from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
coat of arms
Mesola (Italy)
Country Italy
region Emilia-Romagna
province Ferrara  (FE)
Local name Mesola
Coordinates 44 ° 55 '  N , 12 ° 14'  E Coordinates: 44 ° 55 '14 "  N , 12 ° 13' 48"  E
height m slm
surface 84 km²
Residents 6,633 (Dec. 31, 2019)
Population density 79 inhabitants / km²
Post Code 44026
prefix 0533
ISTAT number 038014
Website Mesola
Panoramic view over a district of Mesola.
Castle of Mesola.
Forest path in the great forest of Mesola.

Mesola is a municipality in the Italian region of Emilia-Romagna with 6633 inhabitants (as of December 31, 2019). It belongs to the province of Ferrara . The municipality consists of the main town and the districts Bosco Mesola, Ariano, Monticelli, Massenzatica and S. Giustina.


Mesola is located in the Po Delta on a tributary of the Po, not far from the Adriatic Sea on the border with the Veneto region . The neighboring municipalities are Ariano nel Polesine , Berra , Codigoro and Goro .


Mesola is located in an area that was still sea 5,000 years ago. The dunes of Massenzatica, which protrude individually from the cultivated areas near Mesola in the hinterland of the Adriatic coast and remnants of a strip of dunes from the 2nd millennium BC, bear witness to this. Are.

There are different opinions about the origin of the place name Mesola . The most plausible is the hypothesis that the name of the place is derived from the Latin term media insula (central island), because as early as the 13th century, Mesola was an island about four kilometers long between two estuary arms of the Po, which flowed into the sea one kilometer apart . According to another suggestion, the place name could be related to the ecclesiastical term piccola mensa (small canteen) and refer to the fact that the patch of land once belonged to the canteen property of the Archbishop of Ravenna. But there are other hypotheses.

At the beginning of the 14th century there were makeshift reed huts on the island, called casoni , which were used by hunters and fishermen as temporary accommodation. With the exception of the six to eight meters higher areas of the dunes of Massenzatica, where there had been isolated human settlements already in the time of the Etruscans and the Romans, the area was humid and therefore inhospitable and unsuitable for permanent settlement at that time. The turning point brought extensive drainage measures initiated by the Ferrarese Duchy of Este in 1566, which the Abbot of Pomposa had suggested for the entire area of ​​the Po Delta. The Great Drainage Campaign ( Grande Bonifica Estensi ) began with the construction of the Chiavica dell'Abate (abbot's lock) on the grounds of the castle complex. The lock, with the help of which the water drainage of the Po Morto into the sea was hydraulically controlled, worked according to a pivoting door principle going back to Leonardo da Vinci and was controlled from a tower, the still existing Torre del'Abate or Torre Aba (tower of the Abbot). The tower also served military purposes and was an integral part of an approximately 9-mile-long circular wall with a total of 11 observation towers, which surrounded the area of ​​the Este and which was once again protected by an outer wall. The Abbot of Pomposa had asked the Estonians not only to help drain the Po Delta, but also to protect the border area on the edge of Veneto from robbery by the Venetians. This circular wall is marked on old maps, but no longer exists today.

In 1583, Alfonso II. D'Este had a pleasure palace built for his wife, Margherita Gonzaga, within the defense system, which was also intended to serve as a hunting lodge for the Ferrara court. The star of the Ferrara ducal family gradually faded after the marriage of this last Ferrara duke did not result in male heirs. After the death of Alfonso II, the Este family was forced to leave Ferrara. In 1598 the duchy passed to the Papal States. However, the castle and the forest of Mesola remained the private property of Cesare d'Este , Duke of Modena . In 1771 Mesola Castle and Forest became the property of the Duchy of Austria. In 1785 Pope Pius VI acquired the large estates of the Roman-German Emperor Joseph II of Austria. With that the last remnant of the Duchy of Ferrara came into the possession of the Papal States.

