Memory Project

Polesine and the "Short Century"

In 2008 has occurred the 60° anniversary of the promulgation of the Italian Constitution and the State Archive of Rovigo, along with the Province of Rovigo, the Foundation Casa di Risparmio of Padua and Rovigo, always careful about the research and the spread of the historical knowing, and with others institutional partners, among which many Municipalities of the territory, assumed in this occasion to suggest a non-traditional way of attracting the citizens attention, and in particular of the young generations, on events and choices, values and ideals that will brought to the birth of our constitutional paper.

So it was tuned with some institutional partners, among which ISERSS of Badia Polesine with the President Livio Zerbinati, ARCI Nuova Rovigo with the President Lino Pietro Callegarin the Association "Viva la Costituzione" with the President Rosanna Cavazzini, as well as others Polesan mayors, a project that aimed at a scientific recovery and at a development of memory, written and oral, of the effort conducted in Italy and in Polesine for the affirmation of democracy during that portion -short but emblematic- of the "short century". The project, divided into phases and developed in the years from 2008 to 2011, it included the following initiatives arranged by the scientific committee constituted by Elios Andreini, Giampietro Berti, Luigi Contegiacomo, Monica Fioravanzo, Davide Guarnieri, Leonardo Raito, Vittorio Tomasin, Valentino Zaghi, Enrico Zerbinati, Livio Zerbinati, and with the organizational secretary entrusted to Laura Fasolin:

  • recovery of the written memory preserved at the Central State Archive through the digitalization of the documentation of some archival series particularly significant identified by the project coordinator with the colleagues of the Roman Institute;
  • recovery of the oral memory (entrusted to ISERSS) through a series of interviews to the "protagonists" of the history: common people, not necessarily covered with significant roles in our recent history, but actors often involuntary of the same, interviewed on the base of a pre-arranged canvas and agreed with the University of Padua, but leaving full freedom to the interviewed to develop their own memories entrusting them to audio recordings carefully transcribed by the equip of interviewers and consigned to the documentation Centre constituted at the State Archive;
  • realization of a series of 18 conferences spread in all polesan territory and held by some of the majors italian historian flanked by some local studious, between 2009 and 2010 and as themes the most significant aspects of the italian and polesan history in the period from the first world war to the liberation;
  • projection(entrusted to ARCI Nuova di Rovigo) at the schools of the province and at the reduced Social Theatre of Rovigo of thirteen of the most important italian films dedicated to the most dramatic and intense moments of the first half of the twentieth century;
  • publication of the volume Guida ai luoghi della memoria in Polesine 1943-1945, edited by Laura Fasolin, in which there are retraced the localities touched by the most sad and brutal episodes that have interested the Polesine in the end of the second world war; □start of workshops of approach to history and finalized in perspective of the "adoption" by local schools of the young victims of the partisan struggle and of the liberation war.

The written memory

The first step was to build at the State Archive of Rovigo a documentation Centre on the "short Century" on the heels of what already carried out for the Risorgimento and in particular for the Carboneria, through the digital reproduction of over 90.000 papers and photographies preserved in various funds of the Central Archive of the State in Rome, and with the realization of specific application that is named "Gente di Rovigo", dedicated to the images and information related only to the nominative files of polesani (1900 circa – 1945). The documentation loaded in the application, adapted from time to time to the different types of files, it's the following:

  • Central Political Register (1.093 booklets: 30.935 images)
  • Political neighbors(126 booklets: 9.451 images)
  • Subversive prisoners (14 booklets: 432 images)
  • The thousand of Marsala (1861-1917) 1861-1917 (15 booklets: 592 images).

Through the solutions adopted by Hyperborea s.r.l, the foster company of the work of digitalization and implementer of the application, you can access with different keys of access to personal data and to the others information useful to the research, as well as to the images of the documents.

The documentation, like that of the non-nominative files belonging to various series and archival funds (50.000 images circa), it's freely consultable at the State Archive and reproducible on paper support for studious reasons thanks to the convention stipulated between the Central State Archive and reproducible on paper for study reasons thanks to the convention stipulated between the Central State Archive and the Province of Rovigo, partner of the State Archive of Rovigo and customer of the work, while any publications in fac-simile will have to be authorized by the Central State Archive. This are the digitalized series with the related consistencies:

