The city of Lonigo, with its 16 thousand inhabitants, rises among the Berici hills and carries with it a long history of invasions and disputes.
Already in the 2nd century BC the Romans established their colony in the Leonean lands, as demonstrated by some tombstones found in the locality. In the 9th century, following the first Hungarian raids, part of the population took refuge in the center of Lonigo, building a castle. The Malacappella castle was surrounded by a large moat, had a levatory bridge and numerous underground “Canipae” to ensure shelter and subsistence for long periods of more than 1500 people.
Towards the end of the 11th century the city of Vicenza acquired the territory of Lonigo. However, it was subjugated in 1266 by Padua and later in 1311 by the Scaligeri. Cangrande della Scala, a skilled conqueror and shrewd politician, had the castle restored, recognizing its importance from a military profile. In 1404 Lonigo linked its destiny to that of the Republic of San Marco for four centuries.
After the fall of the Serenissima, in 1797 Lonigo was ceded by Napoleon, together with the rest of the Veneto, to Austria, which maintained its dominion until 1866, the year of its annexation to the Kingdom of Italy.
The nineteenth century was the century of maximum splendor for the town when, thanks to the presence of the Giovannelli Princes in Villa San Fermo, it became the capital of the Lower Vicentino with its theaters, the Hippodrome for horse racing and a lively cultural life and dynamic.
What does it mean Lonigo?
The origin of the name of the city is not known precisely. According to some historians, the term in the form “Leonicus” dates back to a notarial deed of the 10th century; according to others, the name derives from the constellation of Leo, as August would have been the month of its foundation.
Lonigo was the seat of important families such as that of the Pisans. They commissioned the architect Andrea Palladio to build Villa Pisani (1544) and in 1556 built Palazzo Pisani, in the heart of the town, straddling the Scaliger walls which were then demolished.
Also by the will of the Pisans, the Rocca Pisana (1576) was built on a pleasant hill based on a project by the architect Vincenzo Scamozzi, a pupil of Palladio.
The Municipal Theater
Inaugurated in 1892, the “Giuseppe Verdi” Municipal Theater is of particular cultural and architectural value, a typical example of Italian theater with three tiers of boxes and loggias, characterized by perfect acoustics for musical performances. The Art Nouveau and neoclassical style of the stucco favors shades of pink, olive green and cream: the lighting is made elegant by Murano glass bells.
The cathedral of Lonigo is the parish church, dedicated to the most holy Redeemer, built between 1877 and 1895 in a neo-Romanesque style. It was erected in the place where the ancient castle stood, of which a tower remains. The building is made particularly impressive by the construction in a raised area which gives it even more solemnity. The facade is splendid characterized by alternating bands of dark tuff stone and red bricks and by the huge rose window. Tree aisles and a cross structure characterize the interior. The organ that dominates the upper part of the entrance door under the huge rose window is very particular.
Lonigo is surrounded by prestigious vineyards which give it the title of International Wine City. It houses the Cantina dei Colli Berici, considered the most important in Europe, which brings together agricultural entrepreneurs from the area, gathered in a cooperative. Thank to this solution they can work the grapes and sell the wines obtained by adopting a single method and a single strategy.
On March 25 the ancient horse fair is celebrated, dating back to 1496 from an incredible episode that took place at the Sanctuary of the Madonna dei Miracoli. This fair is the most anticipated event of the year, a large showcase for all sectors, from agricultural machinery to crafts, from stone-furniture to gardening.
The oldest Fair of Lonigo fell on July 25, dedicated to San Giacomo active since 1100. In recent years, to restore value to this ancient tradition, every Friday in July the city comes alive with events, shops open until late, street food and amusement park.
Where is Lonigo – GoogleMaps
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