Churches and places of worship
Church of St. Stephen
The church dedicated to St. Stephen, over time, has undergone several restorations. Before 1574 it was falling apart, after centuries of neglect. In 1574 it was rebuilt from the foundations. The new church had one nave, a new main altar, and the altar of the Virgin Mary in the center of the church. It was consecrated on August 10th 1582. Nearly a century later, it was modified substantially. It was made longer and wider, and in a span of five years (1659-1664) a new bellower was added. In 1673 the inside was expanded to three naves (that still exist), according to the plans of Gio Batta Barbieri of Ferrara. The ceiling was richly frescoed in the early 1900s. There are eight exquisitely crafted altars: the main altar and the altar of the Virgin Mary are monumental. The church also has paintings and altarpieces of Venetian, Ferrara and Bolognese school. The church’s organ is one of the best in the province. The instrument is an antique and has over two thousand pipes. The façade’s style is early baroque. (Piazza Libertà – Castelmassa)
Oratory of the Holy Name of Mary
The Church of St. Stephen is joined to the rectory house. This in turn is joined to the Oratory of the Holy Name of Mary. The Oratory is decorated with three elegant 17th century sculptures by Andrea Ferreri. In the middle is the Vigin with the Child, on the sides are two angles. (Piazza Libertà – Castelmassa)
Oratory of the Saints Rocco and Sebastian
The Oratory of the Saints Rocco and Sebastian was rebuilt in 1668 by the noble family of the Marquis Crispi Manfredi. It was recently renovated.
Chapel of the Blessed Virgin of the Rosary
Dates to the end of the nineteenth century. Inside is a statue of the Virgin and Child. (Via Spinea – Castelmassa)
Places of interest
The square is on the cover of the famous book “Don Camillo and Peppone” by Guareschi. The writer and journalist, in one of his bike rides along the river banks, saw an unusual building on the left bank. It was typically urban Emilian building, on the Veneto bank of the river. He was unaware that Castelmassa has its roots in about seven hundred years of Ferrara history. He admired it so much that he put it on the cover of his book. (Piazza Libertà – Castelmassa)
In the central Liberty Square, this was the residence of Bolognese noblemen. It was built in the 16th century, and brought back to its old grandeur with a long renovation by the Cazzola family. The work was completed in 1996. (Piazza Libertà – Castelmassa)
Crispi Manfredi Palace
Manor from the 17th century in Ca’ Matte locality. Its original owners were the Marquis Crispi Manfredi from Montaldo.
The current town hall was built in the second half of the 17th century, when the noble Montecatini family of Ferrara decided to build a countryside villa in Massa Superiore. The choice was determined by the fact that the Montecatini were owners of many land assets in the Massa district. The building was then inherited by the Bevilaqua Marquis and subsequently sold to the Bresciani family. In 1867, after the Austrian rule, the Massa Superiore municipality bought the villa. It housed the town hall offices, the elementary school and the telegraph. (Piazza Vittorio Veneto – Castelmassa)
It was opened on August 23rd 1884 with Rossini’s opera “The Barber of Seville”. The performance featured the famous baritone, Antonio Cotogni. The theatre was closed in 1984, and 24 years later it was renovated and resized. The building remains imposing, and together with the former Villa Bresciani (now Banca Antonveneta), gives the square a pleasant architectural harmony. (Piazza Vittorio Veneto – Castelmassa) – www.teatrocotogni.it
The former Bresciani Palace is from the 1700s (now it’s a bank). (Piazza Vittorio Veneto – Castelmassa)
In roman times it was a resting place on the intersection between the Hatriense and the Altinate roads. Its original name was Massa, from the Latin mansio, “stopping place”, later it became Massa Superiore. It got its present name in 1929, when it was united, as in the past, to the municipality of Castlenuovo Bariano. The two separated in 1946. During the Middle Ages it was ruled by the Estes of Ferrara, as a parto of the Transpadana Ferrarese. The Este rule, briefly interrupted by the Venetians in the “salt war” lasted until 1597. In 1597 it was annexed to the Church State. In the 18th century it witnessed economic growth thanks to the draining of the marshes by the Hydraulic Consortia. This was short lived, as the flood of the Tartaro, the Frnch invasion and the great Po flood of 1801 caused great damage. During the Austrian occupation Castelmassa joined the Rovigo province. It participated in uprisings and entered the Kingdom of Italy in 1866. In recent history it witnessed a farmer’s protest and a substantial emigration, particularly to Brazil.
Pro Loco Castelmassa
Piazza Vittorio Veneto, 1
cell. 340 2212277
Second weekend of June (Saturday-Sunday-Monday-Tuesday) – Town Squares
Large funfair for children, with evening events for the whole family. On Tuesday it ends with a concert, AVIS-sponsored bingo and fireworks.
The White Night
A Saturday night in July or August – Roads and all the squares of the historic downtown.
A path that involves all the squares of the village and all the roads that connect them. With shows by street artists, concerts, musical entertainment, parades, shops open at night, and food stalls by local restaurateurs open until late at night.
Sganzega under the stars
The evening of August 14 – Freedom Square
Dinner with local dishes: risotto with sausage, fried dumplings – “Pinzin”, cold cuts, vegetables. All cooked and served directly in the square. Also includes cakes traditionally brought by the participants. The main feature is a long table that runs the entire length of the square. It’s a convivial evening with the purpose of rediscovering the town’s spirit of collaboration and identity. Dedicated to both villagers and non-locals.
Fiera di San Martino
Second weekend of November – Streets and Squares of the village
Funfair and a path that goes through all the streets of the village. With 400 stalls, local marked, bicycle and motorcycle show, exhibits of local artists, themed food stalls by local restaurateurs, contextual exhibits.
Immaculate Conception (December 8), duration: 5 days – Piazza Della Libertà
Themed Christmas market with typical wooden houses of Trentino, Gourmet stands with local products, lots of lights.