From prehistory
to the birth
of the first borders
The Valpolicella wine production area has always been considered fertile due to the presence of waterways, which have made agriculture profitable and favored settlements. Its valleys are rich in history and show clear signs of the presence of man since the Paleolithic. The oldest finds have occurred mainly in caves, caves and shelters under rock. Despite the complexity of the territory, a unitary historical and cultural identity was given by the Roman conquest of which traces remain today in the excavations of some villas. In the Middle Ages the territory knows the first forms of municipal autonomy. Federico della Scala, Count of Valpolicella, in 1313 managed to establish the exact boundaries between the valley of which he was feudal lord and the neighboring Veronese areas, convincing the Della Scala to sign a commercial and defensive agreement. Between the fifteenth and eighteenth centuries in the hilly areas arose important manor houses, characterized by a structure "portico" and "loggia".
Modern Age
In the contemporary age, especially after World War II, the phenomenon of emigration from the countryside and mountain areas, saw the transformation of the landscape and the progressive abandonment of rural courts; Only the most isolated areas have preserved their original appearance. The transition to modern crops took place without completely erasing the signs of traditional agriculture. For example, the terraces with dry stone walls, the "marogne", have been respected, and in some places there are also some trees along the rows of vines, testifying to when they served as living supports. Throughout the territory we also find stone tanks, where verdigris were prepared; of the huts, always in stone, for the shelter of tools. In some places, further upstream, we still find some iceboxes.
The origins
of the name
In a decree of 1117 of Emperor Frederick Barbarossa is mentioned for the first time the name "Val Polesela", whose etymology is not fixed. According to some, it can be traced back to the Greek term "polyzèlos", which means "very blessed" therefore "very blessed valley", or to the Latin "pulcella", to which the image of the girl in the coat of arms of the municipality of San Pietro in Cariano refers. The explanation that comes closest to reality, and that most honors the productive traditions of the place, can be found in the Latin expression "Val-poli-cellae", or "valley of many cellars".
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