Churches and places of worship
Church of St. Bartholomew the Apostle
It was built in 1726 by the Contarini family of Venice to replace an older church that was damaged by the floods. The façade has a double order of ionic pilasters: the lower one is taller, and the upper one is shorter. The church contains three paintings of the Saint’s life, a wooden statue by Il Brustolon, and an organ by Callido. (Piazza Matteotti 48 – Contarina, Porto Viro)
Church of the Visitation of Saint Mary
An oratory was already present in the early 17th century. In 1727 the first church was built, and the current one was built in 1845. The neoclassical façade has four columns that support the triangular pediment. The pediment has statues of saints on its corners. Among the works of art kept in the church is a statue of St. John the Evangelist by the 1600s sculptor Guido Del Moro from Verona. (Piazza Marconi – Donada, Porto Viro)
Church of St. John the Baptist
The church was built by the Cappello nobles in 1550, next to their farm. It was completely renovated in 1950, but after the 1951 flood it needed further repairs. The main façade is very simple in its design: the only decorative elements are the entrance door, two windows on th sides, and a central niche with a statue. (Via Centro – Cà Cappello, Porto Viro)
Church of St. Mary Mother of the Church
This church is in the Scalon hamlet. It was built in 1966. It has a peculiar exposed façade with a “toothed arch”. It’s decorated by a large wooden door and by three central windows. (Piazza Alcide De Gasperi, 2 – Scalon, Porto Viro)
Church of St. Paul the Apostle
The first oratory was built in 1737 by the Venier family of the Venetian nobility. It was rebuilt and expanded in 1951. (Porto Levante – Porto Viro)
Church of the Holy Virgin of the Belt
The church has a recently built brick façade. The new exterior hides the church’s true age: it was built in 1684. (Via Villaregia – Villaregia, Porto Viro)
The museum was created in 1998 to give visitors a look at the world of bees and the related industry. It began with occasional tours for visitors and beekeepers; now there’s an instructional path dedicated to tourists and especially to groups of students. The museum has exhibits with posters and showcases that contain natural hymenoptera nests and both modern and ancient tools for honey processing.
Museo del Miele
Strada Provinciale 37 – Località Cà Cappellino n. 18
Porto Viro (RO)
Tel. + 039 339 6394396
From March 1st to December 31st:
Open on Saturday, Sunday and Holidays from 9:00/12:00 and 2:30/7:30 PM
The Museum may also be visited any day with prior reservation.
Museo Della Corte (Farm Museum)
Two buildings in a nice 1600s farming complex host a photographic exhibit on the farm’s history. They also host a permanent museum of the wildlife that inhabits the Po Delta Park, and another of faming society. The ethnographic section contains reconstructions of typical farming environments in Polesine: a 1950’s country tavern and a kitchen with its typical chimney on the ground floor; a bedroom and attic with children’s toys and various daily objects on the upper floor. The walls are decorated with pictures that depict jobs from the past century – many of which no longer exist. Other rooms showcase over 100 bird species, ranking them systematically to highlight their evolution.
Via Ca’ Cappello, n.18
45014 Località Cà Cappello di Porto Viro (Ro).
Tel. +39 0426 320231
Saturday, Sunday, and holidays 9:00-12:00 / 15:00-18:00
Other days require reservations.
