History of Valeggio
A town steeped in history and art
Valeggio sul Mincio is a town whose language, traditions and heritage belong to the Lombard-Venetian culture. It nestles between the two regions in the surrounding morainic hills.
It was built, as was the hamlet of Borghetto, near an ancient ford, the meeting point between land and the river Mincio. About thirty-five centuries ago, the first communities settled on the islands that divided the waters of the Mincio. It was in the Bronze Age (3,500 B.C. – 1,200 B.C.) that a large village arose south of Borghetto. In 1955, work to canalise the river Mincio brought to light, south of Borghetto, theIsolone della Prevaldesca (or of the Palafitte) and tombs from the Iron Age (2nd – 1st millennium BC). The historian Cesare Farinelli writes in his book ‘Storia di Valeggio e del suo territorio’ (History of Valeggio and its Territory) that “something like sixteen thousand objects were recovered before the bulldozers made the Isolone disappear forever”.
Between the 6th and 5th centuries B.C., Celtic tribes from the regions of France, the Cisalpine Gaulsinvaded the Po Valley and settled in the Mincio Valley where, many centuries later, Borghetto would emerge.
Roman tombs provide proof for the subsequent Latinisation of the people of the Po Valley, found under the present-day centre of Valeggio and characterised by Latin inscriptions and marble monuments. The road links between the ford on the Mincio and the Consular roads Postumia, Gallica and Claudia Augusta also date from Roman times.
From the 5th to the 6th century A.D., the valley suffered the barbarian invasions; one of these peoples, the Lombards, first built a settlement on the banks of our river and began to cultivate the fertile hills. Between the end of the first millennium and the beginning of the next, the territory of Valeggio was under the control of the Germanic imperial crown. Over time, the Mincio Valleyhas witnessed many wars, including the three Risorgimento wars(1848 – 1859 – 1866)which decided the future of Italy.