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An article from the 1911 Encyclopaedia Britannica, now in the public domain.
Any color photos are mine, © William P. Thayer.


[image ALT: A park in which two semi-ruined stone towers, a taller thinner one on the left (about 65 m high) and a shorter squatter one on the right, tilt at alarming angles toward the center of the photograph.]

Rovigo: the Torre Donà, among the tallest in Italy,
and the Torre Mozza.

Only part of the alarming angles is accounted for by camera parallax: notice the (perfectly vertical) lamp posts, one near each tower.

Rovigo, a town of Venetia, Italy, capital of the province of Rovigo. It stands on the low ground between the lower Adige and the lower Po, 50 m. by rail SW of Venice and 27 m. SSW of Padua, and on the Adigetto Canal, 17 ft. above sea-level. Pop. (1901) 6038 (town); 10,735 (commune).​a It is a station  p783 on the line between Bologna and Padua, with branches to Legnago and Chioggia. The architecture of the town bears the stamp both of Venetian and of Ferrarese influence. The cathedral church of Santo Stefano (1696) is of less interest than La Madonna del Soccorso, an octagon with a fine campanile, begun in 1594 by Francesco Zamberlano of Bassano, a pupil of Palladio. The town hall contains a library including some rare early editions, belonging to the Accademia de' Concordi, founded in 1580, and a fair picture gallery enriched with the spoils of the monasteries. The Palazzo Roncali is a fine Renaissance building by Sanmicheli (1555). Two towers of its medieval castle remain. Wool, silk, linen and leather are among the local manufactures.

Rovigo (Neo-Latin Rhodigium) appears to be mentioned as Rodigo in 838. It was selected as his residence by the bishop of Adria on the destruction of his city by the Huns. From the 11th to the 14th century the Este family was usually in authority; but the Venetians took the place by siege in 1482 and retained possession of it by the peace of 1484, and though the Este more than once recovered it, the Venetians, returning in 1514, retained possession till the French Revolution. In 1806 the city was made a duchy in favor of General Savary. The Austrians in 1815 created it a royal city.

[T. As.]

Thayer's Note:

a The official ISTAT figures for 2002 put the population of the comune of Rovigo at 50,274.

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Site updated: 12 Jul 08