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Città di Adria

Provincia di Rovigo - Regione del Veneto



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Visit Adria

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The National Archaeological Museum


The National Archaeological Museum preserves some magnificent finds testifying the ancient splendour of the port of Adria.
The building, designed by the famous architect G.B. Scarpari from Adria, was inaugurated in September 1961 in order to display the remarkable finds collected since 1770 by the Bocchi family and coming from other private collections. The museum exhibition is also the result of the finds unearthed during several archaeological excavations.
The prehistoric period is poorly documented, while the exhibition is rich in remains concerning the ancient settlement, situated in the south part of the town, dating back to the VI th century B.C. when Adria was a flourishing port frequented by various civilizations (namely the Paleo–Venetians, the Greeks and the Etruscans).
The Attic vases with black and red figurines painted by famous painters are strikingly beautiful. The Greeks exchanged these vases in the port for metals, wheat and the highly sought-after local horse breeds. In addition to the rich variety of Greek ceramics, the museum exhibition also includes some valuable Etruscan remains. Having arrived in the territory by the half of the VIth century B.C., their presence is revealed by some inscriptions engraved on vases, the so–called bucchero, and by a great number of bronze objects. However, it is the collection of gold jewels which represents the most prominent element of the Etruscan section with its precious range of drop pendants, disk–shaped bullae, necklace beads and ear-rings.
In the II nd century B.C. the Romans settled in the territory. Their presence is testified by elegant multi-colored glass vases which are perfectly preserved: glasses, beakers, cups, unguent pots, cinerary urns. Further evidence of the Romans’ presence is the milestone of Popillius, probably dating back to 132 B.C., when Publius Popillius Laenas, the son of Caio, was consul. Worth mentioning is also the so–called Tomba della Biga discovered during the excavation of the Canalbianco necropolis in 1938. The tomb contains the skeletons of two young Venetian-breed horses paired and yoked to a cart. The discovery of a weapon suggests that it was a currus, the war chariot of a young warrior belonging to an aristocratic family, perhaps of Celtic origin.


The Municipal Theatre


The musical and theatrical tradition of Adria is deeply rooted.
Indeed, the presence of a theatre in the area where the Civil Hospital stands today during Roman times appears to be certain.
In the second half of the sixteenth century thanks to Luigi Groto's (the Blind man of Adria) efforts, the town was endowed with a theatrical structure in which some of his works were performed.
With the exception of a few shows, which took place in the seventeenth century and of which there is no clear record, it is only in 1803 that the deconsecrated church of S. Stefano, which gave the theatre its name, was used as a theatre.
On the contrary, the documents and the testimonies concerning a subsequent theatre are not lacking. Over the course of the years and of various directorships, the theatre underwent several changes of name: Teatro Fidora, Teatro della Società and Teatro Orfeo. The activity of this theatre covers about a century and represents a tradition of melodrama and opera which is still alive today.
After a lengthy period of planning and construction, a new building was inaugurated in September 1935: the present-day Teatro Comunale, as it was named in recent times, after having been known as Teatro del Littorio and Teatro del Popolo. After some very successful seasons, this theatre still stages performances, thus keeping the lyric and prose tradition of Adria alive.


The Cathedral of the Saints Apostles Pietro and Paolo


The church was built in the early XIX th century on the site of a building dating back to the XV th century which in turn had been constructed on the site of more ancient one. In the Jubilee year 1925, a statue of the Redeemer, a work carried out by Francesco Sartor di Cavaso, was added to the tympanum of the façade. The statue is surmounted by a polychrome rear window representing the Virgin at the centre, surrounded by the saints Pietro and Paolo.
The interior, built on a Latin cross plan, has three naves divided by arches supported by pillars with capitals of composite order.
During some excavation works, carried out in 1830 in order to verify the solidity of the foundations, remains of the so–called “crypt”, which were probably the choir of the primitive Cathedral, a very ancient building which could confirm the apostolic origin of the diocese of Adria, and frescoes portraying images of apostles were brought to light.
Some scholars recognize in the frescoes the stylistic features of the late Carolingian art.
The Cathedral contains other valuable works of art such as a precious bas–relief in white marble, the most ancient evidence of the devotion of the town to the Virgin, representing the Virgin seated on the throne with the Child on her lap and in the imposing Sacristy called dei Canonici some artistic carved wood wardrobes realized in the second half of the XV th century by Jacopo Piazzetta.


