Featured Article: Villa Della Torre a Fumane
Italian history is complex, convoluted and interwoven by both forces of nature and forces outside the sphere of Italian peninsular influence. Our final destination in this paper bears the marks of deep psychological scarring, fear, rivalry, competition, and fleeting alliances. It is a period that is barely credible, when compared with modern standards. During the sixteenth century, in the Italy of Machiavelli, there was one rule to follow: that of each man for himself.
Setting the clock back substantially to begin to grasp the constructions at Fumane, we look to the geologic past. The region’s geography set the stage tens of thousands of years ago when glaciers carved out the land, setting moraines on her flank to reshape the landscape. The river called Adige flows out of the great Alps and both parallels and was blocked from entering the glacial lake, Lago di Garda. The gravel moraine separated the river from what may once have been her earliest repository. Over millennia the moraine softened, becoming low hills with lake on one side and river on the other; this was a perfect pathway connecting the fertile southern plains to the alpine passes to the north. When the Adige entered the expanse of the Lombardian flood plain, it never joined with Italy’s greatest river, the Po, choosing instead to exit into the Adriatic Sea wholly on its own.