  • P.N.F., Exhibition of the Facist Revolution, list of documents bundles of combat, inv.49/7/2, b.38 (booklets 32, photos 4.000: images 3.942)
  • P.N.F., National directory various services series II, correspondence with the provincial federations 1923-43, politic and economic situation of the provinces 1933-45, inv. 49/13,2, bb.1521-1528 (envelops 8 = 228 booklets, images 7.504) 
  • Propaganda office – Photo library war department – photos II World War 1940-42 (Istituto Luce), inv. 49/17, (envelops 64 = booklets 1.047 = photos 20.000 circa (excluded negatives): images 24.358)
  • HERALDIC OFFICE - heraldic files of municipalities (booklets 36: 3.286 images)
  • Heraldic files of provinces: Province of Rovigo (in total 1 booklet, images 2.087)
  • General Health Management - charity Institutions, general affairs (9 envelops, 2.662  images)
  • General Public Security Management, Direzione AA. GG. e Riservati, Cat. G1
  • Associations 1925-38, Inv. 13/137, b.184 (1 envelop = 25 booklets), Cat. G1 Prefect Reports '25-38 Inv. 13/137, b.220, fasc. 460 (1 booklet): in total 331 images
  •  MILITARY TRIBUNALS, war territorial military tribunals: Rovigo (1914-1918) inv. 8/15, 13 boxes, for a total of 501 nominative files (one envelop: 1.004 images)War military tribunal of Rovigo, inv. 8/27, n. 2 volumes(one volume of the judgements and one of the hearings: images 4.152)
  • PARTICULAR SECRETARY OF THE DUCE, Miscellanea A (2500 photographies)


The oral memory

It was constituted at the Archives a further important archive, this time oral, constituted by 45 interviews at the protagonists of the historical period in question and coordinated by Livio Zerbinati president of ISERSS OF Badia Polesine. Following a clichè agreed with the scientific Committee and the University of Padua the interviewers equip, constituted by Pietro Antoniazzi, Marco Chinaglia, Davide Dal Bosco, Davide Guarnieri, Lorenzo Maggi, Anna Scricco, Livio Zerbinati, they were able to recover with intelligence on gigital support and paper transcription witnesses of people that would have often preferred to remove it, rather than remember: partisans, housewives, officials, newsagents, common people, whose memories constitute a further extraordinary added value for the documentation Centre risen at the State Archive, increasing it with a type of memory that risks more than the others the dispersion: that entrusted to the individual memory and to the family tradition.

(Partial)List of the interviewees :

  • Bellinetti Diana

  • Bertasi Radames

  • Cappato Osvaldo

  • Chieregati Fiammetta

  • Chieregato Elena

  • Fabbri Nello

  • Fischietti Donata

  • Gabriani Mario

  • Maestri Lucia

  • Marangoni Primo

  • Mariga Armido

  • Milani Dialma

  • Rovigatti Gabriele

  • Savietti Serenella

  • Scarazzati Clara

  • Scarazzati Erminia

  • Scarazzati Gino

  • Scarazzati Nelda

  • Schibola Luigi

  • Tega Ulisse

  • Tolio Ines

  • Trevisan Raffaele

  • Veronese Ugo

Author's filmography

For the school's world, thanks to the collaboration of ARCI of Rovigo, it was suggested the showing of 13 films (also suggested to citizens at the Reduced of the Social Theatre of Rovigo) of great historical and artistic importance accompanied by the presentation of historian and film buffs, like El alamein – la linea del fuoco, directed by Enzo Monteleone 2002, Italiani brava gente, directed by Giuseppe De Santis 1964, I piccoli maestri, directed by Daniele Luchetti 1998, Il leone del deserto, made in 1981 directed by Moustapha Akkad. Novecento, made in 1976 directed by Bernardo Bertolucci, L'Agnese va a morire, made in 1976 directed by Giuliano Montaldo and Roma città aperta, made in 1945 and directed by Roberto Rossellini, C'eravamo tanto amati, made in 1974 by Ettore Scola, I sette fratelli Cervi, made by Gianni Puccini in 1968, Le quattro giornate di Napoli, by Nanni Loy 1962, Paisà, by Roberto Rossellini 1946, Una vita difficile, made by Dino Risi in 1961, L'uomo che verrà by Giorgio Diritti 2009.


In 2009-2010, on the base of Scientific Committee's indications, it has been realized among other initiatives an organic series of 18 conferences diffused on the polesan territory to deepen a historical period that deserve more attention on a local level but also a greater knowledge on a general level, removing the shadow that too often had obscured part of our recent history and which(that) had reflected on the local historical investigation.

