Azioni di informazione e promozione dei vini Gambellara DOC realizzate con il sostengo del Programma di Sviluppo Rurale per il Veneto 2014/2020
Gambellara, Montebello Vicentino, Montorso Vicentino and Zermeghedo are 4 municipality that belong to the “Strada del Recioto”. A description of the territory follows:
Area: 12,89 kmq (5 sq m)
Population (31 December 2009) : 3.377
Elevation: 70m (230 ft)
Frazioni: Sorio, Sarmazza, Torri di Confine
Border towns: Montebello Vicentino, Montorso Vicentino, Lonigo, San Bonifacio, Monteforte d’Alpone, Roncà, Montecchia di Crosara.
Origin of the name: unknown but there are several theories: one is the Longobardic origin, with the meaning of “curving”, referred to a river; the other one is linked to the verb “gambinare” that means to lower the fields removing plot and the last theory is again linked to another verb “sgumbillare”, that means to dig the trench.
Coat of arms: it’s a heraldic shield with a turreted crown on the top in the red field on the left with a bunch of golden grapes, with stalk and green leaves and in the light blue field on the right an obelisk of the Risorgimento with a four pointed star on the top.
The origin of the village is not certain but surely dated back to the Longobardic period as documented in the village of Sorio, which represented in the VII century one of the Longobardic “fara” (an aggregation of a compact and uniform groups of families of the same clan). Reliable and documented evidences mention Gambellara in the XI century when there was an equipped and rich castle that was for the inhabitants an efficient defense of the confines to Verona. The castle was destroyed the 16th October 1243 from the army of Ezzelino da Romano and wasn’t rebuild. The only fortification was the “torre di confine”, that in that time marked the limits of the city halls of Vicenza and Verona and was burn during the War of the League of Cambrai (1513). Later both Gambellara and Sorio, that were property of the bishops of Vicenza, in 1288 were given as “feudo” to Antonio Giudice of Sarego. During the domination of the Scaligeri (1311- 1387) Gabbellara became part of Verona’s territory but in 1390 was given back to Vicenza.
The geographic and strategic position involved the village in many conflicts because of the confines, that increase even between Gambellara and Sorio a continuous rivalry and characterized their history during the centuries. During the Risorgimento in the territory of Sorio, the 8April 1848 took place a tragic fight, generally called “battle of Sorio” that opposed the strong Austrian army with Major Genral Prince of Liechtenstein, to the voluntary forces of young universitary students, the so called “crociati” (that means crossed), for the red cross they were used to have on the arm or on the chest, under the guide of General Marc’Antonio Sanfermo. Today in the hills that surround Sorio as a testimony for the tragic bloody event, where about 50 young volunteers died, there is an obelisk built by the architect Antonio Caregaro Negrin in 1868, restored in 1907, that appear also in the municipal coat of arms.
Finally, for the will of the emperor Francesco Giuseppe, under the Austrian domination, with a decree the 23March 1858, the two villages became one: Gambellara, under Vicenza’s territory as it is today.
Church of San Pietro of Gambellara: rebuilt the last century ex- novo
Little church of San Marco: rebuilt several times, the current is of the XX century.
Church of San Giorgio in Sorio: dated 1500
Sorio’s obelisk: dated 1868, in remembrance of the battle of Sorio 1848.
Palace Cera: XVIII century, restored in 2003, headquarters of Consorzio Tutela Vini DOC Gambellara, Strada del Recioto and of the library of Gambellara.
Museum of Casa Vinicola Zonin.
Comune of about 6650 inhabitants in a 21,43 Kmq area (8 sq mi). The name of this village is probably linked to the geographic conditions, so it may mean “bel monte” (nice/beautiful mount).
In this territory, pre-roman graves and coins, amphoras and marble object of the roman period. In supporting material of the XI century the village appear to be property of counts Maltraverso. According to some historians the castle of Montebello, called of Maltraverso with its remains on the hill, was given in 1154 or 1158 from Federico I of Germany to Alberto Matraverso together with the nobiliar title of count; from other sources, it seems that that the castle was already property of the family long since, so the “gift” was not more than a confirmation of a situation already exsisting. During the medieval fights both the village and the castle were plundered many times.
In the XIII century they both became property of Padua, when it was dominating Vicenza territory. Between 1313 and 1324 Cangrande della Scala, that replace Padua supremacy in Vicenza, restored and reinforced the castle which was dismantled by the Venetians in the ‘500. Then the village followed the lots of Vicenza. In 1796 took place fights between Napoleonic and Austrian armies.
ADVICES, WHAT TO VISIT:
The Municipal Palace, its loggia was erected in 1677.
