Buttapietra

GEOGRAPHY

Buttapietra, with its surface of 17.27 km², is located at an average altitude of 38 m above sea level. It is 13 km south of Verona. Its territory is enclosed, east to west, by the rivers Menago and Piganzo, both tributaries of the river Tartaro. The area is crossed by a network of small canals, originating in karst springs, locally known as "Sortie" (exits). Its presence of these canals dates back to the 15th century, when it watered the paddy fields and mills were used to harvest its energy. The substantial amount of surface water creates a local micro climate that moderates the extreme temperatures both in winter and summer. Its fractions are Bovo, Marchesino and Settimo Gallese, and it borders the Comuni of Castel d'Azzano, Isola della scala, Oppeano, San Giovanni Lupatoto, Vigasio and Verona.

ETYMOLOGY

Three different theories revolve around the origins of the name of Buttapietra. The first recalling the nature of the ground, pebbly and poor in humus, the second refers to the substantial amount of rocks due to the alluvial nature of the soil, the third speculates a connection with the name of the founder of the settlement.

HISTORY

The current inhabited centre origins in the late Middle Ages, when the noble family Campagna received a wide amount of lands south of Verona, as a reward for their services to the Scaligeri. The abundance of water, regulated under the administration of the Serenissima, gave a valuable push to agriculture and wealth, contributing to the prosperity of  some noble families and the building of their villas, large manors and small but beautiful oratories.  The fraction of Settimo di Gallese, at the seventh milestone from Verona, is placed on the Via Claudio-Augusta, a road initially built by Druso in 15 b.C. and which connected the centre of Ostiglia sul Po with the Adige Valley and Augsburg on Danube. Tombs, urns, coins, bronze and iron tools, ceramics and glass are the remains of the former Roman settlement called Zera. In 1416 Buttapietra entered the parsonage of Ca Campagna, a league of free Comuni, among them San Giovanni Lupatoto, Ca' di David, Castel d'Azzano, Vigasio and Sommacampagna, located in the fraction Ca' dei Macici. As granted by the Serenissima Repubblica of Venezia, since 1625, the towns affiliated to the parsonage have become autonomous. Buttapietra became a Comune in 1700, with 300 inhabitants. After the hardships of the unification of Italy and the world wars, the town finally recovered from its burdensome situation, looking for its own social and economical identity, despite its proximity to Verona.

ART

In the fraction Bovo, around the 1400s, the noble family of the same name, built a stele and an oratory, where there is an altarpiece of Gobbini, a painting of Signorini, the "Salvatore che va al calvario" painted in the 1500 by Domenico Riccio, also known as Brusasorci and finally a lunette protraying "Iddio Padre" by Paolo Farinati dating back to the same century. Worth visiting is the peculiar church dedicated to San Carlo Borromeo, in Magnano. Around SS. Trinità there lies a rather well preserved palazzo. Throughout the 1500s the oratory of Sant'Anna in corte Piombazzo and the primary structure of the parish were built. The latter was renewed a couple of centuries later, with the addition of a belfry and the expansion of its area. It hosts a "Madonna con bambino" by an anonymous artist from the 1300s, "Sant'Elena che adora la croce", "Sant’Antonio da Padova" and "San Gaetano con i poveri", oil paintings of the late 1700s by Giovanni Chiarelli. The grindstone of the Molino Rosso, built in 1530 in via Bovolino, is still working today. The autonomous square shaped compound of corte Zera (or Zara) dates back to 1700 with its small church dedicated to San Giovanni Battista Decollato. Then there is corte Feniletto, with a solid dovecote and a slender main gate. Around Settimo di Gallese there are two villas, work of the architect Alessandro Pompei: villa Giullari and villa Colombo, with a main hall covered in frescos and some statues by Gaudenzio Bellini.

ECONOMY

Mainly rooted in agriculture until the 1980s, the economy of Buttapietra, flourishes after the substantial expansion of craftsmanship and industry, parallel to the residential development and the population increase. Local companies specialize in woodwork, prebuilt materials, mechanics and metal carpentry. An observable element of this rebirth is the Etnographic Museum of the Istituto Agrario Statale Bentegodi, practical example of how the daily life of our ancestors fascinates the new generations.