Churches and places of worship
Church of St. Joseph, husband of the Holy Virgin Mary
The church contains a remarkably carved wooden pulpit and a painting of the Venetian school, “the adoration of the Magi”. It was built by the Fiaschi marquis as an oratory in the 1500s. It was rebuilt and renovated in the early 1700s and in 1734 it officially became a parish. Gaiba grew around the oratory and its square. (Piazza S. Giuseppe, 1 – Gaiba)
Oratory of the Holy Virgin Mary of the Tommaselle
The Sarti marquis, who land in the area since the 16th century, built this small private oratory. It’s dedicated to St. Thomas and the Holy Virgin of the Assumption. The Oratory of the Tommasee is still open for worship. Religious services are held on demand, and wekly in the summertime. The oratory contains an ancient plychrome wood and gold altar from the 1500s, of the Ferrara school. It also has a bell tower with a severed spire. (Località Tommaselle – Gaiba)
Oratory of St. Ann
The baroque chapel was built in 1790. It was dedicated to St. Ann, patron saint of Gaiba. The oratory contains a precious altar pall that depicts the Holy virgin with her family. The artwork is by G. Cignaroli, a painter from Verona who died in 1770. Unfortunately, the small church, a true gem of baroque art, has been unsafe for the over ten years. It urgently requires repairs. The statues that adorn the pillars of the wall were made before 1790, and also require repairs. (Gaiba)
Monastery of St. Lawrence, at the Caselle
The original core of Gaiba developed around the Monastary of St. Lawrence. It was called “le Caselle”. The remains of the ancient religious center are still imposing despite their state of decay. The Benedictine Monastery was founded at least a century before the rout of Ficarolo. The rout took place in 1151: the riverbed moved to the island where the Monastery is. To this day, the river runs just a few meters away from the historic walls of the Benedictine convent. After the French revolution and the Napoleonic occupation, the convent was renovated. Once the last friars were sent away, it was auctioned off to individual buyers. All that is left nowadays is an imposing ghost of its ancient and past glory. The interior of the large building holds precious pillars made of pure Carrara marble. They have remained intact throughout the centuries. The adjacent oratory of St. Lawrence was the place of religious communication between the firars and the population of Caselle. (Località Caselle – Gaiba)
Places of interest
Villa Fiaschi Manfredini Stampanoni
The main building is from the late 17th century, while the chapel is from the late 18th century. It initially belonged to the sracco family, then to the Fiaschi and lastly to the Manfredini. It was presumably built upon an older 16th century building. The villa recalls the linear and bright architecture of the Emilia-Ferrara area. The family chapel is from the first half of the 1700s. Its style is rococo, with strong formal suggestion. It holds an extraordinary altar pall with St. Ann and Giambettino Cignaroli’s family.
(Strada Provinciale – Gaiba)
Gaiba is first mentioned in an 1158 document. In the early 12th century it was hit by the disastrous flood of the Po River. The river’s banks broke at Ficarolo, and it flooded all the surrounding areas. The river also left its original course and moved to its current riverbed. Gaiba remained under the House of Este for a long time. This rule was characterized by constant wars and fights both against other member of the House of Este, over control of the Ferrara duchy, and against other potentates. Among these is Venice against whom the Este fought in the so-called “salt war”, in the late 15th century. In 1597 it joined the Church State, under which it saw some growth despite the plague, brought by the Landsknechts in 1630. The papal government lasted until 1797, when, with the Napoleonic invasion, Gaiba was exposed to looting and robbery. The French occupation was followed by the Austrian one. During this time Gaiba joined the Rovigo province, and it was stricken by terrible famines. Its unfortunate economic and social situation was worsened by the river floods and routs. It did not improve with the annexation to the Kingdom of Italy in 1866. This led many to emigrate, especially to Brazil.