History of the province of Rovigo
County south of Venice
Rovigo as the capital of the homonymous province was first mentioned in the 9th century. The exposed location in the river delta between Po and Adige made it difficult for the city to compete with its powerful neighbouring cities such as Verona, Padua and Venice. In the 11th century the princes of Este took power over Rovigo and secured the city until it was conquered by Venice in 1483 and incorporated into Veneto. After a brief interlude by Napoleon and the Austrians, Rovigo was finally incorporated into the Kingdom of Italy in 1866 where it enjoyed a strong economic revival.
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Rovigo from antiquity to the Middle Ages
Rovigo was first mentioned in an official document in Ravenna in 838. Shortly after this, the city appeared as an interim residence of the Bishop of Adria, who started on the first fortifications of the city. In the 11th century the princes of Este from Ferrara finally took power in the province and secured the city properly. A castle and fortifications and a wall of brick were built – the remains are still on display in Rovigo. In 1194 the Duke of Ferrara, Azzo VI d’Este, with his title “Duke of Rovigo” officially took over the city. For about 400 years Rovigo was dominated by the noble family Este of Ferrara, until Venice began to conquer its hinterland after devastating defeats in the Mediterranean. Rovigo was besieged in 1482 and became part of the Venetian empire in 1484.
Rovigo from modern times until today
After a brief interlude by Napoleon Rovigo was made a royal city by the Austrians in 1815. The city experienced a real boom after its incorporation in the Kingdom of Italy. Rovigo was linked by a railway line with Padua, Ferrara, Chioggia and Verona. In 1866 and around the turn of the century the first modern industrial enterprises settled in and around the city. Today Rovigo is the agricultural and industrial centre of the Polesine and its historical ambience in the centre attracts tourists to the capital of the province of Rovigo.