Academy of the Concordi Building
This building, which was finished in 1814, is one of the greatest works of Rovigo architect Sante Baseggio. It contains several sculptures and monuments, such as the monument that commemorates Giovanni Miani. It was sculpted in 1877 by G. Soranzo. Another sculpture in the Academy is P. Carletti’s 1884 bust of Garibaldi. The building houses the Academy of the Concordi, a cultural institution that was instituted around 1580 by count Gaspare Campo. It also housed a prestigious picture gallery (which has now been moved to Roverella Palace). The rich library of the Academy of the Concordi has over 250000 books, pamphlets and incunabula, some of which are rare. The 14th century Padua Bible and 15th century Confutation of Christianity by Rabbi Giuseppe Albo are among its illuminated manuscripts. (Piazza V. Emanuele II, 14 – Rovigo)
Praetorian Palace, Chamber of Commerce
The ancient Praetorian Palace was built in the late 1400s to house the Venetian mayor, along with the offices of Polesine’s administrative and judicial government. The building was modified and expanded several times in the following century. In the 1600s it had a large portal that led into the big internal courtyard. The building contained: the private rooms and the office of the mayor; the town council halls; a torture chamber, with a pulley to hang up prisoners for interrogation. With the fall of the Venetian Republic, the palace lost its prestige. With the Austrian rule it became the Imperial Kingdom Courthouse. It served this purpose, along with the nearby jail, until 1857. The Chamber of Commerce was instituted in the mid-1800s. It required a remodeling of the ground floor, and a redistribution of its space. The trading floor was created, along with room for trading discussion, and a coffee shop called Caffè Borsa was opened. It’s still in business today. Some rooms were used to house the Post Office and the Telegraph Office, which remained there until 1931. In 1929 the “hall of grain” was built in the main floor. It has a barrel vault, which is decorated with glass rectangles held by a wood and iron frame. Its floor is a mosaic with the Coats of Arms of the Province and of the Chamber of Commerce. (Piazza Garibaldi, 4 – Rovigo)
Roncale Palace is a nobility residence in Rovigo. It was built in 1555 by the Roncale family, who had moved from Bergamo to Polesine in the 15th century. The project was led by Michele Sanmicheli from Verna. It was meant to stand by Roverella Palace without being diminished by its imposing size. Architecturally, the building has a similar layout to other Venetian palaces. It was heavily modified in the 20th century, with the addition of a portico and several modifications of the interior. The Palace contains: some fine 1700s paintings; four 1600s paintings, which are attributed to Mattia Bortoloni; two large French tapestries; four busts of barbarian kings in the atrium, which are attributed to sculptor Giovanni Bonazza. (Piazza Vittorio Emanuele II – Rovigo)
This building faces Garibaldi Square. It’s between the stock exchange and the Social theater. It was inhabited by the Bonanome family from the 16th century to 1848. It was famous mostly because of the paintings that decorated the main hall. They were added in the 1793 renovation. The façade was plain, except for the arch over the door, which had a Lombard-style frame. After the Bonamone family died out, from 1848 to 1858, it housed the military command. In 1853 the municipality paid for renovations. In 1858 it was purchased by the Ravenna family, who transformed its appearance according to Pietro Mola’s design. The building’s height was increased by one floor. For the first time in Rovigo’s history, iron was used as a decorative element, both outside and inside. The work was finished in 1859. In the early 20th century it was purchased by the Rovigo Savings Bank. Since 1951, after the disastrous flood, it has been the headquarters of the Land reclamation consortium of Polesine, Adige and Canalbianco. In 1957 a bronze bust of Giovanni Battista Casalini was added to the façade. (Piazza Garibaldi – Rovigo)
It’s one of the main buildings that face Vittorio Emanuele II plaza, the most important square in the city. It was commissioned by Cardinal Bartolomeo Roverella in 1474. According to speculation, Biagio Rossetti, a famous architect, may have influenced the building’s construction. It remained incomplete after the client’s death. The building is worthy of note because of its mighty appearance and its harmonic terracotta façade. After a recent renovation, it houses the Picture gallery of the Academy of the Concordi. It contains masterpieces and important artwork by: Nicolò di Pietro; Giovanni Bellini; Palma il Vecchio; Sebastiano Mazzoni; Battista DOssi; Pietro Vecchia; Luca Giordano; Luca Carlevarijs; Rosalba Carriera. Roverella Palace also houses prestigious exhibitions. (Via Laurenti – Rovigo)