The Basilica of the Tomb


The first Basilica of the Tomb, dating back to the early centuries of the Christian era, is most likely to have been built on the remains of a more ancient pagan basilica.
The present-day building is mainly the result of work carried out in the XVIII th century (the new façade juts out further than the previous one) and between 1930 and 1940.
According to some, the origin of the name alla tomba or della tomba might come from the discovery nearby of the tomb of an illustrious Roman whose name was Quinto Tizio Sertoriano, whereas for others it comes from the Latin name for the raised area (ad tumulum) where the basilica stands.
The present bell tower of pure Venetian style is a work by the architect Gianbattista Scarpari.
Inaugurated in 1931, it is mainly located on the site of the previous one which was a squat medieval tower situated in its turn on the ruins of what, according to the popular tradition, was an ancient Roman light house of the Adriatic Sea.
A plaque written in Latin which is to be found on the south wall of the base recalls the origin of the building with the following text: What I once was – tower – and I showed the way to the ships – I am still now – tower – rebuilt in the year 1931 – and under my guidance I show heaven to men and with my voice I call those who have to go to the Temple.
The interior of the basilica preserves some precious works of art such as a historic baptistery consisting of an octagonal basin, a XVth century fresco portraying the Madonna delle Grazie while suckling the Baby, called Madonna del Latte, and a precious XVth terracotta representing the Dormitio Virginis closed in a niche carved at the base of the bell tower.


The Clock Tower


The tower was constructed on the site the old Town Hall. In the central part of the building stands the turret with the clock. Like the Cathedral and other surrounding buildings, the Tower overlooks the Garibaldi Square, better known as Castello Square.
In order to explain the origin of the name it must be borne in mind that until a few decades ago the centre was enclosed between two branches of the canal named Canalbianco which separated in the west part of the town only to join up again immediately in the eastern part. The area between these two branches was called isola, while the southern and northern districts are still called della Tomba and di Castello today. No visible traces remain of the castle itself, which certainly existed in ancient times, nor of its surrounding districts. However, some stone and brick elements have been brought to light and a tower, which must have been part of it, is depicted in an engraving by Giampiccoli. The motif of a castle and tower is also portrayed on the coat of arms of the Municipality.


Mecenati Villa, seat of the Conservatory


Mecenati Villa is also another very important centre for music in the town.
Built in the thirties as a rural dwelling belonging to a large agricultural estate, the building was later transformed into an Empire-style villa by the architect G.B. Scarpari who was commissioned by the owner, Maestro Ferrante Mecenati. Surrounded by a big garden, its white façade is decorated with elegant pilasters which mark the distribution of the windows.
Since 1972, when the building was donated to the people of Adria along with its prestigious furniture and library by the Mecenati family, this splendid villa has housed the A. Buzzolla Music Academy.
Inside there is a small hall dedicated to the soprano Rosetta Pampanini with rich furnishings and souvenirs of her triumphal tours in Italy and abroad.


The Rivieras


The historical centre runs along Corso Vittorio Emanuele II and crosses the Canalbianco on the Castello branch during its course from north to south, thus giving rise to rivieras characterized by a typical Venetian atmosphere: on the right Riviera Roma, formely called degli Orti, on the left Riviera Matteotti, formely called Riviera Belvedere.
In the past, along the section of the canal between Castello bridge and the swing- bridge called Sant’Andrea, moorings could be found for the boats and bragozzi which used to transport goods (mainly grain, flour, horticultural products, timber, coal) between Adria, the areas of the Delta and the Venetian lagoon. The loading and unloading of the boats were carried out by dockhands. They followed one another in a row, bent under the weight of their heavy loads, on narrow wooden footbridges laid out between the boats and some stone platforms. Almost all of them wore black shirts, not because they supported the widespread political ideology of the period, but because they wanted to hide the build up of dust and the stains on their clothing. They were divided into groups called "caravans". Each caravan had a leader and furious quarrels between rival groups would often break out over loading rights or regarding the share of the profits of a hard day’s work.


The Scarpari Gardens


The Scarpari gardens, now part of the Municipality, are so named after the family that originally owned it.
The gardens are characterized by the presence of a beautiful basin with a statue in white marble by Gaetano Samoggia and by a portico in cement that stands out against the backdrop. They flank the nineteenth-century Scarpari Villa decorated with eighteenth-century imitation stuccoes.


Data aggiornamento scheda

Corso Vittorio Emanuele II n. 49 | 45011 Adria (RO) | Centralino: 0426 - 9411 | Fax: 0426 - 900380
P.Iva / C.F. 00211100292 / 81002900298
Posta elettronica certificata istituzionale: protocollo.comune.adria.ro@pecveneto.it