Villanova Marchesana

  • Localization of the territory

  • Church of St. Mary of the Assumption

  • Former Totti Furnace in the Oasis of the Piarda Floodplain

  • Oasis of the Piarda Floodplain

The Piarda floodplain is characterized by a rich plant and animal life. The floodplain has a surface of over 30 hectares. Two furnaces were active here for several years. Now they are an important example of industrial history.

Churches and places of worship

santa_maria_assuntaChurch of St. Mary of the Assumption
The church is mentioned in documents from 1296. Between 1603 and 1608 the church was rebuilt. The bell tower was added between the 17th and 18th centuries. The present church, which is inspired by the older one, was built between 1765 and 1788. The baroque façade, in Ferrara style, is topped by a curvilinear pediment. One of the church’s paintings was by Ippolito Scarsella, known as Lo Scarsellino. Unfortunately, it was destroyed in a 1968 fire.
(via Chiesa – Villanova Marchesana)


chiesasanlorenzoChurch of St. Lawrence
A building existed since the 1200s, when the monks in Gavello were transferred here. In 1603 an episcopal report mentions an oratory in neglect. In 1469 the church was rebuilt in its entirety, as recorded on the plaque affixed to the façade. The bell tower is much more recent, as it was built in 1967. The façade is in Ferrara Renaissance style. The floor plan has a single nave.
(via Canalnovo – Canalnovo, Villanova Marchesana)



oratoriosgiovannibattistaOratory of St. John the Baptist 
This oratory is secluded in the Cisimatti area. Its name used to be Madonna del Pilastro (1603). It was owned by several different families in the area, from 1807 to this day. Now it belongs to the parish of St. Mary of Assumption, and it’s dedicated to St. John the Baptist.
(Cisimatti, Villanova Marchesana)



oratoriocameriniOratory of Villa Camerini
This oratory is annexed to Villa Camerini. It was built in the 18th century, and it used to be owned by the monastic order of Carthusians of Ferrara.
(via Santi – Villanova Marchesana)




Places of interest

palazzodaclonDaclon Palace
This four-storied villa was built in 1834 by a French officer of the Napoleonic army. He fell in love with a village girl, and dedicated the villa to her. 
(via Argine Po – Villanova Marchesana)



scuderievillaluisaVilla Luisa Stables
The building is formed by seven full arches. It used to be part of a late 19th century villa. The villa was demolished to reinforce the riverbank. Its park, with many trees, still remains.
(via Argine Po – Villanova Marchesana)



villacameriniCamerini Villa, now Brogiato Villa
This 1700s villa was built where an ancient Chartreuse monastery once stood. It has an oratory on its eastern side. 
(via Santi – Villanova Marchesana)




oasigolenapiardaOasis of the Piarda Floodplain 
The large Oasis of the Piarda Floodplain is by the Canalnovo hamlet, on the left bank of the Po. Inside the large natural preserve is the former Totti Furnace (1888-1964), now in a state of neglect. It’s an example of archaeological history. Another section is used as river mooring and rest area. The floodplain’s ponds are protected by the WWF as neting areas for herons, egrets and night herons.




The name’s etymology is from “villa”, with the addition of “Marchesana” as a reference to the House of Este who ruled this land first as marquis, then as dukes. It originated before the millennium, with the formation of settlements around monasteries and castles. It was initially owned by the Chartreuse friars, who had their monastery here. It was then settled by some families who farmed the surrounding lands in agreement with the friars. After the Po caused a flood in the 12th century, the Benedictine monks from the Gavello abbey moved to this area. In the 13th century its ownership switched to Ferrara. It became a municipality known as “Villanova dei Burzelli o dei Burgelli”. The name came from the Ferrara Family that owned part of the land, together with the House of Este. In the 15th century some of their holdings were sold to Marquis Nicolò III lord of Ferrara. In the 16th century the administration faced a crisis, and towards the end of the century the area joined the Papal State. During the Napoleonic invasion it was separated from the Papal State and annexed to the Cisalpine Republic. With the Austrian rule it was part of Rovigo’s Polesine. With the third war of independence, it joined the Kingdom of Italy.