This is one of the most important buildings in Rovigo. It’s in the historic downtown. It was commissioned of architect Agostino Ghiotti by Count Stefano Venezze in 1715. The architect built an elegant building with a neoclassical façade with two doors. The façade also has a marble balustrade that forms a balcony, with two windows topped by curvilinear pediments. A large atrium with exposed beams, tuscanic columns and an important staircase decorated with children is inside the manor. The building now houses the Musical Conservatory of Rovigo. (C.so del Popolo n° 241 – Rovigo)
This used to be the residence of the rich and prestigious Silvestri family, who was a protagonist in the public and cultural life of the city for at least three centuries. The building is close to the Social Theater. It was probably built in the second half of the 1400s. It’s characterized by its architectural simplicity. The façade is embellished by terracotta and brick, with simple terracotta frames around the openings and windows. The double windows on the corners of rooms follow the architectural customs of Ferrara. The nice entrance door is topped by a circle with the family’s coat of arms: a shield decorated by a prancing leopard. Nowadays the building features expansions on both sides. Their date is unknown. The main body has been accurately renovated and returned to its former charm. (Via Silvestri, 6 – Rovigo)
This palace was built by the noble Salvadego family of Venice in the late 1600s. It has housed the prefect since the forties. A marble plaque attests that Vittorio Emanuele II was here in July 1866.
(Via Ricchieri detto Celio, n° 12 – Rovigo)
Gran Guardia Palace
The Guard Building was built by the Austrian government in 1854. It has 5 arches and 6 pillars topped by helmets, armors, and shields. The portico contains patriotic monuments that commemorate Domenico Angeli and Domenico Piva. Its plaques list the members of the Carboneria and the followers of Garibaldi from Polesine. (Piazza Vittorio Emanuele II, – Rovigo)
Lodge of the Notari
The Lodge of the Notari is in the northern side of Vittorio Emanuele II square. Nowadays it houses the town hall. It’s named after the Notari (notaries) of Rovigo, who began their work before 1286, the year in which the corporation’s statute was reformed. The Civic Tower by the Lodge was built by the Venetians to symbolize the power of their Republic on the mainland. It was rebuilt in the second half of the 1700s. The bell from the castle’s keep was moved here in 1488. The main floor is characterized by the external staircase built by the Tristani of Ferrara. The arches that define the upper floor date back to the 16th century, while the statue of the Virgin Mary by sculptor Giulio Mauro and the windows in the upper loggia date to 1792. The division of the interior rooms has changed throughout the centuries because of building’s different purposes. In Austrian times, up to 1854, it housed the Guard Corps. After that, it housed the province delegation. The celebratory plaques that decorate the exterior of the façade are worthy of note. One commemorates Dante Alighieri, and was made by Grazioso Spiazzi of Verona. The others commemorate the entrance of the Italian army in the city, on July 10th 1866, and the visit of the first king of Italy on July 30th 1866. (Piazza Vittorio Emanuele II° – Rovigo)
This neoclassical palace was built by the Angeli Counts of Rovigo. It was designed by the Veronese architect Francesto Schiavi, and finished in 1780, as requested by count Giovanni Battista Angeli. In 1876 it was given to the municipality in Count Domenico Angeli’s will. The municipal administration has used it as a boarding school, high school, prefecture, and police headquarters. It’s currently undergoing renovations.
(Via Angeli – Rovigo)
Nowadays it houses the province administration. It was built between 1905 and 1909. This elegant building is characterized by a “modernized classical” style, which couples the sturdy lower part with the graceful and light upper part. The façade is embellished by bas reliefs that allegorically depict the industries of Polesine. They were sculpted by Antonio Penello of Padua.
