New Delta, New Conflicts

Also the new Delta was the theater of battles between Venice and the Holy See, battles in which also the Austrians and the French took part.
These long disputes led to the localization of the border along Po di Goro between two states first, and between the regions Veneto and Emilia afterwards.

 Pianta del forte
Plan of Pesaro della Donzella Fortress, drawing, 17th century. Venice, State Archive

Porto torri Magnavacca
Magnavacca port and towers, color drawing, 18th century.
Ferrara, Biblioteca Comunale Ariostea
Corografia provincia Rovigo
Chorography of the province of Rovigo, mid-19th century.
P.g.c. Bottega delle Arti di Padova.
 Vittorioso passaggio Po
L. DE GIORGI, Victorious crossing of the river Po by the Papal army, printing, 1643, Ferrara, Biblioteca Comunale Ariostea

Pilastri per confini
TEMANZA - GIACCOMELLI, Pillar models used to mark the border along Po di Goro. Venice, State Archive

The 17th Century Wars

Between 1640 and 1644, the "Castro war" (Castro was a Farnese feud in Lazio) was fought between the Holy See and the dukedom of Parma, with which Venice entered into an alliance. The war was mainly fought in the territories of Polesine and Ferrara. In the Delta, the Venetian army conquered Bocchette Fort, near Po di Goro, destroyed Abate tower, the port of Goro, and plundered Codigoro. In September 1643, Pontelagoscuro battle was fought. The 1644 peace entitled Venice to exercise its rights on the new lands of the Delta.

Urbano VIII
Urban VIII, engraving. Ferrara, Biblioteca Comunale Ariostea

Allegoria del Po
Allegory of the river Po, engraving by GIAN BATTISTA PIAZZETTA in Convenzione tra la Santa Sede e la Serenissima Repubblica di Venezia per li confini d'Ariano. Rovigo, Accademia dei Concordi

18th Century: An "Itinerant" Border

During the War of the Spanish Succession (1700-1714), between 1706 and 1708 the imperial troops occupied the Ferrarese area, reclaimed by the Hapsburg Emperor Joseph I. Comacchio was given back to the Holy See in 1725.
The dispute between Venice and the Holy See regarding the borders of the Delta was revived in the 30s and the parties built some fortifications along Po di Ariano. In 1749, they signed in Venice an agreement according to which the border between the two states had to cross Ariano Island and had to be "itinerant", that is it had to move forward as the land advanced, maintaining always the same distance from Po di Goro.

Scena guerra
War scene from LODOVICO MENIN, Il costume di tutti i tempi e di tutte le nazioni. Descritto ed illustrato. Atlante, 19th century. Rovigo, Accademia dei Concordi

19th Century: The Settlement of the Borders

The arrival of the French in 1796 changed the borders once again: Rovigo was assigned to Padova (Brenta District), Adria to Venice and the Delta to Ferrara. In 1801, the areas of Ferrara, Comacchio, and Rovigo (including also Loreo and Cavarzere) passed to the Lower Po District. In 1805, with the Kingdom of Italy, Cantone di Codigoro was established: it extended also in the north of Po di Goro, including the municipalities of Ariano, Taglio di Po, and San Nicolò (the actual Porto Tolle). In 1807 Adria was annexed to the Adriatic District together with Loreo and Cavarzere.
In 1815, with Lombardo-Veneto Kingdom, the border between Venetia and Emilia reached its current location, along Po Grande and Po di Goro.
In 1818 Adria returned to the province of Rovigo, while Loreo and Ariano were assigned to Venice. Only in 1853 the areas of Ariano and Loreo and the whole Delta were annexed to the province of Rovigo, which gained its definitive geographical conformation.

Governo Venezia
ATTILIO ZUCCAGNI-ORLANDINI, Governo di Venezia. Provincie di Padova e Rovigo from the 5th volume of Atlante Corografia Fisica, Storica e Statistica dell'Italia e delle sue isole, Florence 1842-1845. P.g.c. Bottega delle Arti di Padova
Corso finale Po
Final stretch of the river Po with Venetian and Papal fort, drawing, 17th century.
Venice, State Archive

Topografia Comacchio
Topography of the town of Comacchio fortified by the Germans. Ferrara, Biblioteca Comunale Ariostea

Polesine di Rovigo
ANTONIO ZATTA, Polesine di Rovigo, Venice 1782.
Rovigo, Accademia dei Concordi

Litorale adriaticoGAETANO FRIZZI, Adriatic coast from Fosson to Primaro, color drawing. Ferrara, Biblioteca Ariostea

Leader+ Community Initiative Measure 2.1 Action 2.1a) "Interterritorial Cooperation"
Project: "Historical-Cultural Heritage Enhancement and Tourist Promotion of the Po Delta Territory"
Action A: Po Delta "Heritage Promotion"