Antique Meter Maids on bikes???
When we arrived in Adria, we parked our rental car on the street next to the canal--No parking meters, wow, what a discovery! We started out on foot to explore this picture post card town, but unfortunately our journey was soon interrupted by an elderly gentleman who approached on a bicycle. "Uno Euro," he said. We weren’t sure who he was, or exactly what he expected--but we knew he wanted one Euro (about $1.20). After a bit more questioning, we discovered that he was the local version of a "Meter Maid" and we could park for 3 hours for One Euro. We exchanged a few pleasantries with him and were soon on our way (after paying the required Euro - of course).
At the gateway to Italy’s Po River Delta, the diminutive town of Adria is situated upon the banks of the Canal Bianco within the province of Rovigo. Adria exudes rich historic and artistic evidence. The origin of the name Adria is still uncertain, but it has been established that the Adriatic Sea was named after this ancient city. According to local legend, the city’s name derives from King Adriano of ancient Pelasgi and the legend further boasts that the body of the king is buried inside his golden coach somewhere underground in Adria.
We strolled through the famous working-class neighborhood of "Cannareggio" located along the Corso Mazzini road beside the canal. With streets paved in cobblestones and chimneys jutting out from the roofs, it was inhabited in the past by fishermen and gatherers of marsh reeds (an occupation of the poorer part of the population).
Since we had only a few hours for our stop in Adria, we visited just a few of the most historic sites:
On daily display are historic items unearthed mostly from the Necropolis area digs. These treasures provide relics and documented evidence from as far back as the Middle ages. Entry fee is 2 Euros and hours of operation are Daily from 9:00 AM to 8:00 PM
The cathedral is decorated with works of art dated as early as the sixth century. Frescos by Sebastiano Santi and woodcarvings of Giacomo Piazzetta are prized for their historic significance. The cathedral dominates the Piazza Garibalci, which overlooks the Bishops Residence.
The Church of Santa Maria Assunta--Our Lady of the Assumption
Numerous beautifully restored frescos adorn the walls and alters inside the church and its Baroque facade was renovated in the 18th century. The nearby bell tower was inspired by the campenello at Piazza San Marco in Venice.
We left a bit of time to enjoy a glass of wine in the piazza and to stroll along the Corso Vittorio Emanuele with its fashionable shops. Everywhere we adventured, we found delightful people--proud of their city and anxious to talk with us and tell us about their lovely city.
We will return to Adria again soon!