Published on October 5, 2011 | by Andrea Guerriero0
Weekend in Rovigo, the city of roses
Capital city of the Polesine region, Rovigo lies between two rivers – the Adige and the Po – and looks like a typical Veneto’s town, a pentagonal plan surrounded by walls, dotted with ancient towers and imposing belfries. This city has a Roman past, but its name has Greek origins. In fact, according to legend, the name Rovigo derives from the Greek “Rhodon”, which is an old-age rose that bloomed spontaneously in these places. Hence, the city of roses!
Rovigo engages and intrigues the visitor for the refined Renaissance and neoclassical elegance of its square, its palaces and its churches.
It’s not particularly rich in monuments, at least not prior to the Venetian conquest, but it retains several medieval traces, like some towers, vestiges of walls and the restored church of San Francis. The architectural disharmony of the buildings surrounding the main square, named after Vittorio Emanuele II, reveals the variety of cultural influences that the city has experienced. Among these buildings, it is definitely worth mentioning the Loggia dei Nodari, seat of the municipal administration, Roncale Palace and Roverella Palace.
The oldest construction, however, is the medieval castle wanted by Bishop Paul of Adria (954 AD) around which the city of Rovigo has expanded.
Legend has it that Bishop Paolo Cattaneo decided to transfer the diocese from Adria to Rovigo after dreaming of St. Peter offering him a beautiful pastoral of fragrant red roses. Rovigo was therefore the new destination; Cattaneo and his people moved there and built a huge castle to defend the city against barbarians. Today there is only one of the towers left, the Donà Tower.
Rovigo has no particular distinguishing marks, it’s a clear “masterpiece of mediocrity”, a city that may be discovered little by little.
Nonetheless, it has remained a city on a ‘human scale’, where quality of life, good feelings of simplicity, love for the land and the pleasure of staying together are the watchwords.
A trip to Rovigo – even lasting only a few days – will allow you to immerse yourself in a charming atmosphere, both lively and quiet, muffled by the fog and (positively) characterized by the pleasing ambiance of small towns, a small oasis where you can still breathe the joy of everyday life.
Photo by Andrew Morrell Photography