Villa Righi: dated late ‘600
Villa Baroni: built in 1707, reshaped in 1850.
Parish church of Vergine Assunta: mentioned in 1205. Rebuilt in 1447 and rebuilt again between 1776 and 1791, the actual façade is of 1847. It conserve a wooden sculpture of ‘400 illustrating the “Madonna” and paintings of Maganza (1556- about 1630) and of Girolamo Ciesa (XVIII century).
Oratory of San Giovanni Battista: dated ‘400 but restored in the last century. It has got a very nice bell tower.
Villa Valmarana Zonin (XVIII secolo).
Montorso Vicentino has got about 3.150 inhabitants in an area of 9,23 Kmq (3.57 sq mi), elevation of 83 m ( 272 ft), (min 70- max 400).
Formerly called “Montorsium” or “Montursio”: the toponym comes either from “monte” and from the proper noun “Ursius” or “Ursus” or from the name of the noble Orso (part of the ancient family Trissino), that is supposed to have built the ancient castle in Colle Fratta, now a cemetery, so probably the former name was “Castrum Montis Ursi”, and so the actual Montorso.
The first news regarding the village of Montorso are linked to the origins of the castle, very solid, according Barbarano, built between the X and the XII century on the Colle Fratta and destroyed by Ezzelino da Romano in 1242, restored later by Padua’s citizens as a strategic place against the advance of Scaligeri of Verona. Then were dominating the Visconti family and from 1404, the Republic of Venice. In 1513, during the War of the League of Cambrai the castle burned out by the Germans and rebuilt by Vicenza’s citizens. So later the village became part of the Republic of Venice.
Today Montorso is a pleasant centre, with a various economic situation: there are still farm supported by a lot of other enterprises that work in several and different fields of craftsmanship, industry and trade (about 230 firms).
ADVICES, WHAT TO VISIT:
Villa Da Porto- Barbarano
Historical structure, once one of the most luxurious villa of Vicenza. The building was restructured many times in different phases. Extension and remake took place from the second half of ‘400 to the beginning of ‘700.
Church of San Marcello
Located on top of the hill of Bellimadore. Erected from the community in the XV-XVI century, it has got the typical structure of churches built after 1000: rectangular base and a low roof. The actual little bell tower, of a recent period, rises from the foundations of another more ancient tower bell.
From the ancient parish church (XIII century) that was located on the top of colle della Fratta( where once was located castle of Pilei) remains only the rustic belfry, that can be observed from the cemetery, made with black and white rocks.
Parish church of San Biagio
Wanted from the dean of the seminary of Vicenza don Giuseppe Dal Pozzolo, elected for the parish of Montorso in May 1837, was built in an outstanding position between 1840 and 1854 by architect Luigi De Boni. One of the most beautiful examples of neoclassical architecture in Vicenza.
Zermeghedo has got about 1380 inhabitants in an area of 2,97 kmq (0.8 sq mi). The name “Zermeghedo” has probably a Longobardic origin as it is documented in the local toponymy, rich of Germanic terms. It was once effectively a military redeplyment of the army of King Alboino, put as a defense in Via Postumia against attacks from the north. King Alboino, former mercenary of East Roman army, head of a lot of Longobardic converted toChristianity, perhaps for political reasons, started his walk followed by his people.
He entered in Friuli, along the Postumia, putting on the sides of the street strongholds (fare), to facilitate the escape in case of necessity and to guarantee the procurements. One of these “fare” was Zermeghedo established in 568, in defense against the roman settlement in the northern part, against Arx Janji (Arzignano). In ‘800 Zermeghedo went under Frankish supremacy succeeded by the Longobards. After 1000 a lot of Comuni developed but there are not so many signs of them, until in 1250 Zermeghedo was involved in the attack of Ezzelino da Romano who in that time destroyed the village of Montorso Vicentino.
This had as a consequence a big tremor, and the counts of Maltraverso in 1265 sold the comuni of Montebello Vicentino and Zermeghedo to the city of Vicenza. So rose the free commune of Zermeghedo which the 23 April 1335 completed finally its Statutes of the Comune (“statuti comunali”), one of the first Comuni. In this day, after the religious ritual, under the portego (portico) of Uguccione fu Olderico’s house, the 34 heads of the household summoned met “as sonum tabulae” and in front of proper notaries from Montorso, Grancona e Brendola, the Statutes of the Comune, shared in 67 articles, still visible nowadays , in perfect condition of conservation, near the Bertoliana Library of Vicenza. Zermeghedo has always remained a village with a reduced population, and for this reason every time a new centralist government appeared, the village lost its autonomy, and this happened both in Napoleonic period and in the Fascist period.