Churches and places of worship
Church of St. Lawrence
The parish church of Occhiobello was rebuilt in 1717 upon request of Don Carlo Malaspina. It was designed by the Ferrara architect Angelo Santini. Externally, it has a baroque façade. Internally, the church has three naves with a large transept and apse. It contains 18th century artifacts and some valuable paintings. It also has a remarkable choir space and seven altars (the altars of Our Lady of the Rosary and of St. Lawrence the Deacon Martyr are noteworthy). (Via Roma – Occhiobello)
Church of St. Mary Magdalene
The church of St. Mary Magdalene was built in the 13th century. It was entirely destroyed in World War II, and rebuilt between 1952 and 1955. The church is inspired by the byzantine architectural style in Ravenna, but it maintains a Romanic sobriety. Its floor plan is shaped as a Latin cross. Full arches divide the side naves and the central one. The bell tower resembles the S. Marco bell tower in Venice, with its dome of concentric circles. (Via Gorizia – S.Maria Maddalena)
Church of St. John the Baptist of Gurzone
It was built in the 14th century by the Contrari family. It united to the parish church of St. Mary Magdalene of Lagoscuro. It was rebuilt in 1669 and in 1938. (P.zza della Libertà – Gurzone)
“Il Cesulin” Oratory
Popular tradition has it that the locals congregated in this chapel to thank God for the harvest and to feast. (Via Della Pace – Occhiobello)
Oratory of Our Lady of the Rosary
The construction of the oratory of the Holy Virgin of the Rosary, in Rizza, took place in 1843. Its design is simple. (Via Poazzo Inferiore, 7 – Occhiobello)
Oratory of St. Gaetano
It was built after 1724 by the Savonarola family. The oratory is by the Savonarola villa. It was recently renovated. (Via Eridania – Occhiobello)
Oratory of St. Antonio Abate
The oratory probably dates back to the 18th century. (Via Piacentina – Occhiobello)
Oratory of St. Eurosia
It’s in Bacanazza. It still accommodates worshipers for the St. Eurosia procession. (Via Nazionale – S. Maria Maddalena)
Places of interest
Rebuilding this imposing country residence, while staying true to its original structure, proved to be very difficult. The ancient Pepoli Palace was requisitioned by the Germans in the last world war. Before retreating, they blew it up. Nowadays only the north-eastern wing remains. It underwent significant redesigns as a result of its fractioned ownership. Originally, the land on which the building stands was owned by the Contrari noble family from Ferrara, as shown by the 1409 deed. Their property was inherited by the Pepoli of Bologna. (Via Bassa – Occhiobello)
This mansion is decorated in Liberty style. The villa is also known as Villa of the Podestà, as it Mariano Prearo’s (1889-1977). He was the mayor of Occhiobello from 1932 to the fall of the regime. The building is a bulky factory, lightened by windows and floral motifs of cement. The eaves are embellished by a frieze with different animals, which is probably an allegory for hunting. Nothing is left of the frescoes that decorated the interior. The villa is currently a private residence. (Via Gurzone, 61 – Occhiobello)
The villa was built in the second half of the 16th century by the noble Savonarola family after a donation by Alfonso the Duke of Este. In the 17th century the mansion became the convent of the nuns of St. Catherine from Siena of Ferrara. It remained a convent until the abolition of religious orders and the seizure of ecclesiastic property. After several different ownerships, the villa became the hotel that we see today. Despite being modified, the ancient main body has been kept intact. Even today its origin as a manor is visible. The villa has a double staircase in the center, with one side coming from the dovecote and the other from the service building. The oratory annexed to it was built after 1724 by the Savonarola family. It was first dedicated to the Holy Virgin and then to San Gaetano. (Via Eridania, 36 – Occhiobello)
Carlo Cavriani’s House (A member of the Carbonari)
The villa is in Savonarola road. It’s the home of the patriot Carlo Cavriani. This villa is in typical Polesine style. Its illustrious owner was gone for a brief detention concurrently with the Fratta Polesine arrests. The villa contains a guillotine that was built according to the French design. The villa is owned by a private resident. (Via Savonarola – Occhiobello)
Its name is formed by “occhio” (eye) and “bello” (beautiful) and denotes the pretty view. The name is recent : up until the 18th century it was called Le Casette. The town probably originated in the middle ages. Thanks to its swampy geographic location, it was not involved in the numerous wars of the 14th and 15th century, fought between Este and Venice over the Po waterway. It was ruled by the Este family until 1597, when Alfonso II died. It was inherited by the Church State, who kept it for about two hundred years. In 1797 it was invaded by Napoleon. This is also where Joaquin Marat fought in an attempt to maintain French control over the area. He was wounded and defeated by the soldiers of the Austrian Empire. In 1866, along with the rest of the region, it was annexed to the Kingdom of Italy. The two World Wars caused much destruction, but the November 14th 1951 Po flood was far worse. The town was submerged completely.