(Via Ricchieri detto Celio, n° 10 – Rovigo)
Camerini Rusconi Palace
This palace was built by Cristoforo Camerini between 1841 and 1844. The austere façade is decorated with simple Istria stone cornices and bas reliefs that depict cupids doing farming work. The main floors has a nice hall with four frescoes of scenes from the Aeneid by Sebastiano Santi from Murano. The majority of the paintings was returned to its previous glory by the recent renovations. The entire building was renovated in the early nineties, as commissioned by its current owners, the Costato family.
(Via Ricchieri detto Celio – Rovigo)
This one of the area’s gems and the prestigious headquarters of RovigoBanca (Rovigo Bank). The historic building is downtown. In 1688 the building was acquired by Marco Casalini, who renovated it and connected it to the dignified, 17th century, neighboring building. He also had the main floor’s hall decorated. A 1923 plaque on the façade commemorates the building in which the noble and illustrious Marco Casalini lived. (Via Casalini – Rovigo)
Post Office Building
A walk along Corso del Popolo allows visitors to view the city’s history through the buildings and the urban modifications that changed the appearance and soul of Polesine’s capital. The avenue was the Adigetto’s riverbed until 1937. In the 1930s the Rovigo’s urban expansion began, and some radical changes took place. The river’s course was moved underground, to the west, and the Jewish ghetto was dismantled. Imposing buildings were built, for instance the Post Office building in 1931, the INA building, and the Civil Engineering Building. The project was interrupted by World War II and the fall of fascism. The monumental public building works, typical of the fascist period, were left incomplete. (Corso del Popolo, 92 – Rovigo)
The Manfredini were one of the oldest noble families in Rovigo. The origins of this building are uncertain. The oldest document that mentions it is from 1748. Even the age in which it was built is uncertain. Its austerity is reminiscent of the 1500s, but the external windows on the façade and the balcony with square balustrades point to later interventions. The most accredited hypothesis is that the building is the result of 1700s modifications. (Piazza del Duomo – Rovigo)
This small neo-gothic palace was commissioned in 1848 by Antonio Minelli, a typographer and librarian. It was built in remembrance of his wife and son Gaetano, an explorer who died in Africa while looking for the Nile’s source. (Via A. Minelli – Rovigo)
This curious neo-gothic building is N. 140 Corso del Popolo, close to the castle’s towers. It houses the new fishery. In 1871 the old fishery, at the end of via Pighin, was hygienically insufficient. It was closed, and a new one was built on the Adigetto Riviera. Construction materials that were trendy at the time, such as iron and glass, were used. The neo-gothic façade has a big door between two pointy windows. The interior used to be a large room with a glass ceiling and iron columns. The fished used to be showcased on marble counters. Nowadays the building has been renovated, and it’s mainly used for exhibitions.
(Corso del Popolo – Rovigo)
This neoclassical opera house was designed by architect Sante Baseggio. It was built between 1817 and 1818. It was extensively repaired after a fire in 1902. The theater was rebuilt in two years. The front part, with the pretty neoclassical façade and the luxurious foyer, was kept, since the fire had left it undamaged. Nowadays the theater offers opera and ballet shows, popular prose shows, concerts, and other projects that are aimed at young people too. (Piazza Giuseppe Garibaldi – Rovigo)
This building is close to the city hall. It was built in 1736 and designed by architect Pietro Puttini. It was finished in 1790. The tower was remodeled several times over the years. The original and distinctive dome was removed, and a modern clock was added.
