Ariano nel Polesine

  • Localization of the territory

  • Municipal Palace of Ariano, in Venetian style

  • Church of St. Basil

Ariano nel Polesine is the longest municipality in the Rovigo province, and the southernmost in Veneto.

Churches and places of worship

chiesaarianoSanta Maria della Neve (Saint Mary of Snow)
The church of Santa Maria della Neve is in Ariano Polesine, on a North-South axis. The neoclassical façade is formed by a central part with coupled Corinthian pilasters that support a triangular pediment, and by two rectangular wings. These are also closed, on the sides, by Doric pilasters, with statues of saints on top. There are three doors on the facade: two smaller ones on the sides and a taller one in the center. The latter is has a stone episcopal coat of arms above it. A statue of Mary is on the tip of the pediment. On the top of the side faces are six fanlights. A thick polygonal chapel protrudes out of a side. The semicircular apse on the back has two arched windows. The church of Santa Maria della Neve houses The Crucifixion by the painter Giori and a copy of the Mary with Child by Benvenuto Tisi from Garofalo, painted in 1518.


Church of St. Basil
It was built in the 9th-10th century on an ancient dune, in a place that used to be impassable because of woods, valleys and salt marshes. Originally it was an oratory. The first document that attests to its presence dates back to 1233. The floor has a number of eighteenth century tombs beneath it. The facade, which had been extensively remodeled, was restored to its original design after 1950. It was then completely restored in the following years. During the restoration, the remains of the original church were found. (San Basilio)



Other places of worship
Church of St. John the Evangelist (Ariano nel Polesine)
Church of S. Maria in Punta – Church of St. Mary on the ferry 
(S. Maria in Punta)
”S. GAETANO” Oratory of Ariano 
(Ariano nel Polesine)



S. Basilio Tourism and Culture Center – San Basilio
The S. Basilio Tourism and Culture Center holds archaeological findings from various digs in Forzello estate. This material goes to show how important its archaeological site is. The findings also document the history of San Basilio in ancient times.
The excavations exposed part of a large village inhabited, from the beginning of the 6th century BC to the end of the 5th century BC, by Etruscans, Greeks and Venets. It was near the Po of Copparo and close to the coastal dunes, in a strategic position with control over the fluvial and maritime traffic. The wood and clay buildings housed merchants and craftsmen of various origins. Goods from all over the central and eastern Mediterranean, and from Etruria, flocked here. They would then be then sorted and moved to the inner of the Po Valley. In the second century BC, the Romans built an important consular road that went from Rimini to Adria, the Popillia. The town became the seat of a postal office, the mansio Hadriani, around which farms congregated, and perhaps even a village.
The excavations have identified a number of areas related to a large villa several times renovated country.

> Visit the Museum’s website (IT-EN-DE)



The name of Ariano probably derives from Atria, now Adria, an ancient Etruscan city by the sea. The names of the lagoons, of the Adriatic Sea, and of the city of Atri also share the same origin. Until the tenth century, Ariano was called “Adriano” or “Atriano” (Hadriani or Radriani). It was then reduced to Ariano in popular speech during the Middle Ages. The change occurred after the rout of the Ficarolo River, and the subsequent formation of the western part of the Ariano Island. This island was later called “Austrian Ariano” or “left Ariano” (Ariano on the left of the Goro branch of the river Po). The most important community in Roman times was on the Via Popilia, built in 132 BC near what is now San Basilio by order of the consul Publius Popilius Lenate. Recent archaeological discoveries have uncovered deposits of amber from the Baltic Sea. This suggests that the San Basilio port (together with Atria and Spina) used to be a stop on the Amber Road. This route began by the Baltic Sea, went through the Etruscan Adriatic ports, and ended in the ancient Greek colonies, which traded Attic ceramics. The Popilia or Popilia-Annia Road went from Rimini to Adria. It was one of the major roads to Rome, and thus of the whole Roman Empire. It retained its importance during the Middle Ages, as it was an alternative to the Romea Road. In Christian times, it was travelled by pilgrims directed to Rome (Romei). Since the fall of Rome, and up to the Third War of Independence, this municipality was a borderland subject to conquest and to territorial disputes. The domain of the Estensi family lasted for centuries and featured a joint government with the bishop of Adria. This did not prevent opposition to the power of the Papal State. Two large buildings still surround the town’s square. One used to be a warehouse used by the Estensi, the other was inspired by its architectural style.


Places of interest

50 meters Inside the Forzello estate, the remains of a large Early Christian architectural complex are visible. This includes the ruins of a church, of its octagonal baptistery, and of a small burial ground with Capuchin graves. The excavation is protected by cover.




Fossil dunes
The fossil dunes are on the western side of S. Basilio road, and pinpoint the location of the coast in the 10th century. They’ve become an important geological site, thanks to a careful effort of environmental restoration. A stratigraphic section and a didactic illustration panel show their internal composition.

The Veneto Regional Park of the Po Delta Foundation’s headquarters are in Ariano. 

> Visit the website (IT-EN-DE)


Useful information

Pro Loco Ariano nel Polesine
Via Verdi, 4 – Ariano nel Polesine
tel. 0426 71158, cell. 346 2136040 
fax 0426 71158


May 1st (and public holidays that may follow), in the square behind the parish church in the city center.
Country festival where fresh typical products are served. The main course is mainly the “bondiola” (but not only). The event is organized in collaboration with local associations A.V.I.S. and A.I.D.O. and other volunteer associations. The proceeds go to charity.

Feast of S. BASIL
June 13th and 14th – in S. Basil.
Set in the extraordinary Po Delta Park. Here tours to the archaeological excavations, to the archeological museum, and to the Romanesque church with its sarcophagi are possible. The Feast is a country festival with dancing, singing, and tasting of local food.
There is a huge fireworks display on the night between the 14th and 15th of June, to mark the end of the festival.

Ariano August

Takes place in Ariano nel Polesine.  Featuring: shows in Piazza Garibaldi and in the downtown streets; live music with great orchestras and a dancefloor; tombola extractions; an international motorcycle rally organized by the Moto Club Ariano Polesine. At the end, the prizes of a rich tombola will be extracted, followed by a big fireworks show.

Festival on the iron bridge: “Together we grow the two Arianos”
A double 110m long tabletop is set on the historic bridge that unites Ariano nel Polesine and Ariano Ferrarese. Fresh local food is served with live music. The event is organized in collaboration with local associations A.V.I.S. and A.I.D.O. and other volunteer associations. The proceeds go to the local preschool.