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Badia Polesine

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Badia Polesine

The origins of the village date back to the 9th century when after a major breach of the Adige River, diverted water originated the waterway now known as the Adigetto. The slender neck of land between two rivers was initially populated by simple fishermen and cane cutters and subsequently, from the X century, by a community of Benedictine monks, thanks to the presence of a monastery built with the donations and legacies of powerful nobilities. The monastery was named Abbey of St. Maria della Vangadizza, in honor of the original church of which now a lovely leaning Bell Tower remains and the XV century chapel frescoed by Filippo Zaniberti. Within the complex, a beautiful trapezoidal cloister of the XIII century was returned to its former glory during a recent restoration.

With the passing of centuries, the residential area was built around the Abbey. A walk will take the visitor to the small oratory dedicated to the Vergine della Salute (Our Lady of Health) commissioned by the nobleman Giovanni Francesco Loredan in 1700 and the Dean's church of St. Giovanni which, in an altar of the left aisle, preserves the ancient wooden statue of the Madonna della Vangadizza as well as a marble bas-relief of the 1400s depicting "Ecce Homo" (Everyman).

Among the civilian buildings to remember are the Teatro Sociale (Social Theatre) built in 1813. For the beautiful gold leaf sculptures which decorate its interior, it was nicknamed "Piccola Fenice" (Little Phoenix) or "scatola d'oro" (golden box). Within walking distance, the Museo civico A.E.Baruffaldi presents many sections on local history and traditions. Of particular interest are the model of a floating mill and a large canvas depicting "the Last Supper". It is a work of Girolamo Bonsignori which used to be hung in the refectory of the Abbey and was clearly inspired by Leonardo?s famous painting. For the last 40 years, every 25th April the sky of Badia becomes full of kites, to which the national holiday is dedicated and which takes place along the shores of the River Adige. In the hamlet of Villa d'Adige, in September, the regional polenta festival is held where polenta is served with rich dishes of meat and "baccalà" (salt cod).