Our exhibition venues
Two palazzos located opposite each other in the centre of Rovigo. And many stories to tell.
Rovigo. In 1474, the powerful cardinal Bartolomeo Roverella commissioned the construction of a majestic palace in Piazza Maggiore, Rovigo, to flaunt the prestige of the Roverella family.
Unfortunately, the name of the architect is unknown. The cardinal’s sudden death, in 1477, put a stop to the construction works and until the late sixteenth century, various unwarranted renovations accelerated the building’s degradation.
After the end of World War II, restoration work began on the façade, which – featuring three architectural orders resting on sturdy marble columns – is particularly harmonious in appearance, also due to the play of colour generated by the use of red brick and white marble.
In the year 2000, the Rovigo Town Council (which owns the Palazzo) and Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio di Padova e Rovigo subsidised further renovation works, turning this historic building into the permanent home of the Pinacoteca dell’Accademia dei Concordi e del Seminario Vescovile di Rovigo, as well as the temporary home of many exhibitions, year after year.
Rovigo, 1484. When the Venetians defeated the Estes, Rovigo and its surroundings came officially under Venetian rule. Although the heraldic banner bearing the Lion of Saint Mark was not to enter the city until 1514, this victory opened Rovigo’s doors to the arrival of “new men”.
Indeed, the city attracted corn dealers, wool workers and craftsmen, but also lawyers and notaries in the service of the Republic of Venice – enterprising “foreigners”, ready to occupy leading positions in the local economy and politics.
Among them was a humble yet talented merchant; what we would nowadays refer to as a truly self-made man. His name was Giovanni Roncale, and he came from Bergamo. His family played a significant and long-lasting role in Rovigo’s aristocratic scene, with Palazzo Roncale providing perhaps the most striking evidence of their importance.
As with Palazzo Roverella, the name of the architect is unknown, although the experts point to Verona’s Michele Sanmicheli as the likely designer of Palazzo Roncale. Today, this symbolic building, owned by Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio di Padova e Rovigo and home to part of the Pinacoteca dell’Accademia dei Concordi e del Seminario Vescovile di Rovigo, calls to mind the pomp and splendour of a by-gone age and of a success story into which you are about to step.