Ronco all'Adige

GEOGRAPHY

The town, with its surface of 42.82 km², is located at an average altitude of 23 m above sea level. It is 28 km south-east of Verona, on the right bank of river Adige. Its fracions are Albaro, Scardevara and Tombazosana. It borders with the comuni of Albaredo d'Adige, Belfiore, Isola Rizza, Oppeano, Palù, Roverchiara and Zevio.

ETYMOLOGY

The town's name supposedly originated with the counts of Ronco, also known as Sanbonifacio, lords of the area since 909, when count Milone took power.

It must be considered though that "Ronco" is a common denomination for country places, and it can be a reminder for the rural origins of the town, which was made cultivable in the medieval age by human intervention with the use, among several other tools, of the pruning hook (Roncola in Italian). This word found its way in other Italian town and village names.

HISTORY

The wealth of this reclaimed lands has always been strictly tied to agriculture, even if the several abandoned quarries are an evidence of the extraction of the raw material for the production of the Laterizio (Roman brick) The origins of the name of the village are related to the Latin verb "runcare" that stands for "clearing the land". Ronco is traditionally believed to be founded in 929, year in which Milone, the count of Sanbonifacio and loyal vassal of king Berengario I, commanded the construction of a holy building in the spot where then the town would grow. In the early 1000s, the Benedictine monks began the undertaking of an intensive work of land reclamation that continued through the domination of the Scaligeri at first and the Venetians then. The town became an important river port and on its docks the watercrafts loaded with grains to supply the city of Verona would stop. Plagues and floods scourged the town menacing the very existence of its inhabitants, who in 1796 had to live side by side with the barracked French Army led by Napoleon Bonaparte. According to tradition, during the battle of Arcole, where the French troops had their best upon the Austrian army, Napoleon observed the battle from the bell tower of Ronco's church. After the Congress of Vienna, in 1814, Ronco and many other towns of Veneto fell under Austrian domination, to become then Italian territory after the Third Italian War of Independence.

ART

The twelfth-century parish of Scardevara is worth visiting, inside it there are medieval Romanesque structures and an intact apsis of the ancient Pieve of 1100. There are also the sixteenth-century church of Ronco, several times rebuilt, the nineteenth-century parish of Tombazosana where there is a Deposition by Felice Riccio, known as the Brusasorzi, the church of Sant'Andrea and Santa sofia in Albaro, and finally the oratory of Sant'Antonio in Tomba. The villas worth visiting are: Corte Polfranceschi of the seventeenth century, Corte Corso of the eighteenth century, Villa Camozzini of nineteenth century and the farmhouse with the remains of an ancient church in Tomba di Sotto.

ECONOMY

The main economical resource of the town, after the decline of the Roman brick, is of course agriculture, which besides the more traditional pears, apples, strawberries and kiwi, included techniques for greenhouse farming of vegetables and flowers. Cattle, pig and bird farming have also developed.