Povegliano Veronese

GEOGRAPHY

The town, with its surface of 18.53 km², is located at an average altitude of 47 m above sea level. It is 14 km south-west of Verona. Its land is rich in springs and karst springs, some of which are protected and taken care of. The territory counts 44 of them. One of those springs originates the river Tartaro. Its only fraction is Madonna dell'Uva Secca. It borders the comuni of Mozzecane, Nogarole Rocca, Vigasio, Castel d'Azzano and Villafranca Veronese.

ETYMOLOGY

The origins of Povegliano's name are well known thanks to palaeontology literature. It is mainly linked to the discovery of a Bronze-Age necropolis between 1876 and 1877 around Gambaloni and to a late Iron-Age burial site, discovered in Campi magri della Bora and in Madonna dell'Uva Secca. The name to the town was, almost certainly, given by the "gens Popilia". They were the original inhabitants, followers of Caio Popilio, who came from Liguria in 172 b.C. and settled here to work the land.

HISTORY

The town of Povegliano, placed between the high and the low Veronese valley, is characterized by the several natural springs scattered across its territory and by the canals that allow the irrigation and the cultivation of the land. These particular features of the terrain crucially conditioned the choice of the location of human settlements. The first inhabitants lived indeed in stilt houses, and so did later other protohistoric populations. Even if it is impossible to speculate with any certainty on which was the role fo Povegliano during the Roman era, it is anyway certain that the area was widely populated, expecially during the late Empire. Of particular interest are some archaeological discoveries of 1880, such as the one around "pezza grassa" where a gravestone was brought to light, although it remains impossible to recreate its context. Several documents dating back to 1137 - 1146 give evidence of the presence in Povegliano of the Scaligeri. To this powerful family, the town, owes one of its most interesting historical periods.

Another family that left an enduring mark in Povegliano, was the Balladoro family. The Balladoros of Santa Maria alla Fratta of Verona, appeared in Povegliano in 1604, through the Orio inheritance. The Balladoro family reached its highest splendour with Gio Batta, in the first years of seventeenth century, but its enrichment begins way earlier with the trade of cloths of which Verona had been a remarkable exchange centre at the times. Later, through the acquisition of the Bisello, an inhabited compound of houses and yards, the economical interests of the Balladoro family shifted more and more towards a large agricultural activity. With the arrival of Napoleonic troops, the town suffered the loss of the several artworks present in churches and country houses. The recent history of Povegliano is quite similar to the history of many other small towns of the Veronese territory.

ART

There are still many historical landmarks on the area of Povegliano, first of all the twelfth-century Sanctuary della Madonna dell'Uva Secca, inside of which there is a seventeenth-century painting: "Vergine col Bambino", an altarpiece credited to the school of l'Orbetto: "L'Annunciazione”, another altarpiece by Biagio Pacieri depicting Sant'Antonio, a twelfth-century fresco entitled: "La Dominazione" by the school of l'Altichiero and of l'Avanzo, a painting by Antonio Badile: "Vergine in trono con bambino ed angeli" There is the parish of San Martino, completely rebuilt in the 1960s, maintaining its original belfry. Inside it there is an altarpiece by Donato Zenone picturing San Marino and in the crypt there is the statue of San Ulderico consecrated on 04 July 1308. Worth seeing is the niche of San Espedito Martire, the oratory of Santissimo Redentore, the oratory of the Pignolà and the church dedicated to San Nicola da Tolentino. Among the Villas, instead, there are Villa Balladoro Malfatti, a neoclassical eighteenth-century building surrounded by a beautiful garden hosting an archaeological museum, and Corte "La Prà".

ECONOMY

Until 1950 the economy of Povegliano had been almost exclusively agricultural. The farms mainly grew wheat, corn and fodder and bred both stable and courtyard animals. Shortly after World War II, production activities began a considerable evolution process. The number of farmers gradually decreased in favour of a growing amount of craftmanship business and some small industries. There are few relevant industrial establishments and countless small family businesses. The remaining population seeks employment in Verona or in the nearby towns surrounding Povegliano.