"La città nascosta" (The hidden city), section 2

4. The long history of Gradaro

Comune di Mantova started the Mantova Hub project in 2016, in order to redevelop the Gradaro district and bring back functionally to what citizen believed to be a degraded area.
Gradaro, southeastern Mantua, has been part of the city since 1401. That year, Francesco Gonzaga the first, fourth Captain of the People, expanded the town boundaries from the Rio canal to a new circle of fortified walls, approximately in via Risorgimento. The area was suited to commercial activities thanks to the nearby river harbour of Catena-Anconetta. Historical documents inform us about a livestock market, wool mills, pottery and brick kilns which have been built there since 1200.
At the same time, during Middle Age religious orders took their place in the district and erected several churches: S. Maria del Gradaro, S. Caterina, S. Nicolò, parish of S. Apollonia, S. Marta e S. Paola.

5. 3000 years ago in Mantua

Until now the oldest traces of habitation in the Mantuan area have dated back to the Etruscan era (5th cent. BC). However, the findings that emerged from the Gradaro excavations have allowed us to backdate origins of the city by about 700 years.
A small portion of a hut-village, near the Mincio River, came to light and might date back to the final Bronze Age (12-10th cent. BC). Prior to this discovery, contemporary findings in the nearby areas were limited to small ceramic fragments without real evidence of housing.
The homes were made of fully biodegradable material so only parts of the foundations were well preserved. The supporting structure was made of wood and the roof of straw or shingles. The walls were probably built with reeds or woven twigs, and were plastered on the outside with dry clay, of which we recovered some fragments.
Two large vases used to preserve foods such as grains or legumes were buried under the floor of one of the huts. It was possible to reconstruct additional containers used for the conservation of foods and drinks by piecing together the collected ceramic fragments.


Pin It

CercaInformazioni disabiliCalendarioBiglietti