Places of interest
In 1928 Donada and Contarina were united to from a single municipality. It was first called Taglio di Porto Viro, then Porto Viro. The new city hall was built in the large square of the Republic, the halfway point between COntarina and Donada. This experience lasted for only a decade: towards the end of 1937, the two municipalities were separated again. The new city hall, with its rationalist style, is the symbolic and geographic center of this large area. (Piazza della Repubblica, 23 – Porto Viro)
The Contrini Carrer Villa was built in 1500 as Doge Contarini’s wedding gift to his daughter. In the 1700s the central body was expanded in neoclassical style, and two buildings were added to house the servants and to store merchandise and animals. Nowadays the villa is a charming hotel. (Via Giacomo Matteotti, 44 – Porto Viro)
Ca’ Capello Farm
This 1600s farm used to belong to the Cappello nobles from Venice. It was originally surrounded by a brick wall. The manor house is on the northern side. It’s flanked by a long building that used to house the farm workers and the storerooms, and by a monumental barn. The main entrance gate still bears the Cappello coat of arms. Some of the buildings are used by the Ethnographic Museum. (Via Ca’ Cappello – Ca’ Cappello, Porto Viro)
The pinewood is the town’s center, and it continues to the north, ging toward Fornaci and Cao Maina. It grows on what is left of the dunes created by the billowing waves. The pine trees were planted in the early 1930s, creating one of the most beautiful inland pinewoods. The dunes have also witnessed the growth of autochthone vegetation. This is very interesting from a naturalistic perspective.
(Via Cao Marina – Via Mazzini – Porto Viro)
Flood valley Oasis of Ca’ Pisani
In the past this oasis was used as a fishing valley, but the excessive river water halted the fishing. The original environment, more favorable to nesting, has been restored, and traditional fish traps were built. The flood valley has footpaths, bird watching stations, and a tourist information center. (Via delle Valli – Porto Viro)
Natural Oasis of Volta Grimana
This precious nature preserve is shared among Loreo and Porto Viro. It includes the Po Grande and Po di Levante. The preserve is recognized and protected on a municipal level. It’s a protected nesting area for herons. These birds are both sedentary and migratory, and this area offers them safety among the reeds, white willows and locust-tress. (Via Pioppa e Via Po di Venezia – Porto Viro)
This seaside fishing hamlet has recently seen an increase in environmental tourism, because of its yachting and sea fishing opportunities. It’s characterized by an evocative dam that reaches out in the sea, by a fishing port and by various docks.
(Porto Levante – Porto Viro)
This sandbar is in front of Porto Levante. It’s a typical island crated by flooding, and it still has an untouched natural environment. It can be reached with a personal boat or with a ferry available in the summertime. Bathing is possible, thanks to the beach equipped with rentable umbrellas and reclining chairs. A restaurant and bar serves fish-based dishes. (Porto Levante Scanno Cavallari – Porto Viro)
Via delle valli (Valley Path)
This is an evocative path that goes through the lagoon. It’s surrounded by the green tamarisks and willows, by the flying birds and by the wind. Bird watching turrets line the path.
(Via delle Valli – Porto Viro)
The municipality was first instituted in 1929, when Contarina and Donada were united with other villages to form a single administrative unit. Later on, the two original municipalities regained their autonomy. They were reunited to from Porto Viro only recently, after the 1991 census. Contarina originated between the 16th and 17th centuries. It was founded by the Contarini family from Venice, who gave it their name. Donada (from the name of its original owners, the Donà delle Rose) was founded by fishermen in the early 18th century. The Porto Viro name comes from the place where the river was divided (the center of the Po Delta). It was a small settlement on the Adriatic Sea, to the east of the dunes, by the mouth of the Gaurus, one of the many canals that crisscrossed the area. Both Conatarina’s and Donada’s histories feature no significant events. Most of their lands surfaced after the river was divided in Porto Viro. This was done by the Republic of Venice in the early 1600s to prevent debris from filling the lagoon. Later events run parallel to the Camoformio treaty and the fall of Venice; the Austrian occupation and the kingdom of Lombardy-Venetia (1815); the annexation to the Kingdom of Italy in 1866 after the third war of independence. Recent history is shared with the rest of Polesine; with its evolution and its struggles.
Pro Loco Donada
Piazza Marconi, 37
Tel. 0426 322020
Pro Loco Porto Viro
P.zza Matteotti, 1 – Palazzo delle Associazioni
Tel. 0426 631778 – Fax 0426 631778