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Il ponte Visconteo, sul Mincio.

Borghetto è un piccolo nucleo di insediamenti sorto nel 1400 attorno ad una serie di mulini ad acqua, per la molatura del frumento e la pilatura del riso, in un punto particolarmente felice lungo il corso del fiume Mincio.

La depressione, tra le articolate colline moreniche dominate dalle strutture castellane di Valeggio sul Mincio, è sempre stata importante luogo di transito e successivamente naturale confine tra l'area veneta e quella lombarda.

I più antichi reperti testimoniano di un villaggio palafitticolo dell'età del bronzo.

Dell'epoca basso-medioevale assume contorni mitici la leggenda di Papa Leone Magno che, bandendo il crocefisso, blocca la devastante marcia di Attila. E' in epoca tardo-medioevale tuttavia che Valeggio diviene importante cerniera tra la signoria veronese degli Scaligeri, i mantovani Gonzaga ed i milanesi Visconti. Il castello del XIII secolo è un nevralgico caposaldo veronese e sovrintende il transito sul ponte fortificato, il 'Ponte Visconteo', sul Mincio, proprio a fianco delle case di Borghetto.

Altri momenti di tragica gloria vedero queste terre insanguinate dalle battaglie napoleoniche, quando l'esercito del generalissimo riportò due decisive vittorie sugli Austriaci. Napoleone pose per alcuni giorni il suo quartier generale proprio a Valeggio nel 1796.
Tragici eventi si ripeterono anche durante le guerre d'indipendenza, trovandosi Valeggio frontalmente al centro di quel formidabile 'quadrilatero' difensivo costituito dalla vicina Peschiera del Garda, da Mantova, da Legnago e da Verona. Carlo Alberto, nel 1848, sconfisse gli Austriaci a Borghetto, preludio della battaglia di Custoza.
Nel 1859 vi sosta Napoleone III di Francia, corso in aiuto dei Savoia e nominato a capo dell'esercito franco-piemontese, mentre si appresta a presenziare al trattato di pace di Villafranca.

Ho aggiunto la versione originale che mette in valore i colori naturali (Workshop)

English version

Borghetto, a place name of Lombard origin that means “fortified settlement,” is the name of the first settlement that developed near the ford across the Mincio river.

Valeggio supposedly means “flat area,” although tradition somewhat more evocatively gives the name of “Vale dium,” or “Valley of the Gods”.

History

• 9th cent. BC: tombs from the Iron Age reveal the presence of a human settlement near Borghetto.

• 7th cent. BC: jewelry from this period, clearly of Etruscan manufacture, is found near the hill.

• 4th-1st cent. BC: the Gauls forded the river and also built an important necropolis here.

• 1st cent.: Roman tombs provide evidence of the Latinization of the area; the ford across the Mincio river is “connected” by the Romans with the consular roads.

• 8th-9th cent. AD: the Lombards build a first village on the banks of the river, near the old ford today identifiable by the steps descending to the Mincio; here there resided a Steward, a customs official who collected the toll for crossing the river.

• 1145: a papal bull mentions for the first time the small monastery of Santa Maria, built on the left bank and offering assistance to those needing to cross. The monastery will later become an important Prefecture for the Order of Knights Templar.

• 1202: after endless disputes between Mantua and Verona, Borghetto goes to the latter. The Scaligeri, who came to power following the Commune, build a first wooden bridge next to the ford and build a defense structure around the small village, of which the access tower with battlements is still visible.

• 1276-1387: the Scaligeri transform Valeggio and Borghetto into heavily armed military strongholds.

• 1387-1402: Gian Galeazzo Visconti, Duke of Milan, annexes the Veronese territory to his domain.

• 1393: Gian Galeazzo Visconti begins construction work on the Borghetto bridge-dam to build a defensive barrier around his new Veronese conquests. The bridge-dam changes the course of the Mincio at Borghetto, making the ford impracticable.

• 1405: now part of the Venetian Republic, the milling of wheat and rice develops, as demonstrated by the water mills that still stand along the river. The use of the Mincio’s water for irrigating the fields (a canal is built in 1553 for this purpose) makes agriculture possible.

• 1796-1814: with the end of Venetian rule, the Napoleonic wars bring death and destruction.

• 1814: the territory is annexed to Austria in the Lombard-Veneto kingdom, to which it will belong until 1866 when, after being the theater of Risorgimento wars, it enters the Kingdom of Italy. From 1859 to 1866 Borghetto is split in two: the one side of the Mincio is Austria, the other side is Italy.

I psted the original version of this photo in workshop: I took this photo in the end of the afternoon, and the colors were really great (the blue in particular)

manatee, Elaine_Blath, vesilvio has marked this note useful

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