In Roman times it was an important town on the Po river, and it maintained its relevance during the Republic of Venice. It still has marine and harbor.

Information and contacts

Altitude: 23 m
Inhabitants: 5.354 updated to December 31,  2018
Post code: 42022
Patron: San Marco Evangelista (April, 25th)
Last day of Carnival with massive release of balloons from the schools; Spring Motorbike meeting (mid-March); Spring Fair (First Sunday in May);The Po Festival (3rd week in June with fireworks display on the Po); National and International power boat racing on the Po; Festival of San Rocco (last Sunday in August); September Fair (1st weekend in September); The Santa Croce Fair (mid-September)
Weekly market day: Thursday
+39 0522.64211 Municipality
+39 0522.965601 Public Relation office of the Municipality 
Municipality of Boretto

How to get there

By Car:
from Reggio Emilia: 30 kilometres along the Provincial Road 358.
From the A1 (Milan-Bologna) motorway: leave the motorway at the Reggio Emilia exit and follow signs to Castelnuovo Sotto (30 km).
From the A22 Modena to Brennero Motorway: leave the motorway at the Reggiolo exit and follow signs to Guastalla (25 km).
By river:
from Mantua – at the “Laghi” dock.
From Cremona: from the “Porto Fluviale” (River port)
By train:
From Reggio Emilia, local train service, line Reggio Emilia-Guastalla. State railway service on the Parma Suzzara line.
By bus: from Reggio Emilia, Piazzale Europa bus n. 3I93 Reggio Emilia-Boretto
From Viadana take the coach service running between Mantua and Parma.

Historical notes

Boretto was used by the Venetians as a stopping off point on the river, serving them both for their military conquests and their trade (the basilica is dedicated to San Marco). It has the best equipped marina of the central stretch of the River Po. Its regional tourist river port is the most important and best equipped of the great river. The A.R.N.I. shipyards are based here. The town can also boast of an important museum – “Il Museo del Po e della navigazione Interna” (the Po and Inland Navigation Museum) as well as the Dino Gialdini “Casa dei Pontieri” Museum and the small “Pietro Ghizzardi” Museum.

Boretto is a river-side community only separated from the Po by the main flood embankment. The historic centre of the town is indeed, right up against the embankment of this great river, with the mighty Basilica of San Marco l’Evangelista (St Mark the Evangelist). The Basilica towers over the whole town as if defending it against the eternal “enemy” lurking just beyond the embankment erected immediately behind the Church itself.
As a result of its special geographical position and its history, the centre of Boretto is perhaps one of the most subject to the river’s influence than any of the other towns along the Po.
Its position coincides with a wide curve in the river, with a view over the solemn and impressive landscape unrivalled almost anywhere else along its course.
The area has been inhabited by Gauls, Celts, Romans and Venetians.
There is some dispute as to the origin and etymology of the name. It could be derived from “beruptum” (the broken Po) or “deruptum” (the route of the Po).
In Roman times, Boretto was part of the Brescello fortified camp. The archaeological finds made in the area demonstrate the wealth and luxury enjoyed by the area, characteristics which can also be deduced from the discovery of villas and tombs.
The remains of a funerary stele or slab is preserved at the town’s middle school, while the most significant find, the Collodi tomb, has been moved to the Public Gardens in Reggio Emilia.
The Venetians, whose influence increased from the 12th century onwards, built a church dedicated to St Mark in Boretto.
The distinctive character of its people and their access to considerable economic wealth has given Boretto a role of some importance and autonomy from Brescello from 1859.

Renowned people

Sant’Alberto degli Avvogardi (1149 – 50, from Bishop of Bobio to Patriarch of Jerusalem),
Mario Nizolio (1488 – humanist)
Guido da Boretto (1496 – jurist),
Don Angelo Dosi (1827 to 1896 – an important figure in religious affairs and Italian unification and politics)
Artimide Zatti (1880 to 1951 - Salesian coadjutor, beatified on 14 April 2002)
Marcello Nizzoli (1887 to 1969 – painter, engineer, poster designer and pioneer in Italian design)
Pietro Ghizzardi (1906 to 1986 painter).

Useful links