Pro Loco Occhiobello – Santa Maria Maddalena
Piazza Maggiore, 1
Tel. 0425 756299 – Fax 0425 756299
January 6th – Municipal Auditorium in S. M. Maddalena and ice skating rink by the S.M. Maddalena Municipal Gym
Children’s show in the Municipal Auditorium; award and prize for the best nativity scene by the parish priest and the ProLoco; distribution of sweets stockings; “Brusen la Vecia” together with the Alpini veterans; hot chocolate tasting with Pandoro and panettone.
Carnival of St. Mary Magdalene and Occhiobello
February – Piazza Maggiore of S. M. Maddalena area / Piazza Giacomo Matteotti in Occhiobello and surrounding area
Shows and entertainment for children; Carnival Train parade for children, together with other associations; fun, entertainment and handouts of crostoli and drinks.
Concert on May 1st
May 1st – Piazza Maggiore of S. Maria Maddalena
Rock band performances from the afternoon to midnight. At the end, pizza party with all the musicians.
Feast of St. Eurosia
June – Baccanazza in S. Maria Maddalena
Procession in Baccanazza; finally, dinner by the Pro Loco with entertainment and Piano Bar.
National catfish fishing competition
June – Piazza Maggiore of Santa Maria Maddalena
The day will be devoted entirely to the catfish. This fish is typical of the River Po, despite coming from Eastern Europe. It was introduced in Italy about half a century ago, and it’s very especially widespread in thePo and Adige areas. Fishing it is rewarding because of how hard it is to catch catfish, especially larger specimens. At the end, awards ceremony and lunch organized by the Pro Loco.
Rally of Fiat 500 in Occhiobello – Erio Tartari Memorial
First Sunday in July – Piazza Maggiore of S. Maria Maddalena, restaurants and gathering places, Commercial Area of Occhiobello
Together with the Occhiobello Car Club 500, all the cars will gather in Piazza Maggiore in S.M. Maddalena (RO). After this, lunch with all the participants in a designated place selected by the Pro Loco and Car Club 500. Lunch is followed by a raffle with various prizes and awards. The group returns to Occhiobello, in the commercial area, for competitions and shows of speed and skill. Lastly, the prototype cars will race.
St. Mary Magdalene fair
July – Piazza Maggiore of Santa Maria Maddalena
The village Fair lasts about a week. Throughout the week there are children’s rides; from time to time, in the streets around the square a street market takes place; every evening different entertainment, ranging from music bands to the group dance, and comedies for children and in dialect.
Un Po d’autunno ( A Po/Little Fall)
Exhibition of paintings and of various creations by artists from Polesine. Various entertainment. Everything is centered on our great river.
Flea Market and antique hobby
Every fourth Sunday of the month – Trade Area of Occhiobello
The hobby and Antiques Market is organized in the business district of Occhiobello. The wares that are sold and exposed are varied; anyone may participate, as long as they have the appropriate permit.