Via Sottoriva is one of the most characteristic streets of the city of Verona and still retains its ancient aspect.
The name "Sottoriva" derives from the position in which the street is located, that is, next to the river bank. In fact, it runs along the bank of the Adige river where numerous mills once existed.
Being located in a very low area, in the past the road was subject to frequent flooding due to the floods of the Adige. During the Roman era the road was in the same place and direction as it is today. During the Middle Ages it was part of the district called Chiavica while, during the French domination of the city, it was part of the Piazze district.
The road borders to the north with the church of Santa Anastasia and to the south with Via Ponte Nuovo and piazzetta Pescheria. It has many alleys extending towards the Adige river called Vò, from which the numerous wagons for transporting the ground materials in the mills came from.
On one side of the street there is a low and gloomy portico which gives the street its typical medieval appearance, where you can also see a fresco of the Madonna holding the divine Child in her arms and an original Renaissance door. Some houses overlooking the street date back to the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. One of these belonged to the "Montesilice" family of which a daughter, Esterina, became the wife of Pietro III degli Alighieri, a direct descendant of the divine poet Dante Alighieri.
The houses also have old and now unfortunately decayed frescoes opposite the portico which, however, continue to testify to the religiosity of the millers, residing here until most of the twentieth century.
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