces of this town which offers its visitors many opportunities, with its theatre, museums, prestigious exhibitions and the multitude of events on offer.