Nogarole Rocca

GEOGRAPHY

The town of Nogarole Rocca, with its surface of 29.24 km² is located at an average altitude of 37 m above sea level. It is 21 km south of Verona, adjacent to the province of Mantova. Its two fractions are Bagnolo and Pradelle and it borders with the Comuni of Mozzecane, Povegliano Veronese, Roverbella (under the province of Mantova), Trevenzuolo and Vigasio.

ETYMOLOGY

The town's name’s origins are related to the Nogarola family, which in 773 descended upon Italy from France, following Charlemagne. Once settled in these lands they built a castle and named it after their family. For centuries this fortification was tied to the historical events and affairs of its surrounding territory.

HISTORY

The remains of Bronze Age dwellings, unveiled by recent archaeological findings, demonstrate the presence of its first inhabitants back in the 1500s b.C. Further discoveries gave evidence of human settlements on the course of the river Tione, around "Corte Vivaro". The town's name references the fortification built by the French family of Nogarole, which settled here during the reign of Lotario II (933). The castle was burned down by Mantuan troops in 1233, and then it was restored throughout the following decade. Throughout the centuries the family was split into two branches of the same lineage and in the 1200s there were two "De Nogarolis" families in Verona, one legacy of Zanfredo and the other of Antonio. The murder of Mastino della Scala (head of the Signoria Scaligera), consumed in Piazza Erbe, involved the death of Antonio Nogarola, who died trying to defend his friend. This brought the two families so close together to the point that in 1359 the properties and estates of the Nogarola was inherited by the Della Scala. La Rocca di Nogarole became battle scenario of the conflict between the Scaligeri and the Gonzaga in the mid-1300s, and sheltered the Milanese noble Matteo Visconti diuring his exile. It became property of la Serenissima Repubblica di Venezia in 1404 and was then acquired by a Venetian Signore through an auction in 1543. In the 1600s the lands were scourged by a terrible pestilence, that thrived virulently in the moist and malarial climate due to the marshy nature of the landscape. Since then the town has occupied a marginal role in the historical events, until the end of WWII, when several lands were reclaimed allowing Nogarole Rocca to escape its atavistic isolation, and become an important economic centre.

 

ART

There are several relevant and meaningful points of interest. First of all the remains of the Rocca di Nogarole, restored by the Nogarola family in the thirteenth century, once crucial location for the dominion on the surrounding territory, especially during the age of the Signorie. Then there is the parish, dedicated to San Lorenzo Martire, rebuilt in the 1700s upon its former thirteenth-century structure. Inside, there are a beautiful well preserved eighteenth-century pipe organ and a painting by Domenico Brusasorci (1500). In Bagnolo there is the sixteenth-century church of San Martino with its recently restored polyptych credited to the school of Badile. There is also a Chapel of the 1700s in Colombare, where mills and buildings are scattered across the countryside.

 

ECONOMY

The connection of the town to the highway A22 represents a drastic turning point for the local economy and its industrialization. Important industries, specialized in mechanics and food farming, thrived in the area. Agriculture takes advance of the modern technological support for rice farming and the breeding of beef cattle, chicken and pigs. Thanks to the flourishing trade markets the handicraft businesses could specialise in wood and iron working.