(Piazza Vittorio Emanuele II° – Rovigo)
It was built by the Foligno family in the second half of the 1400s. Emanuele Filiberto of Savoy stayed here in 1574, the 1928 plaque on the façade commemorates. He was in Rovigo as part of the entourage of Enrico III of Valois. The building was purchased by the Campo family, who probably renovated it and added artwork. Nowadays it houses a school. (via Silvestri, 27 – Rovigo)
The castle and its towers
The towers that dominate Matteotti square were part of the city’s ancient square. The castle was a fortress first mentioned in a 920 document. Initially, it was a very simple building, but it was expanded and walled over the centuries. It was built on an embankment that was created with the dirt dug out from around the walls. It used to be on the right bank of the Adigetto. Not much remains of the castle: just two towers and parts of the wall. Grimani tower is leaning because of the swampy ground’s subsidence. The imposing 50 meter tall square keep, is known as Donà tower. The basement was turned into a prison. A frame for a bell can be seen atop Donà tower. The bell was moved to the Civic Tower in Vittorio Emaneule II square in 1488. In recent years, the city was conservatively renovated, giving the people of Rovigo one of their city’s most distinguished environments back. (Piazza Matteotti – Rovigo)
Park and Matteotti Square
In recent years, the city’s historic downtown has undergone improvements. The area around the castle with the park and Matteotti Square was embellished with slabs to create room for an audience around the monument. The base of the park’s flagpole was moved from the city square to the Rotonda church, where it remained for about a century before coming to its definitive location. The base is decorated with four mermaids that hold the coat of arms of Doge Pasquale Cicogna. When the park was redone, the ancient towers of the castle were also renovated. Grimani tower has a broken top, and is 21 meters tall. Donà tower is 51 meters tall, which makes it one of the tallest medieval towers in Italy. A bronze monument in the square, in front of the towers, is dedicated to Giacomo Matteotti. It was made in 1978 by Agusto Murer. This is a powerful work of art, a break in the silence, a hand in space that seems to say: “You kill me, but not the idea that is within me”. This is the artist’s homage to the socialist MP from Fratta Polesine who was assassinated in 1924. He was killed bcause he spoke out against the rigged elections that brought the fascist party into power. (Piazza Matteotti – Rovigo)
St. Bartholomew Door
St. Bartholomew Door is one of the two ancient entrances to the city. The other is St. Agustin Door, but this one is in better condition. After the damaged it incurred in the Salt war the door was renovated, as recorded by Marin Sanudo in 1483. The door overlooks what is now Merlin square. It connects the downtown with the San Bartolomeo district, from which its name comes. The original building was topped by ramparts, but in 1639 it was extended. The remains of the ramparts are still visible. In that year mayor Vittorio Correr had a clock put on the tower, with faces on both the inside and the outside of the city. In the portico underneath, marble reliefs depict the Coat of Arms of Doge Giovanni Mocenigo and of Giosafat Barbaro, the captian and supervisor of Polesine. (Piazza Merlin – Rovigo)
St. Agustin Door
Its name comes from the ancient church of St. Agustin. It was part of the Hermitan convent, which was demolished in 1772 to make room for the new episcopal seminary. The Portello, a smaller door, used be a short distance away. It was demolished in 1824. There are no documents that can help date the door. It was rebuilt in 1713, which is when it acquired its curvilinear appearance. In 1983, during renovations, the ancient “Porta Divi Agustini” writing was replaced with “”Porta Augustina” because it had become unreadable. The ancient wall had many doors, towers, and ramparts that guarded the city. The San Bortolo wall has the last standing tower, Pighin Tower. (Porta S. Agostino – Rovigo)
Of all the towers that punctuated the medieval walls, the one in via Pighin. Originally the tower was open on the side that faced the city, as its sole purpose was defense, not housing. The interior had a few wooden floors connected by ladders. In the 18th century, once it had lost its military purpose, it was turned into a house by adding the missing wall. The building was abandoned for a few decades in the past century. The lasts renovation has made it inhabitable once again. (via Pighin – Rovigo)
Pillar with the lion of St. Mark
