The Architecture of the Lower Polesine


Porto Tolle: Farmhouses and Manors

Ca' Farsetti
(Owner: Barbiero)

The group of buildings is situated not far from the bridge on the river Po linking Donzella Island to the mainland, loc. Molo. It was built in the second half of the 17th century by Antonio Francesco Farsetti, but it is characterized by architectural features witnessing the radical transformation it underwent at the beginning of the 20th century.
The structure consists of a manor with an adjacent farmhouse in the east and in the west a cottage and a small oratory that was built later, during the renovation works. The area adjacent to the buildings is almost entirely covered by a barnyard paved with concrete.

Disegno Ca Farsetti

Disegno Ca Farsetti
  • Istituto Comprensivo di Porto Tolle (Rovigo) First-Grade Secondary School "L. Brunetti"

Palazzo Camerini
(Owner: Veneto Agricoltura)

The group of buildings is situated in loc. Polesine Camerini and was built by the Duke Luigi Camerini at the end of the 19th century.
It is formed by the imposing central residence facing south, from which two lateral wings stretch out - used as barns, cellars, and storehouses - and by some cottages adjacent to the lateral wings, used as hired workers' houses and as storehouses.
The courtyard included a huge barnyard paved with fired bricks. At the moment, this group of buildings is in a bad state of preservation.

Foto P Camerini

Disegno PCamerini
Foto Tenuta Ca Dolfin

Tenuta Ca' Dolfin
(Owner: Arduini)

The complex built by the Earls Dolfin is situated near Po di Tolle in loc. Ca' Dolfin. The manor was built in the first half of the 18th century; considering that the surrounding lands were drained only at the end of the 19th century, it is likely that the family used the premises as a lagoon storehouse (called "casone") and it is also likely that is was equipped with a "cavana" (shelter for boats).
The complex is formed by a manor facing east-west and a cottage in the west of the house. The courtyard is partly formed by an area paved with concrete. The building was renovated in the first half of the 19th century and in the 50s, when the house was transformed and enlarged.

Disegno Tenuta Ca Dolfin

Disegno Tenuta Ca Dolfin
Foto Palazzo Zulian

Palazzo Zulian
(Owner: S.p.A.)

The complex is situated in an agricultural area near Po di Tolle, in loc. Ca' Zuliani, and was built in the second half of the 18th century by Zulian family.
It is formed by the manor and other buildings situated in the east and north of the house.

Disegno Palazzo Zulian
 Chiesa Ca VenierCa' Venier Church, photo V. Maggio

Drawing of silver lanterns used during the processions

Porto Tolle: The First Parish Churches after the Cut-Off

Ca' Venier Parish Church
(Saint Nicholas Bishop)

The Name
It was named after the Venetian family Venier who owned the estate.
Some History
After Porto Viro cut-off, Ca' Venier became property of the noble family Venier. At the beginning, the local inhabitants depended on Contarina Parish Church.
The Parish Church
On 5th February 1684, the Bishop of Chioggia separated with a decree the territory of Ca' Venier from Contarina Parish and formed the new Parish, dedicating the church to St Nicholas of Bari. The original church was blessed on 16th December 1696. Later on, the building was destroyed by the 1839 flood of the river Po.
On 15th December 1852 the new church was blessed and in 1860 the bell tower was added. Ciceruacchio (Angelo Brunetti) and his pals who, after been shot, had been buried in the flood plain, were moved here. It is the most ancient local church.

Madonna delle Vittorie
Madonna delle Vittorie, statue of the early 18th century, photo V. Maggio

Chiesa Donzella
Drawing of Donzella Parish Church

Donzella Parish Church
(Madonna del Carmine)

The Name
The location is only two kilometers far from Porto Tolle town center. According to the legend, the term "donzella" (meaning "maiden") derives from the tale of the unmarried daughter of the Venetian noble Francesco Farsetti, who drowned in this branch of the river Po.
Some History
Francesco Farsetti built a palace with a small private chapel in loc. Molo. In 1696, his sons decided to build a church dedicated to Madonna del Carmine in loc. Donzella.
The Parish Church
On 14th February 1698, a decree of the Bishop Antonio Grassi transformed Donzella or Ca' Farsetti into a Parish, separating it from Ca' Venier. The bell tower was built in 1884. The Venetian-style church, whose baptistry has been declared national monument, was abandoned in 1956 since it was made unsafe by the water erosion of Po di Gnocca.

Madonna Carmine
Madonna del Carmine, statue of the early 18th century, photo V. Maggio
Chiesa Tolle
Tolle Parish Church

Tolle Parish Church
(Beata Vergine del Rosario)

The Name
The name probably derives from a small port where a few fishermen families used to live in wooden houses. As a matter of fact, the word "wood" is in the local dialect "tola", from which Tolle. The location is situated near the homonymous branch of the river Po.
Some History
Towards the half of the 18th century, N.H. Girolamo Correr purchased some land near the place where the church was built later. This area is seven kilometers far from Porto Tolle.
The Parish Church
With the decree issued on 28th April 1740, Bishop Benzoni separated Tolle Parish from Ca' Venier. The church was built thanks to the funds that the Venetian Senate used to give at that time to the local population for the building of churches and houses. In the church, a marble statue of Madonna del Rosario is worshipped: according to the tradition, this statue was transported by the land owners on a raft along the river.

Beata Vergine Rosario
Beata Vergine del Rosario, 16th century statue, photo V. Maggio
Chiesa Gnocca
Gnocca Parish Church

Gnocca Parish Church
(St. Andrew the Apostle)

The Name
It derives from the branch of Po di Gnocca.
Some History
The church was built by N.H. Tomè Mocenigo Soranzo, owner of the estate situated about ten kilometers far from Porto Tolle.
It was born as an oratory and was inaugurated and blessed in 1737 as a branch (or "curazia") of Donzella Parish Church.
The Parish Church
After the 1966 flood and the subsequent decrease in the population, the church was closed on 8th September 1968.
In 1978, both the building and the annexed bell tower were demolished because unfit for use and unsafe.
Almost all the furnishing and sacred objects of the church have been lost, including an 18th century canvas representing St. Andrew the Apostle, ascribed to Tiepolo.

Monstrance, 18th century, photo V. Maggio

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"