Vigasio

GEOGRAPHY

Vigasio is 20 km south west of Verona and with its surface of 30,81 km², it is located at an altitude of 37 m above sea level. Its fractions are: Forette, Isolalta and Campagnamagra. The river Tartaro flows through an area of its territory where some other minor rivers converge. It borders Povegliano Veronese, Villafranca, Castel d’Azzano, Buttapietra, Isola della Scala, Trevenzuolo and Nogarole Rocca.

ETYMOLOGY

The name of the town is certainly of Roman origins, even if it is difficult to determine the exact etymological derivation. "Vicus Aderis", "Vicus Athesis", "Vicus Attii", meaning an aggregate of buildings and lands of the "gens Attia", which from Rome, moves to various areas around the province of Verona.    

HISTORY

The Celts were the first inhabitants of this area. They took advantage of the several karst springs on these lands, and ate mainly beets and river prawns. These foods, today quite uncommon, are depicted in the town's emblem in memory of its ancient origins. Several Celtic weapons and tools were discovered in various occasions in Campagnamagra and Isolalta, it can be assumed that the origins of the town date back to the 800s b.C. Only in the Middle Ages did Vigasio become permanently inhabited and one of the several estates of the abbey of San Zeno of Verona, whose Benedictine monks worked on, to reclaim its humid lands canalizing the waters arising from the karst springs. Vigasio gained historical relevance in 1164 when the Emperor Federico Barbarossa encamped in Vaccaldo with his army. In 1226, the commune claimed its autonomy sustained by its own statute, while in the fifteenth century it joined the parsonage of Cà di Campagna. In 1232 the village was repeatedly destroyed by the recurring raids of Mantova's troops, fighting against Verona. During the domination of Verona, Vigasio was a substantial trade centre and continued the works of land reclamation to gain additional terrains for rice farming an livestock. Along with the paddy fields eight rice mills were built on the riverside. After the fall of Venezia, the area remained untouched by the main historical events, until it was included in the Austrian defensive plan called "Quadrilatero" (Quadrilateral). Only in the late 1900s, thanks to the building of the railway line that connected Verona and Legnago and the intensive sericulture, in Vigasio appeared the first industrial establishments that emplyed mainly female labour force.

ART

There are some small Romanesque churches in Vaccaldo, Nadalina, Salette; in Campagnara there is one which is worth seeing, especially because it has recently been restored. Other medival churches are the church of San Michele, today abandoned; the church of Sant'Eurosia and the church of San Bernardino. The parish was built in the 1800s, upon an older structure, it boasts a bell tower of the 1300s and inside it there is a baptismal font of the 1400s and a wooden statue of the sixteenth century portraying the Madonna. Not far from there is the new parish, in modern style. The rural compound of Corte Vaccaldo and Villa Italo Montemezzi was built in the 1600s and is surrounded by a garden placed in the very heart of the town, its interiors are profusely adorned and it can be visited on appointment. The elegant Villa Zambonina with its baroque embellishments was built in 1706. Inside there are wide halls with statues and decorations, while on the outside there is a beautiful Italian garden. In Forette there is Villa Malaspina, with its sober style typical of Veneto. In Isolalta there is Villa Carnevali with its rustic looks and its dovecote, and inside the church of San Pietro there is a painting of 1490 of the Venetian school. Noteworthy is also Villa Bassini-Nocca with its modern structure; Villa Montini and its two square towers. Moreover, among the many rice mills of the territory, one can be visited near the riseria Graziani.     

ECONOMY

Thanks to the large abundance of water, the area specialized in the farming of fodder, vegetables, rice, barley, wheat, corn and poplar trees. Lately greenhouse farming was implemented and focused on strawberries, melons and vegetables. There are also cattle and chicken farms. With the expansion of craftsmanship and industry, and the empowering of the trade networks, the mechanical and textile sector along with the shoe and furniture businesses experienced a remarkable development.