Historian of national and international, flanked by "local" historian, had discussed on arguments of a great historical interest screening them in the local life to analyze similarities with other realities but also peculiarities of the territory straddling (?) the two great rivers and inside this between low, medium and high polesine. The program of the proposed interventions it was the following:


  • 23 March in Lusia: “Il paese sotto le bombe”, Speakers: Marco Patricelli, historian and journalist - Aldo Rondina, historian 
  • 2 April in Adria “L’Antifascismo”, Speakers: Alberto De Bernardi, historian at University of Bologna – Livio Zerbinati, historian ISERSS 
  • 23 April in Villamarzana “Stragi e violenze naziste e fasciste nell'Italia del '43-'45”, Speakers: Dianella Gagliani, historian at University of Bologna – Livio Zerbinati, storico ISERSS 
  • 29 September in Rovigo “Il consenso al fascismo”, Speakers: Mario Isnenghi, historian at University of Venezia – Valentino Zaghi, historian 
  • 27 November in Villadose “Il totalitarismo nel ‘900”, Speakers: Emilio Gentile, storico University of Roma 1 – Mario Quaranta, historian of philosophy


  •  4 March in Rovigo Alberto De Bernardi, director of the History Department of theUniversità of Bologna, and Livio Zerbinati, president of ISERSS of Badia Polesine: “Il lungo Risorgimento: irredentismo e nazionalismo nella crisi dello stato liberale” 
  • 12 March in Stienta Bruna Bianchi, professor of women's history and of History of political and social contemporary thought at Università Ca' Foscari di Venezia, and Livio Zerbinati: “Dall'intervento al primo dopoguerra” 
  • 19 March in Badia Polesine Giulia Albanese, Researcher at Università di Padova, and Davide Dal Bosco, young paduan researcher: “Dal fascismo della prima ora alla marcia su Roma” 
  • 9 april in Rovigo Gianpaolo Romanato, associated professor of Contemporary history at the Faculty of Literature and Philosophy at the University of Padova, and Valentino Zaghi, polesan historian: “Il caso “Matteotti” 
  • 16 April in Lusia Patrizia Gabrielli, professor of Contemporary History and women's history and of gender relations at the Faculty of Literature and Philosophy in Arezzo, and Valentino Zaghi: “L'Italia all'estero: l'emigrazione antifascista”
  • 12 May in Villadose Giancarlo Galeazzi, professor of Philosophy at the Marche Theological Institute of the Lateranense University and Director of the Superior Institute of Religious Sciences of Ancona, Roberto Pertici, director of the Department of human science in the Faculty of Education Sciences in Bergamo, and Pier Luigi Bagatin, director of the Civic Library “G. Baccari” in Lendinara, historian and journalist: “Cattolici e fascismo” 
  • 17 May in Costa di Rovigo Giorgio Roverato, professor of Economic History in the Faculty of Political Science and of Economic and Business History in the Faculty of Economy at the University of Padua and president of the Centro Studi Ettore Luccini in Padua: “La crisi del '29“ 
  • 4 June in Badia Polesine Nicola Labanca, researcher of Contemporary history at the Department of History in the Faculty of Literature and Philosophy at the University of Siena, and Leonardo Raito, professor of Contemporary History at the Univesity of Ferrara: “Il neocolonialismo“ 
  • 18 June in Lendinara Elisabetta Novello, researcher of economic History at the Faculty of Literature at the University of Padua, Giuseppino Padoan, already Director of the Reclamation Consortium Padano-Polesano e Lino Tosini, already Director of the Reclamation Consortium Delta del Po and of the Reclamation Consortium Polesine Adige – Canal Bianco: “Le bonifiche durante il regime“ 
  • 2 July in Rovigo at the State Archive Alessio Gagliardi, research doctor in Contemporary History at the University of Torino, and Giorgio Roverato: “L'autarchia“ 
  • 24 September 2010 in Ceregnano Leonardo Raito: “L'Italia occupante: guerre d'occupazione italiana“ 
  • 15 October 2010 in Castelguglielmo Elena Aga Rossi, professor of Contemporary History at the University of Aquila and stable teacher at the High School of Public Administration: “Dal 25 luglio all'8 settembre“ 
  • 19 November 2010 in Villadose Mimmo Franzinelli, historian and founding member and secretary of the Foundation “Ernesto Rossi – Gaetano Salvemini”, and Gianni Sparapan, historian, essayist, dialect poet, playwrightand journalist: “La RSI tra opposizione e consenso“.

Guide to the places of memory in Polesine

In autumn has been published the Guide to the places of Memory (1943-1945), edited by the historian Laura Fasolin, who goes over again the places of the massacres, roundups and bombings accompanying them with a rich repertoire of images and an original mapping of these events, which aims to make justice of the many forgotten faces of roundups and massacres but also of the many victims "of bombings and strafing, often considered by politicians and historians mere collateral losses".

Luigi Contegiacomo Coordinator of the project