After the interlude of the French occupation of Italy (1797-1815) under Napoleon I and the establishment of the vassal state of the Cisalpine Republic , Mesola was returned to the Papal States in 1836 as part of the restoration of the pre-war political situation, which it the Istituto di Santo Spirito in Rome leaves. A period of relatively stable administration and gradual economic recovery began.

In 1911, the Società per la Bonifica dei terreni ferraresi (Society for the Drainage of the Territory of Ferrara) acquired the area and initiated extensive drainage measures . In 1952 the Ente Delta Padano company took over the Mesola area. The drained areas have now been parceled out and assigned to the farms as arable land. This measure initiated an economic upswing in the region.


Mesola is now a busy agricultural center with associated trade and craft businesses. In addition to field crops, grapes are also harvested in the surrounding area, which are used to press wines of the Bosco Eliceo variety.The Castle of the Este was purchased by the Provincial Administration of Ferrara ( Amministrazione Provinciale di Ferrara ), renovated and expanded into a cultural and event center, in where exhibitions and conferences take place and congresses can be organized.


  • Castello Estense della Mesola ; Count Alfonso II of Ferrara had this pleasure palace built for his wife Margherita Gonzaga in the 16th century . The castle was renovated in the modern era and expanded into a culture and event center. Today it houses the following facilities:
    • Municipal library ( Biblioteca Comunale )
    • Archives for History ( Archivio Storico )
    • Municipal Art Gallery ( Galeria Civica ); Traveling exhibitions of contemporary art are held here every year.
    • Environmental Center of the Po Delta ( Centro di Educazione Ambientale ); In the well-equipped environmental center, which also has its own laboratory and its own environmental library, aquariums are shown and documentaries and slide shows about the flora and fauna as well as the scenic features of the Po Delta are shown.
    • Event halls

Every year, major traveling exhibitions of modern contemporary art are shown in the art gallery. The environmental center of the Po Delta serves to educate, especially school groups, about the flora and fauna of the Po Delta. (The event halls can be rented for holding conferences and holding congresses.)

  • Arcipretale Church (archpriest church); which is the main church building in Mesola. The single-nave church with a spacious presbytery and choir was built at the request of the Empress Maria Theresa and under the pontificate of Pope Pius VI. Completed in 1785. Although it has no wall and ceiling paintings, it does contain some altar panels and oil paintings from the 18th century, as well as a valuable organ from the same period.
  • Tower of the Abbot ( Torre de'Abate or Torre Aba ); This tower from the 16th century in the district of S. Giustina served in the 16th century both as a control tower for the hydraulically operated swing door barn on the area of ​​the castle of the ruling family Este and as a military observation tower.
  • Dunes of Massenzatica; these 6… 8 meter high fossil mounds, which protrude individually from the flat surrounding area, are a popular starting point for nature lovers. The elevations are a remnant of a strip of dunes from the 2nd millennium BC. When the seashore was further west.
  • Gran Bosco della Mesola (Great Mesola Forest); this 1058 hectare Mediterranean coastal forest was declared a nature reserve in 1977. The nature reserve is part of the Parco del Delta del Po .
  • Bosco S. Giustina ; this forest is called Fasanara (pheasantry) by the locals because it is a remnant of the forest that the Este family used to hunt pheasants.

Population development

Web links

Commons : Mesola  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Statistiche demografiche ISTAT. Monthly population statistics of the Istituto Nazionale di Statistica , as of December 31 of 2019.
  2. ^ GB Aleotti: Pianta delle Valle Superiori e Inferiori del Bolognese e della Romagna delineata 1599 . Biblioteca Comunale Ariostea di Ferrara, in Difesa ..., 1601, MF 238.17. This plan of the Po Delta from 1599 is shown in: Maurizio Paiola, Le Casette di Magnavacca - uno Delizia Estense Ritrovato , Grafis Edizioni, 40033 Casalecchio di Reno (BO) 1995, ISBN 88-8081-041-3 , page 33.