On February 6th 1508 the city council unanimously decided to build a column with the symbol of the Venetian Republic in the Piazza Maggiore. The monument was built in 1519 by Antonio Scarpagnin, as reported by documents of the time. The monument is in its original position. According to accounts from those days, the lion was decorated with gold, and the base featured the coats of arms of the City and of Mayor Giovanni Corner. In the 18th century it became a meeting point for traders, who built their stores around it. On May 17th 1797 the symbols of Venice, the lion, and the Corner coat of arms were removed by the French troops in Rovigo. In 1818 the column was renovated, and in 1881 the lion was rebuilt by Natale Sanavio. (Piazza Vittorio Emanuele II – Rovigo)
In June of 1882, after the death of the hero of the two worlds, Rovigo decided to commission an equestrian statue to commemorate him. In the same year a tragic flood caused by the Adige devastated the city. The statue was commissioned some time later and Ettore Ferrari finished it in 1896. Ferrari only asked to be paid the pocket expenses for the bronze monument’s construction. He was given honorary citizenship for this gesture. An interesting anecdote, which is probably untrue, is that the monument was supposed to be sent to Rome, but the statue was taken to Rovigo instead. Supposedly, the notoriously republican artist had placed two crowns under the stirrups in contempt of the Savoy monarchy. (Piazza Garibaldi – Rovigo)
Vittorio Emanuele II monument
After the death of the first king of Italy, on January 9th 1878, Rovigo dedicated its main square to him and had a statue built to commemorate him. The job was given to artist Giulio Monteverde. The monument was inaugurated on September 25th 1881. The king is depicted as he examines a model of the battlefield on a trench gabion. Both are on his right. The monument follows the aesthetic customs of sculpture in those times. (Piazza Vittorio Emanuele II – Rovigo)
The Annonario market was built in 1860, in place of the 1700s St. Dominic convent and church. The market inherited the cloister’s original layout. Once upon a time, the small square housed the municipal bakery, which supposedly had the best bread in town. Nowadays some grocery stores remain. They sell food, fruit and vegetables, household objects and, since the fishery’s closure, the only fresh fish in town. (Piazza Annonaria – Rovigo)
This square, which was once called Piazza Roma, is dedicated to the politician and mayor of Rovigo, Umberto Merlin. A large fountain is in its center, surrounded by trees. The square is bordered by a covered market that rests against the Ghetto’s few remaining buildings. The Ghetto was demolished in 1930. St. Bortolo Door is in front of the square. Of all the doors to the city on the wall, it’s the only one left. (Piazza Merlin – Rovigo)
It was built in 1809 after the demolition of the church of St. Justina. The church’s layout is still visible on the square’s pavement. It first was an herb and fruit market, then the statue of Giuseppe Garibaldi was placed in 1896. The Chamber of Commerce and the caffè della Borsa (Stock exchange café) overlook the square. From one end the Ravenna Palace, the Social Theater, and Silvestri Palace are visible.
(Piazza Garibaldi – Rovigo)
Vittorio Emanuele II Square
Piazza Maggiore (the main square) was used for the city’s civil and commercial purposes since its construction. It was already surrounded by porticos in the 13th century. It still keeps its medieval design. On the northern is the Lodge of the Notari, the city hall. It used to be flanked by the Viscount’s palace, which no longer exists. The Clock Tower next to the Lodge was rebuilt in 1790. It inherited its bell from the castle’s keep. A monument to King Vittorio Emanuele II, sculpted in 1853 by Giulio Monteverde, is on the 1506 pavement. Several manors overlook the square. Palazzo Roverella was built in the renaissance, and houses the Picture Gallery of the Academy of the Concordi. Palazzo Roncale was built in 1555, and it overlooks the square along with the Building of the Academy of the Concordi. The 1853 building of the Austrian guard corps is in the background. The Istria stone column with the lion of TS. Mark is also visible. It was first built in 1519 by the Venetian Republic, and rebuilt in 1881 after it was demolished by the French in 1797.
(Piazza Vittorio Emanuele II – Rovigo)
This old sugar factory is between Rovigo and the Adige River, by the Padua – Bologna railway. It was built in 1906 by the Italian Society of the Sugar Industry. It was active until 1978, when the society went bankrupt and the entire area was sold. In 1991 the Service Center was instituted, with the goal of recovering these building and the surrounding area. It was turned into an important fair ground, which is used for expos and conferences. It’s also a university campus for the nearby Universities of Padua and of Ferrara. The modifications respected the old factory’s architecture, leaving the full-height main body of the sugar body as a space for expositions. The wings were divided into three floors connected by metal ramps.(Viale Porta Adige, 45 – Rovigo)